The Wonderful® Pistachios Pro Cycling Team is adding three new sponsors for 2012, providing for a larger roster, an increased race schedule and even more opportunities to hand out free pistachios to cycling fans at races.
Besides adding Paramount Farms’ divisions Wonderful Almonds, Almond Accents and Everybody’s Nuts as sponsors, the second-year U.S. continental team will work directly with Paramount Farms’ European division, which is based in Belgium. It is headed up by former marketing vice president Dominic Engels, who initiated the team’s sponsorship. Engels is now the managing director of Roll Global LLC, parent company of Wonderful Pistachios and the newly-added sponsors.
“We believe that the cycling sponsorship will resonate with our European consumers,” Engels said. “We are looking forward to bringing the team to Europe. We’ll start with Belgium, which will appeal to some of the most fervent cycling fans.”
Wonderful Pistachios team founder and owner Josh Horowitz said he has a five year plan to get the team to the ProTour level.
“Having a European base for the team is a big step towards that long term goal of the program,” Horowitz said. “Wonderful Pistachios is a global company and cycling is a global sport, so we look forward to representing the brand in some of the biggest races in the world.”
Horowitz said Yan Lee will direct the team next year while he will step back into an owner/general manager role, while also serving as the team’s performance director.
“Yan is incredibly organized and resourceful,” Horowitz said. “With him handling the day-to-day operations of the team, I will be able to focus on the big picture marketing and development of the program.
“I also want our younger riders to benefit from my racing experience and my background in coaching,” Horowitz said. “After 20 years of racing, if there’s a mistake to be made then I’ve probably made it at least once. So I will work with the riders on their training and nutrition to keep them healthy throughout the season and to help them peak for key team races.”
The team will also expand its popular sampling program to bring more free pistachios to more fans at more races, he said.