Exclusive: The Backstory of the Sven Nys and Trek Marriage

Pin It

Trek had announced their arrival in the US but they wanted to be a real contender, and that meant increasing their overseas presence. “When we decided the vision, we decided we wanted to be present the first year, and be competitive, at the front of races in year two of the program,” said Shriver. “We thought, let’s try the European scene, and be at the front there with Katie, and a European.”

Compton's new Trek Crockett. © Cyclocross Magazine

Compton won plenty of races on the aluminum Trek Crockett. © Cyclocross Magazine

While supporting Compton at several European events throughout the winter, Shriver poked around to see which riders might fit Trek’s culture, marketing, and product testing objectives. “I had my eye on certain riders,” said Shriver. “The riders that are most valuable in terms of product development and marketing, but also who would be the best fit for Trek. We are like a family, and we like our athletes to feel that, and to be a part of that family.”

Shriver had conversations with all of the teams, discussing whose contracts were coming up, and who might be a good match for the Trek program. As soon as he sat down with Crelan-Euphony team manager Jan Verstraeten, Shriver sensed that Nys’ organization, which came across to him as professional, honest, and open, would be a smart match for Trek. During this initial conversation, Nys’ management team let Shriver know that they were renegotiating several of their contracts and would be interested in speaking further.

Shriver returned to Waterloo in March and told the Sports Marketing team that Nys was in play. At first Simon Thompson, Trek’s Sports Marketing Manager, assumed getting Nys on board would be cost-prohibitive. It was turning into a busy year for Thompson and Trek’s team projects. Trek’s purchase of the Leopard SA UCI World Tour license was a considerable investment, and taking on another team like Crelan-Euphony, or even a high profile rider like Nys, would prove difficult. Thompson put it on his to-do list, but didn’t connect with Nys’ management company Golazo, until the end of May.

Golazo, a Belgian sports marketing firm, represents a wide range of athletes and manages many high profile sporting events, including cyclocross races like the bpost Bank Trofee series. The firm’s CEO, Bob Verbeeck, speaks American-accented English, which he perfected while on a running scholarship at Iowa State in the 80’s. When Thompson finally connected with Verbeeck, and Golazo’s Managing Sports Director Christophe Impens, the two parties quickly hit it off. Like Shriver, Thompson felt a quick connection to Nys’ team, and sensed that Verbeeck understood where Trek was coming from. After Thomson realized that Crelan-Euphony would just be Nys and Sven Vanthourenhout, things got serious.

Despite his original skepticism, the deal went smoothly for Thompson. “I’d have to say it was actually really easy. We quickly realized we wanted the same things,” said Thompson about the negotiation process. “It wasn’t a question of dollars and cents. It was about why we were doing it and what were the things we want to get out of it. I think we had really similar goals in that respect.”

While that may seem like a lot of marketing speak—nobody ever wants to appear strictly mercenary—Nys has been vocal and active in his desire to expand the sport, and signing with an innovative, American brand certainly can only help his ability to showcase the sport to larger cyclocross bike-buying markets.

<< Previous PageNext Page >>

 

 

Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
Tagged as: , , , ,
58 comments
Adri Haine
Adri Haine

It says : 5 with canti's, 5 with disc brakes

Christine Vardaros
Christine Vardaros

Adri Haine - maybe 10 bikes total but only 6 for the races perhaps?

Adri Haine
Adri Haine

In HLN it says that he received 10 bikes.

veloeur
veloeur

@CXHairs it's part of the trans-Atlantic CX cannon now isn't it?

Todd Gunther
Todd Gunther

It's not about the bike. Sven could win on a Schwinn Stingray!

Tony Welborn
Tony Welborn

That's the nicest looking Trek ever pictured!

John Donjoian
John Donjoian

Treks technological sledgehammer will pummel the euro brands. I predict the UCI will outlaw it for 2015...

Will Mahler
Will Mahler

I don't know about you ppl but I really love cyclcross. Call me naive but I think it's important to grow the sport and get more cyclists to dip their toe in the cx pool of goodness, and ultimately go in for a full swim! If we don't take the bull by the horns and focus efforts on bringing new ppl into the sport of cyclocross, you're gonna lose people to Tough Mudder and those other lame mud events that are overly pretentious.

Scott Hendricks
Scott Hendricks

If you'd read the backstory on their deal, you'd know it's not just money.

Jacques Cartier
Jacques Cartier

Seriously....come on, Colnago v Trek. I am with Robin on this one,

David Smith
David Smith

Read the article. It will give you some useful perspective on why they got together.

Laddie Williams
Laddie Williams

I don't believe for a minute he has not taken these things out for a spin in the dirt. Good luck Sven, I hope the bike treats you well. It's great to have you aboard an American bike and good to see Trek putting a lot of interest into a branch of cycling that is really growing in our country.

Gordon Myhre
Gordon Myhre

I'm gonna buy one of these Trek Boone's tomorrow. Never even considerd buying a Colnago.

Phill Hines
Phill Hines

TREK sucks...He should be on a Colnago!!

Wesley Best
Wesley Best

I need something more than a "like" button?? How about a "be still my heart" button?

Arnaud van Leest
Arnaud van Leest

Alle details kloppen let op de achtervork met de tekst Cannibal from baal aan de binnenkant

Reimund Orth
Reimund Orth

Money makes the world go round,Armstrong get a lot of from Trek

Troy Hudson
Troy Hudson

Nice rimmies. Happy New Year, now go to bed.

Stay up to date:

Search for a product, review, race or racer:

Visit these cx-loving companies:





Become a CXM Supporter:

Like the content on cxmagazine.com? We're just a tiny two full-time person operation with big aspirations. Help us continue to bring you awesome cx content: Become a CXM supporter today:

Polls

What do you do in the off-season?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Support CXM at no extra cost to you: