In a press release of September
4, 2007 main Sponsor Gerolsteiner announced that the company will not renew its contract with the team. Here is the full press
"We will fulfill our contract
with Team Gerolsteiner until the end of 2008 as agreed. We will not however renew the contract," says Jörg Croseck, head of
marketing and distribution at the Gerolsteiner Brunnen GmbH & Co. KG. "The decision was not taken lightly and only after
careful deliberation on whether it will in future still be possible to reach our consumers and inspire them through cycling
sports. The future of the company with its 800 employees is, as always, at the core of our decision making."
The date for this decision
was set in spring and was prearranged with
Hans-Michael Holczer in order
for both partners to retain the highest possible degree of planning reliability beyond 2008.
The change from mineral water
specialist to “provider of natural, non-alcoholic refreshing beverages” is Gerolsteiner's answer to the increasingly
tough competition on the national beverage market, and so far it has been successful. In the last two years products with
the most promising turnover and sales perspectives were introduced to the market: Gerolsteiner Moment, Naturell plus Fruit
and Linée products. The target is to clearly increase the circle of Gerolsteiner consumers. Cycling sports however plays only
a subordinate part in the interest spectrum of these consumers. "We will in future have to position ourselves far more widely,
whereas before our marketing efforts were concentrated on mineral water. This repositioning has already started in some areas,
such as for instance in TV-spots," says Croseck.
The recent doping occurrences
are thus not the basis for the decision made by Gerolsteiner. They did however serve to temporarily devalue cycling sports
as a communications-platform.
Hans-Michael Holczer's team
is the hope for the future in German cycling sports.
Since its founding in 1998
Team Gerolsteiner has gone through a most impressive development. To the public the team not only stands for success but also
for team spirit, honesty and naturalness. Current studies show that Team Gerolsteiner is regarded as the most likable team
in German cycling sports. Especially in view of recent developments in cycling sports, the public regards the team with its
many young German riders to be the future of the sport, the great hope for German cycling.
Company manager Jörg Croseck:
"We are convinced that Hans-Michael Holczer will manage to find a new partner. With his strict and believable anti-doping
stance and the team's image he is in an excellent position for negotiations. We will without restrictions live up to the partnership
until the contract runs out in 16 months time. The team will have our full support."