Since our inception in 1996, Visma has prided itself on providing core business software.
We began the millennium in the Nordic markets of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. But with a number of strategic acquisitions, we began cementing ourselves as a multi-continental software provider, highly sought after by private and public sector entities to run their businesses smoothly and efficiently.
A healthy foundation for expansion
Today, Visma is a leading provider of mission-critical software in Europe and Latin America. Our company is structured as a collection of autonomous software companies supported by an infrastructure of world-class technical and business competence. As we expanded into new markets, we used our centralised expertise to support new companies by increasing brand awareness.
The Team Jumbo-Visma sponsorship was a great opportunity to increase brand awareness. The team shares our same values like teamwork, dedication, and hard work – all the things that have accelerated our company to where it is today.
At Visma, our interest in sponsoring the team was piqued when Lotto decided to hang up their click-shoes as title sponsor at the end of 2018. Our then-CEO, Øystein Moan, had a meeting with Jumbo’s top management, setting in motion our eventual decision to join Jumbo as title sponsors.
The rationale was simple: not only is cycling one of the most popular sports globally, but it also shares many parallels with business – cooperation, innovation and drive to name a few.
Meeting the CEO of Team Jumbo-Visma, Richard Plugge, we were immediately impressed by the organisation he had built up. They operate with very strong business principles, and they have a great combination of structure and individual autonomy. They get the best results out of available resources and collaborate extremely well as an organisation. The team’s goal was to be the world’s best road cycling team and win the Tour de France. That was something we could stand behind.
At the outset, each side agreed that they should play to their strengths. In addition to capital, we would provide critical software and business expertise so that the team could focus on performing at the highest level. And so the Team Jumbo-Visma sponsorship was born.
Here to win – from Day 1
From very early in the partnership, Team Jumbo-Visma made use of Visma technology. The team’s financial processes, business leads, signing of contracts, and recruitment are all handled by Visma software. This meant that with our support – both financially and technologically – the team’s administration could dedicate itself to running the team.
This became even more crucial during the Covid pandemic. Having access to efficient cloud software that could be used anywhere at any time meant that the team could maintain its high pace of operations without slowing down.
In just under 4 short years, we have supported the team in a myriad of other ways, as well.
In 2019, Visma and co-sponsor Jumbo extended our sponsorship by supporting the Team Jumbo-Visma Talent Academy, an initiative to connect youth to the sport of cycling. With obesity on the rise around the world, the program promotes the benefits of physical activity while providing an avenue for future cycling stars to develop.
Visma also supports the Team Jumbo-Visma Development Team, with the aim to train and develop cycling talents into professionals. The riders participate in both national and international races accompanied by staff from the professional team.
In 2020, Team Jumbo-Visma established their first-ever women’s team, which we wholeheartedly supported.
Backing the creation of the women’s team was a very easy decision for us. It is important that women have the same opportunities as men. For women to have their own team, and to be able to sustain their career financially, and inspire young women to do the same – this is in line with our values here at Visma.
Over time, we have found new ways to support the team with technical know-how. In 2019, we launched an exciting project that used AI to optimise performance – helping decide what, when, and how much food each rider should consume. They started with a nutrition prediction accuracy of 50%. After implementing our Visma AI solution, they reached 80%. This was a huge win for the team – using data insights to eliminate guesswork and improve rider performance.
The Next Top Mechanic
In 2022, the team needed help finding skilled mechanics that could rise to the challenge during the highest-level races, such as the Tour de France. At Visma, we work behind the scenes for our customers, just like mechanics do.
So we supported the team with a first-of-its-kind recruitment campaign, where candidates competed for a one-year contract with the team. We fully financed the campaign and, of course, recruitment was handled by our software.
Chapeau! The 2022 Tour de France
Team Jumbo-Visma’s 2022 Tour de France victory was the culmination of years of hard work. The meticulous race strategy, the rider development, the streamlined administration, the data insight, the collaboration and partnerships. The preparation and dedication had paid off.
Jonas Vingegaard took the yellow and polka dot jerseys in heroic fashion, with an inspiring performance backed by strong teamwork. Overall the team had 6 stage wins, and Wout van Aert also took the green jersey and was chosen as the most combative rider as well.
The extensive TV and media coverage beamed the Visma brand into millions of homes around the world. Our Visma logo was exposed to over 150 million TV viewers during the three-week event, while a whopping 684 million people were reached online via social media. Our websites also had a surge in visitors and engagement, with some pages reaching nearly 20x their normal web traffic during the event.
When the year was said and done, Team Jumbo-Visma’s World Tour riders had jointly cycled 233,749 kilometres in their races, amounting to over 70 times the distance of the Tour De France. Three separate riders – Gijs Leemreize, Sam Oomen and Pascal Eenkhoorn – each accounted for over 10,000 kilometres in 2022. The team also had their first win just 11 days into the year, the earliest ever – showing they hit the ground running and kept the pedal to the metal all year long.
Infinite brand possibilities
Through our four-year journey of title sponsoring the team, Visma has shown that the sky’s the limit when it comes to branding opportunities.
We want to be the leading European cloud software company. Acquiring great companies is one way to do that, and being title sponsor of the world’s best cycling team is yet another advantage in the toolbox.
There are a multitude of brand benefits internally, as well. Our employees have so much pride in working at a company that sponsors the best cycling team in the world. And, because of that, we have the opportunity to activate and engage them in new ways.
Keeping the wheels turning
In 2023, the Tour de France will kick off in Bilbao, Spain. Visma entered the Spanish market in 2021, with the landmark acquisition of leading ERP and accounting software company Holded. We are seizing on the Tour de France opportunities in Spain to attract both customers and rising software entrepreneurs. This coming year will be extremely exciting as Visma further expands in Europe. Our company will continue to focus on raising awareness and look for new ways to help the team with business expertise and software.