As part of the Kingdom’s efforts to invest in the sports field, the Royal Commission for Al-Ula now owns the sponsorship rights for the Australian cycling team, “Green Edge”.
According to the newspaper “GuardianBritish, the Australian team will change its name to “Jayco Al-Ula”, as the riders will appear with a new name and image in January during the twelfth season of the “Down Under” world tour.
Last year, Green Edge announced a partnership with Al-Ula, an ancient city in northwest Saudi Arabia and home to a World Heritage site.
Under the new agreement, AlUla has been promoted to become the team’s second partner alongside Gecko, the Australian manufacturer of mobile homes.
The Australian team was known as “Bike Exchange – Jaico” during its participation in the 2022 World Tour.
The Guardian said that this deal between the Australian cycling team and Saudi Arabia is the latest in a series of sports deals related to the Kingdom.
According to the newspaper, the Gulf kingdom’s human rights record is “poor”, and it was awarded an overall score of 7 out of 100 for political rights by Freedom House.
In 2021, Saudi Arabia was reported to have spent at least $1.5 billion on high-profile international sporting events in a bid to boost its reputation.
Recently, the Saudi Public Investment Fund’s acquisition of English club Newcastle United last year was met with strong opposition, while the “LIV” golf tour, which was inaugurated this year and supported by the Kingdom’s sovereign fund, continued to cause turmoil in the world of the game.
The Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate was established in 2017 by royal decree and is headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It is the government arm with the aim of developing this city and turning it into a tourist attraction within the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify sources of income.
Jaico Al-Ula said in a press statement, Thursday, that the new deal, which will run until the end of 2025, “reflects the team’s upward trajectory.”
“This new commitment will enable the team to continue this exciting journey into the world of professional cycling, with even greater goals and ambitions for the future,” said team owner Jerry Ryan.
“With this new name, we will have a fresh look for both the men’s and women’s teams and with the continued commitment and support of all our other partners, we are very excited to start the new year after enjoying so much success throughout 2022.”