Quick-Step interviewed

Quick-Step laminate and parquet flooring sponsorship

Mr Philiep Caryn, International Communication & Sponsorship Quick-Step says “Mr Mark Cavendish is one of the most well known cyclists of his generation, a really well known sports icon. He is a very good sprinter but he also has a fantastic personality, which he always demonstrated.

With Mark joining the team, we will be able to count on another athlete with a modern vision of cycling tied to development, technological innovation and international communication.”

Quick-Step can use Mark Cavendish for its international advertising campagins worldwide in general and in the UK particularly. The UK is a very interesting market for Quick-Step where its flooring products are available under the brand names Quick-Step Laminate Flooring and Quick-Step Parquet. Next to the international brand awareness, there are also a lot of opportunities towards hospitality in the UK and on the international level, Can we have a visit of  Mark Cavendish at the Quick-Step Academy in Manchester in the next year ?  Wait and see !

Who are Quick-Step?

Unilin, the manufacturer of Quick-Step laminate flooring, is a wood-manufacturing group of Belgian origin with an international reputation.  The Unilin Group is a multinational company founded in 1960, whose head office is in Wielsbeke (Belgium). Since July 2005, the Unilin Group has been part of the American company Mohawk Industries Inc., quoted on the stock-exchange. It is the largest flooring manufacturing group in the world, in both the residential and commercial markets.

Quick-Step is well-known for its product innovation. Every year the company puts new products on the market that are highly appreciated internationally. With Quick-Step Unilin is the inventor of the patented Uniclic system. Uniclic makes it possible to click laminate boards together without glue. Unilin, division Flooring, the manufacturer of Quick-Step laminate floors and parquet, is part of the Unilin Group, which is active in four domains in the wood-processing industry.

What is the history of Quick-Step as a sports sponsor?

Football
Quick-Step has been active for years as a sponsor in the world of football. Quick-Step installed advertising boards in 15 stadiums of the 18 Belgian first-division teams. It also had football boarding in European competitions in countries such as Britain, Germany, The Netherlands and France.

Cycle Racing
Quick-Step then started sponsoring cycle racing in 1999. The main reason for entering cycle racing as a sponsor was the fact that the sponsor’s name was directly linked to the name of the team. The team’s name is often mentioned, written about and spoken about in the print and audiovisual press. Cycle racing had extra advantages, such as the many international races and the commercially attractive Tour de France. For the first four years, Quick-Step was co-sponsor with Mapei-Quick-Step.  Thereafter, Quick-Step operated as the chief sponsor.

As indicated previously, Quick-Step made its debut in 1999 as a cycle-racing sponsor together with Mapei as co-sponsor of the international professional cycling team Mapei-Quick-Step, as it was then known. The international reputation of Mapei-Quick-Step was due to the very good national and international results that Quick-Step achieved, the international character of the cycling team (because the competitors came from different countries) and the international programme that was completed. That successful formula was also pursued further, when Quick-Step decided, during the 2002 Tour de France, to become chief sponsor from the 2003 cycling season onwards.

The international sport sponsoring strategy contributes to the realisation of a number of the company’s objectives – in particular, to raise significantly the existing public reputation of Quick-Step both nationally and internationally and to highlight the quality image of Quick-Step further. The combination of sport sponsoring on the one hand and the national and international advertising campaigns on TV, radio and in newspapers and magazines on the other hand are making Quick-Step a strongly international quality name. Quick-Step’s cycling team has a strongly international character, with a lot of nationalities among its OPQS team members.

The international sport-sponsoring strategy is helping to achieve a number of important objectives – more specifically, increasing the existing reputation of Quick-Step both nationally and internationally and further underscoring the quality image of the Quick-Step brand name. The combination of sport sponsoring on the one hand and national and international advertising campaigns in the audiovisual and printed media on the other hand is making Quick-Step a strongly international quality brand.

Because of its sales coverage of more than 120 countries, it was a logical step for Unilin to opt with the Quick-Step name for sponsoring international cycle-training with cyclists from different countries.

What are the possibilities for support activities in cycle sponsoring?

“When you sponsor a cycling team, you also have to endeavour to link your product to your team. It is important for the public to know what your brand name stands for and where people can buy the product”. Says Philiep Caryn, International Communication & Sponsorship Quick-Step.

