High Road Sports, Inc.
Columbia Sportswear PR for Europe
+41 22 870 9061
Team Columbia Unveiled
Brest, France – 4 July 2008 – Officials from High Road Sports and Columbia Sportswear Company today officially unveiled the new, official Team Columbia uniform (also called the "kit") and equipment and announced the final roster for the Tour de France.
The nine Tour de France riders, who include George Hincapie, Mark Cavendish, Kim Kirchen, Gerald Ciolek, Marcus Burghardt, Kanstantsin Sivtsov, Adam Hansen, Bernhard Eisel and Thomas Lövkvist, were also introduced in the new team kits.
George Hincapie will act as team captain, having completed 12 editions of the Tour de France in his career. Young sprinters Cavendish and Ciolek will be aiming for stage wins in the sprint stages and Kim Kirchen will be the protected rider for the General Classification.
Columbia Sportswear Company’s sponsorship of Team Columbia provides an ideal opportunity to elevate the positioning of Columbia in multiple European markets by communicating the company’s authentic, outdoor, active, American brand to target consumers. By sponsoring one of the top men’s and women’s cycling teams in the world, Columbia can leverage the international popularity and broad media reach of the cycling sport among enthusiast and recreational audiences and promote Columbia’s outdoor brand leadership in Europe as well as globally. In addition to the Columbia brand and logo, the team jersey will prominently feature the words Omni-Shade, the company’s sun-protective apparel initiative.
"This is a very exciting time for the Columbia brand as we expand our reach and build product awareness to cycling and outdoor enthusiasts around the world," said Tim Boyle, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Sportswear Company. "The professional cyclists on Team Columbia, as well as anyone who enjoys riding a bike, need outdoor apparel that keeps them cool, comfortable and protects them all day in the sun. Columbia is pleased to promote a sport that is beloved by millions of people around the globe who also enjoy the outdoors and deserve the best off-bike apparel for their own activities."
"We are excited to line up as Team Columbia with such a great group of riders," says Bob Stapleton. "Many of our riders are young and already have what it takes to be a part of the Tour team. This is very encouraging as we know they have a very bright future and can learn a lot from the experienced guys on the team like George and Kim."
About Columbia Sportswear Company
Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia Sportswear Company is a global leader in the design, sourcing, marketing and distribution of active outdoor apparel and footwear. As one of the largest outerwear manufacturers in the world and a leading seller of skiwear in the United States, the company has developed an international reputation for quality, performance, functionality and value. The company manages a portfolio of outdoor brands including Columbia Sportswear, Montrail, Mountain Hardwear, Pacific Trail, and Sorel. To learn more about Columbia, please visit the company's website at www.columbia.com.
About High Road Sports
High Road Sports, Inc., based in San Luis Obispo, California, operates the only USA owned and registered ProTour Elite-level professional men’s cycling team and the world’s number one ranked women’s cycling team. High Road’s athletes include 42 men and women from 17 different nations making it the most international team in the sport. High Road was founded on the principles of clean and fair sport, and is the winningest team in pro cycling during the 2008 season. High Road focuses on developing young talent in the sport under excellent veteran leadership and an experienced management team deeply committed to the sport of professional cycling. To learn more about Team Columbia please visit the team’s web site at www.highroadsports.com.