Van der Poel success > MVDP, a fashionable brand: “He is one of the most complete athletes we work with”

Van der Poel success > MVDP, a fashionable brand: “He is one of the most complete athletes we work with”


Behind the confidence he exudes on the bike and in everyday life, Mathieu van der Poel plays it modest, despite everything. However, the 29-year-old Dutchman is very fashionable. MVDP has become a very trendy brand and sponsors are fond of it. Already because he speaks with love about his sport, whether it is road cycling, cyclo-cross or mountain biking, three disciplines that he continues to include in his schedule.

MVDP, a fashionable brand: “He is one of the most complete athletes we work with”

“If you ask me what my passion in life is, I will always tell you that it is cycling,” he confided at the start of the season to the Dutch-language magazine Titanen. This has always been the case and I notice it as soon as I don't ride a bike for two weeks. Sometimes I feel like this isn't the case for everyone in the peloton. My feeling is that you have to do things with desire, and not out of obligation.”

Fabian Cancellara is our guest on Saturday on the eve of the Tour of Flanders: “The Ronde always gives me chills!”

That said, the world champion from Glasgow also admits to a weakness for cars, preferably beautiful ones, and golf. “They will always be a part of my life.”

WEVELGEM, BELGIUM - MARCH 24: Meeus Jordi (BEL) of BORA - hansgrohe, Pedersen Mads (DEN) of Lidl - Trek and Van Der Poel Mathieu (NED) of Alpecin-Deceuninck pictured during the 86th edition of the Gent - Wevelgem in Flanders Fields cycling race for elite men with start in Ieper and finish in Wevelgem on March 24, 2024 in Wevelgem, Belgium, 03/24/2024 ( Photo by Jan De Meuleneir / Photonews
Even when he doesn't win, MVP often has a smile. ©JDM

In the top 5 in the Netherlands

Even if he refuses the star status that all his victories confer on him and highlights the collective of his team at the slightest opportunity, the one who has already pinned the Tour of Flanders to his buttonhole twice (in 2020 and 2022) is now treated as such by his training. His annual emoluments would also be around 4 million euros. “Certainly, in the Netherlands he is not the most famous sportsman. He is even very far from Max Verstappen, who generates real madness around him. The enthusiasm of my compatriots for F1 is gigantic, explains Youri Ijnsen, journalist for the specialist site Wielerflits. Some football players are also more talked about. But I would say that Mathieu is in the top 5 of the most popular athletes with us.”

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He gives time to his fans, never neglects them.

Still, lovers of the little queen adore her. “Several factors explain this. First, he gives time to his fans, he never neglects them, continues our colleague. We feel that it is important to him and that he does it with pleasure. In addition, van der Poel is easy to contact. He goes towards others. For example, he did not hesitate to train with Remco Evenepoel or Tadej Pogacar. Finally, he likes to make others laugh. He very often exudes a good mood. In the Netherlands, they call him the master of jokes.”

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The influence of MVP goes well beyond the Batavian borders. The fact that he speaks French as well as the language of Vondel and that he is the grandson of Raymond Poulidor makes him a star in France.

The sponsors are not mistaken. Many of them knocked on his door. Even more so since he donned the iridescent road world champion jersey last summer in Scotland. Its historic partners Canyon, Shimano and Alpecin have made it their muse. And he became the ambassador of Zwift, the famous online physical training platform, with which he also signed a long-term lease. “If Mathieu wins, we win too,” they say with one voice.

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When he won the Amstel Gold Race on our bike after coming from nowhere, it was the dream scenario.

Some did not wait for him to win the Ronde, the Strade Bianche (2021), Milan-Sanremo (2023) or even Paris-Roubaix (2023) to link their destiny to his. Canyon bet on him and his team six years ago, when it was still called Corendon-Circus and was competing at continental level. But it was in 2019 that the German bicycle manufacturer offered him an individual contract. “We can say that Mathieu and we climbed the ranks together,” Stefan Wyman, head of sports marketing at Canyon, tells Titanen. When our paths joined, Mathieu already had a famous track record in plowing but he was not yet one of the very best road runners. In 2019, when he won the Amstel Gold Race on a bike of ours after coming from nowhere, it was the dream scenario. It made our brand more popular among the general public.”