“It is not just a matter of printing the name Quick-Step on cyclists’ shirts. In addition, major publicity campaigns have been mounted in many European countries and in Australia. The logical consequence of the fact that Quick-Step is active in 120 countries is that publicity was, is and will remain an important marketing instrument”.

In addition to advertising on radio, TV and in newspapers and periodicals, Quick-Step also sponsors numerous TV sports programmes.

“Throughout the cycling season more than 5 million European end-consumers took part in competitions organised by Quick-Step in collaboration with various European TV stations, radio channels, newspapers or periodicals,” adds Philiep Caryn. In the Sport magazines you can win a Quick-Step VIP hospitality Package.

What does the name Quick-Step stand for?

Quick-Step is a flooring brand name – in particular, laminate flooring and real wooden floors, parquet.

Quick-Step is manufactured by Unilin, division Flooring and is part of the Unilin Group. The Unilin Group is a Belgian multinational founded in 1960, and its core business consists of producing flax chipboards, wood chipboards, HDF panels and Quick-Step laminate floors. Unilin currently has production plants in Belgium, France, Holland and the USA.

Quick-Step is well-known for its product innovation. Every year the company puts new products on the market that are highly appreciated internationally. With Quick-Step Unilin is the inventor of the patented Uniclic system. Uniclic makes it possible to click laminate boards together and lay them without using glue.

Why would a company go for cycle sponsoring?

“From a recent market survey conducted by a sport marketing agency, it appears that the following three factors play an equally important role with companies (potential sponsors) when deciding to sponsor sports in general and cycling in particular” mentions Philiep Caryn :

  1. Raising public awareness of the brand name (79% of the respondents)
  2. Making use of numerous hospitality opportunities (79% of the respondents)
  3. Image building (79% of the respondents)

Quick-Step then started sponsoring cycle racing in 1999. The main reason for entering cycle racing as a sponsor was the fact that the sponsor’s name was directly linked to the name of the team. The team’s name is often mentioned, written about and spoken about in the press. Cycle racing had extra advantages, such as the many international races and the commercially interesting Tour de France. For the first four years, Quick-Step was co-sponsor with Mapei-Quick-Step. Thereafter, Quick-Step operated as the chief sponsor.

Is putting the brand-name on the cyclist’s shirt all there is to it?

When you sponsor a cycling team, you also have to endeavour to link your product to your team. It is important for the public to know what your brand name stands for and where people can buy the product.

It is not just a matter of printing the name Quick-Step on cyclists’ shirts. In addition, major publicity campaigns have been mounted in many European countries and in USA, Asia and Australia.

The logical consequence of the fact that Quick-Step is active in many countries is that publicity was, is and will remain an important marketing instrument. In addition to advertising on radio, TV and in newspapers and periodicals, Quick-Step also sponsors numerous TV sports programmes. The results of these media campaigns have always scored a direct hit.

Cycle racing: a man’s world or also for fans of the gentler sex?

The reason why Tom Boonen is a great advertisement for brands like Quick-Step, Omega Pharma, Specialized, Innergetic, etc. …  has much to do with… women. “The fact that Tom Boonen scores highly with women is beyond doubt one of his strengths.” “For many brands, women are the PPD’s – Principal Purchasing Deciders. Although laminate flooring is usually laid by men, it’s the women who decide on purchasing it.

Increasing numbers of women – and then mainly young women – are becoming interested in cycle racing. At interior design fairs we note that women make the link with the cycle team much faster. What’s more, we get an enormous number of requests for interviews with Tom Boonen from women’s journals and human interest magazines.

For a brand like Quick-Step it means exploiting that popularity to the maximum and in that respect Tom Boonen is a person to be thankful for. We gather from journalists that Tom Boonen is a breath of fresh air: very accessible, very amenable. Anyone looking for a 20-second quote after a race won’t find that a problem with guys like Tom Boonen.

In 2012 every newspaper and magazine wanted an exclusive interview with Boonen. Selecting is the message. The national press still gets preference, but sponsorship interests are also involved here. The sponsors and co-sponsors of team have a lot of exports. Now we have to go international.

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Introducing Quick-Step