Slipstream Sports rides on in 2018 thanks to a newly inked deal with EF Education First. The family-owned global education company will become the first naming partner of the American-registered squad in 2018 and will eventually become majority owner of Slipstream Sports.
“We are honoured to begin working alongside Slipstream Sports, Cannondale, Drapac, and all of the wonderful partners at Slipstream Sports to keep our cyclists riding into 2018 and for years to come,” said Edward Hult, CEO North America, EF Education First.
“We were inspired to step in and become the team’s title partner, and will become majority partner, after learning about the #SaveArgyle campaign and witnessing the incredible outpouring of support from fans around the world.
“We have been moved by the powerful way that cycling unites people of diverse backgrounds in a peaceful, fun, and friendly way to achieve extraordinary athletic feats,” Hult added. “It aligns perfectly with EF’s mission of opening the world through education and our commitment to bringing different cultures together.”
Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters describes EF Education First as “the perfect partner” alongside the “whole athlete” focus embraced by Drapac Group owner and chairman Michael Drapac,
“Drapac’s focus is athlete education, athletes being healthy and whole, having options in life,” said Vaughters. “That’s what these guys at EF are all about. Education is what they do. They’re about breaking down cultural barriers and teaching people how to communicate. It’s a sponsor that feels socially relevant in this day as the world becomes increasingly global and communication among cultures becomes more critical. I think it also matches the ethos of Slipstream Sports. I couldn’t ask for a better fit.
“This partnership would not have come off without the fan support,” Vaughters added. “That ground swell showed a level of engagement that enticed potential sponsors to step forward. The world we live in is all about engagement. It’s not about pure numbers. It’s about ‘are you really reaching your audience?’ and our crowdfunding proved that our fans are engaged — engaged all the way into their wallets. That’s incredibly special and humbling. That demonstrated to the world that this team is an entity that people love and support. We could not have gotten this deal had our fans not mobilized the way they did.”
With EF Education First becoming majority owners of Slipstream Sports, that deal extends beyond traditional sponsorship and naming rights and secures the team’s future for years to come.
“I’m incredibly happy and also exhausted,” said Vaughters. “These last two weeks, I’ve put in more hours working than I ever have and fewer hours sleeping – that’s telephone calls, meetings, flying here and there. I’ve been holed up in a hotel all week in New York. I’m exhausted but I’m also so happy and so proud.
“I’m proud of how the organization held it together through all this – the riders, staff, sponsors, fans,” Vaughters added. “Every single minute I’ve worked on this was so worthwhile.”