25 years in the peloton: a success story of shared values now and in the future
October 2023 is a milestone in the history of pro cycling. Unilin’s subsidiary brand Quick-Step celebrates 25 years in the peloton. An eternity in the world of cycling. “At Unilin trust and long-term partnerships are central to everything we do. We are proud of our quarter century in the peloton and we look forward to the future with this world-class team”, says Sahin Demunyck, Sponsoring Manager of Quick-Step and responsible for the contacts with the cycling team. “Together we push boundaries every single day.”
The story starts in 1999. That was the year Quick-Step first appeared in the peloton as a sponsor. Pro cycling turned out to be an excellent conduit to generate publicity for our floors.
A quarter century on, it’s fair to say our involvement in pro cycling has been an unprecedented success thanks to champions who racked up one victory after another such as Johan Museeuw, Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen, Mark Cavendish, Julian Alaphilippe and Remco Evenepoel.
Together we’re strong
“All those victories have created a great deal of visibility, which is important for the brand”, says Sahin. And immediately she adds: “But it is a two-way street. In return we have given the cycling team our trust and full support for the past 25 years.”
“You might say we’ve grown together. The cycling team developed into a world-class team and the Quick-Step brand has turned into a global player on the flooring market. The two went hand in hand”, she continues.
How can that shared success be explained? “We both want to be leaders, to stay one step ahead of the competition. The values that our company upholds also permeate the cycling team. They also go through fire for each other and they want to push boundaries. And more importantly: they do so as a family. From racers to mechanics: they strive after the same goals.”
Sahin speaks with a passion that makes it clear that cycling is more than just a job. “I’ve been a huge cycling fan from a very young age and Quick-Step was always my team, the team I supported. The day I started working for Unilin I was very proud to be joining the company behind the cycling team.”
Dare to dream big
Dare to dream big is our motto.” Naturally, one Remco Evenepoel has something to do with that. The Giro 2023 was supposed to provide confirmation of his growth trajectory but then Covid-19 thwarted our plans. But our faith remained untouched. “He has already won the Vuelta and the rainbow jersey and that has only whetted our appetite”, Sahin laughs.
And so Quick-Step is heading towards its 30th anniversary as a cycling sponsor. Sahin feels the team has become part of the identity of the brand. “It’s not so much sponsorship anymore, it’s actually more like a partnership. Back in the day it was more one-way traffic. Today we are writing the next chapter together and thinking in the long term. This is illustrated by the fact that as of this year we are also involved in the women’s team. We want to lead the pack but we want to get there in a durable way, by coaching our own talent and with a long-term strategy in mind.”
What does the future have in store? “We want to keep growing as a brand, together with the team. “We want to bring the riders even closer to our colleagues, precisely because those values are such a great match. And who knows, perhaps a yellow Remco?”, Sahin says with a wink.