Team Belkin's Lars Boom rides during the 2013 Tour de France  (Source: © Bettini)
Belkin took over pro cycling team Blanco, supporting the team for the next two and a half years

Electronics manufacturer Belkin is the latest American company to jump into the world of professional cycling, now sponsoring a professional cycling team for the next two and a half years.

Belkin is a California-based company and manufactures wireless networking, mobile peripherals, smartphone cases, home automation, PC accessories, and power products, among other consumer offerings.

The Belkin Pro Cycling Team made its debut during the 2013 Tour de France, and should be happy with the results of the race.  Heading into the last day of the race on Sunday, which ended in Paris on the famed Champs-Elysées, it was unsure what to expect from the newly rebranded team.

Dutch riders Bauke Mollema and Laurens Ten Dam spent much of the race in the top five overall, and although they faded towards the end, still occupy the sixth and thirteenth positions on the general classification. Also, Belkin received brand exposure with other Belkin riders in breakaways and at the front of the peloton throughout three weeks.

Belkin took over from international bank Rabobank, which pulled its name from the team after damning evidence of doping related to past Rabobank riders. The Rabobank team rode as Team Blanco before Belkin officially picked up sponsorship and the new team was introduced prior to the Tour.

Sponsoring a team at the highest level of professional cycling is a complicated, multi-million-dollar operation that can offer great benefits – and severe difficulties which must be carefully analyzed. The UCI WorldTour teams of the biggest teams with the best riders often sees an average media exposure valued near $88.4 million, according to a recent report.

If a team finds success throughout the season with a large number of wins in the biggest races, the return-on-investment drastically increases; Team Sky, led by 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, received $550m in advertising value to team sponsors, the full report notes.

Source: VeloNews

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