I have been trying to attend the Jelly Belly Team Training Camp for the last few years, but it always seemed that my schedule prevented it. However, this year the stars aligned and I was finally able to attend the Team Camp and Media Day in Vista, CA.
After spending the day with the Team and sponsors, it was easy to see that the vibe was one of a tight knit family. Everyone seemed to gel with each other and the sponsor’s are very supportive of the team and their efforts.
Returning riders for 2013 include Brad Huff, Jeremy Powers, Ricardo van der Velde, Emerson Oronte, Sean Mazich, Nic Hamilton, Luis Lemus, Christiaan Kriek, and Alex Hagman, with new additions Morgan Schmidt, Ian Burnett and Ben Wolfe joining the Team. The Jelly Belly pb Kenda Cycling Team will be directed by Danny Van Haute and Matt Rice.
I was excited to see what made the Jelly Belly pb Kenda Cycling Team have such longevity with their title sponsor, Jelly Belly, who has been involved with the team and the sport of cycling for 14 years. I picked the right day to attend as the Team’s sponsors, including Jelly Belly, FOCUS, Kinetic Cycling and INNO, were on hand explaining how the company gets behind the sponsorships that they participate with. You could feel that the Team was an important marketing tool for these companies.
Title sponsor, Jelly Belly makes the best jelly beans in every flavor imaginable. Jelly Belly has taken a simple product and has been creative with making a fun and enjoyable product for everyone. In recent years, Jelly Belly expanded into the sports nutrition market while sponsoring the Team, with the creation of Sports Beans, a jelly bean that benefits athletes that wants quick energy, replaces carbohydrates, work well and of course taste great.
Since Jelly Belly has sponsored the Jelly Belly pb Kenda Cycling Team for 14 years, they have managed to find a way of putting smiles on thousands, if not millions, of people over the years by using the Team as individual marketing tools for passing out Jelly Belly products to cycling fans around the world. Jelly Belly also receives important feedback to the R & D Department, when it comes to testing new products.
If you would have asked Team Director, Danny Van Haute, if Jelly Belly would still be sponsoring the team after 14 years, given the history in a sport where you see so many sponsors come and go, the answer would be probably not. But luckily for cycling, Jelly Belly has found a great value in sponsoring cycling and other sports and has been able to expose fans to Jelly Belly products through product sampling, which has been a big success.
Video Interview with Team Director Danny Van Haute
In our video interview below, Danny discusses the Jelly Belly pb Kenda Cycling Team’s goals and focus for 2013 and the longevity of Jelly Belly’s sponsorship. The team will be heading to Asia to compete in some longer stage races to prepare for the bigger stage races in the United States including the Amgen Tour of California and USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado, but will also have some riders racing the NCC (National Criterium Calendar) races in the United States, as well.
The Jelly Belly pb Kenda Cycling Team will be riding top of the line equipment, including FOCUS frames with SRAM components, 3T wheels and bars, stems, seatposts, Speedplay pedals, Fizik saddles and Kenda Tires.
The 2013 season should be a successful one for the Jelly Belly pb Kenda Cycling Team as they compete in their fourteenth season with a team of new and experienced talent of all round riders. Look for the Jelly Belly pb Kenda Cycling Team at the upcoming races across the country, as well as Southern California’s Tour de Murrieta, San Dimas Stage Race and Redlands Bicycle Classic in the coming weeks!
Report By Frank Sarate & Christy Nicholson / SoCalCycling.com
Photos By Frank Sarate / SoCalCycling.com