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Those who watch the races on Eurosport also regularly see van der Poel – and Philipsen – promoting Alpecin shampoo. “Mathieu perfectly illustrates the super quality that we want to offer through our products,” explains the director of the Alpecin marketing unit, Jörg Ludewig.

“Mathieu is with his sponsors, as with his loved ones: he remains faithful,” continues Youri Ijnsen. It is not at Shimano that we would say the opposite. The derailleur brand has supported MVDP since 2009. “At the beginning we were linked to BKCP-Powerplus, the first team of the Roodhooft brothers in cyclo-cross. We have therefore been able to see Mathieu's evolution over the past fifteen years and we are very proud that he has achieved such feats with our equipment,” says Shimano. Today, the Japanese brand also supplies the world champion with its pedals, wheels and white cleats.

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Mathieu is one of the most complete athletes we have worked with.

Even if the Japanese firm has been present in the world of cycling for more than 50 years, it considers MVDP to be an extraordinary ambassador. “Mathieu breathes cycling. Furthermore, he is one of the most complete athletes we have worked with.” At Canyon, we are pleased with its popularity among all age groups. “Children love him but it’s not uncommon to see people in their seventies wearing a scarf with his image.” And then, the fact that he is at the top in three disciplines increases the interest his partners have in him. “It shows the full range of Canyon bikes,” rejoices Stefan Wyman.

A symbol of authenticity and spontaneity

Everyone is also seduced by the authenticity of the man who will be the big favorite of the Ronde on Sunday, in the absence of Tadej Pogacar and Wout van Aert. “If we put aside his panache and the flair he has in racing, I find it wonderful the enthusiasm he maintains as soon as he gets off the bike,” adds Canyon's marketing manager in the columns of Titanen. This combination of performance and fun fits perfectly with our philosophy. Mathieu is a symbol of authenticity and spontaneity. This winter, during his cyclo-cross world title in Tabor, he lifted his bike just after crossing the line. It was a completely spontaneous gesture on his part. We didn’t ask him anything but we couldn’t have hoped for better publicity.”

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“Van der Poel is an icon and, despite that, he remains down to earth. He always has a good word for his interlocutor. In 2023, he amazed me with his availability. However, his status had changed with two world titles (including one in the plowed) and victories at Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix,” adds Jörg Ludewig, from Alpecin.

It gives visibility to Lamborghini

The MVP brand is therefore part of the pack. And this has very positive repercussions for its financial partners. Ask the Lamborghini dealer in Antwerp what they think. MVDP became its ambassador at the end of 2023. And this, for at least one year. This winter, he was able to give incredible visibility to the prestigious Italian brand by coming to the start of several cyclo-cross races in a racing car. By having a contract with a car manufacturer, he remains in the tradition of his grandfather, Raymond Poulidor, who drove a Mercedes throughout his career.

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Only Pogacar, van Aert and Evenepoel have comparable influence.

It's difficult to put a number on what exactly it brings us, says Canyon's Wyman. But it is certain that our partnership is worth gold. The cameras follow Mathieu everywhere. He has incredible commercial value and I believe that only Tadej Pogacar, Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel have comparable influence.

Mads Pedersen after his victory over Ghent-Wevelgem: “No one has the level of Mathieu, we can beat him collectively”

Following its global title last winter, clicks on Canyon's site reportedly increased by 6%. “If we share the video of Mathieu's victory on our social networks, we notice a clear increase in the attendance rate. It’s obviously not an exact science but the effect of the MVDP brand on interest in our products is undeniable.”

Perfectionist as he is, van der Poel also helps improve the quality of the sponsors he represents. “He regularly tests new bike models and gives us his opinion,” admits Wyman, from Canyon. Our engineers happily work with him. There are a lot of exchanges and we couldn’t ask for a better ambassador.”

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As proof: MVDP recently signed a new ten-year lease with its bicycle manufacturer. And his market value will surely increase further if he raises his arms in Oudenaarde.

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