2018 will mark Quick-Step's 20th consecutive year in pro cycling. This makes the global hardwood, laminate and luxury vinyl flooring brand a steady partner in an ever-changing World Tour peloton.
Firmly rooted in Belgium, both the brand and the cycling team have made a lasting impression worldwide by staying true to their ambitions and by upholding an unwavering dedication to a common set of values. In collaboration with the Belgian pro cycling team managed by Patrick Lefevere, who celebrates his 40th year in cycling, Quick-Step won't let this remarkable year go by unnoticed.
The love affair between Quick-Step and cycling started in 1999, when the flooring division of the UNILIN group began its co-sponsorship of the Mapei-Quick-Step Cycling Team. In 2002, team manager Patrick Lefevere and Frans De Cock, former CEO of UNILIN, joined forces to make Quick-Step title sponsor of the Quick-Step-Davitamon team.
"We quickly found common ground", Frans De Cock says. "Cycling is all about performance, which is exactly what our floors have to offer. Our brand is firmly rooted in Belgium, so the global cycling scene – which has an average interest rate of 30% in many countries – was an excellent way to raise international awareness."
More than just a fling, Quick-Step continued to reaffirm its trust in the team, yielding various names, including Quick-Step-Innergetic, Omega Pharma-Quick-Step, Etixx-Quick-Step, and most recently Quick-Step Floors.
"From the very beginning, there was an excellent understanding", Patrick Lefevere remembers. "Frans De Cock and I were both determined to stay ahead of the competition by not compromising when it comes to quality. Whether it's cycling or flooring: we wanted to delight and captivate our audiences by offering them the very best. We were ambitious from day one, but I have to admit: 20 years down the road, my expectations have been exceeded in many ways."
An impressive track record
With an all-time tally of more than 600 successes, Quick-Step has become one of the most established teams in the world of cycling. No other outfit has been able to provide such an impressive track record – both in Grand Tours and in classics. With the same passion and dedication, Quick-Step continues to challenge the standard in the world of flooring solutions. Thanks to its revolutionary click system, water resistant flooring and other breakthrough innovations, the Quick-Step brand has become a synonym for continuous performance.
20 years of challenging the standards
Like in any strong partnership, a common set of values has been crucial to the shared success of the Quick-Step brand and the cycling team."Excellence, passion, respect and entrepreneurship: those qualities have kept us at the front of the pack for so long", confirms Sophie Hautekeete, Sponsoring & PR Manager at UNILIN.
20 years of sponsorship have flown by, but the heroic stories that underpin these four values are here to stay. "There are too many unforgettable memories to choose from", says Patrick Lefevere. "Tom Boonen's grand cru year of 2005 for example, in which he won the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the World Championship, is a great example of how unique our team is. We start where others stop and we always have each other's backs. Our team time trial world championship victories in 2012, 2013 and 2016 have made this abundantly clear as well. Or take Philippe Gilbert's amazing solo in the 2017 Tour of Flanders: a truly exceptional feat that shows heroism and our entrepreneurial spirit. We have never been afraid of failing and that's precisely what has made us one of the most established teams in cycling."
"Every day, the cycling team takes it to the road to do better than they did the day before and to inspire people with their example", Sophie Hautekeete confirms. "I am convinced that this 'way to ride' is also in the hearts of our staff. Like the cycling team, we excel by being different in the competitive world of flooring. With dedication to design and performance, we show our passion, and through innovations such as our click system or the V-groove, we prove that we are not afraid of failing either. Being part of this winning team is what drives our staff."
Ambition for years to come
"In this respect, our deep-rooted commitment to the team is only logical", concludes Sophie Hautekeete, "Our flooring team and the cycling team might give different meanings to the word 'performance', but both continuously innovate to be winners in their respective fields. In our own ways, we are leading the pack. This will be the cornerstone of our success for the years to come."
About Quick-Step A true leader in design, innovation and quality, Quick-Step is a quality flooring brand produced by UNILIN. Ongoing research and development and a strong focus on quality have made Quick-Step one of the top players in the flooring industry. The brand has evolved from an affordable alternative to wood to defining a category in its own right, offering a wide variety of designer floors that are quick and easy to install and maintain, no matter the application. Today, Quick-Step is a global wood, laminate and luxury vinyl flooring brand active in over 100 countries.
About UNILIN UNILIN produces laminate, engineered parquet and luxury vinyl flooring under the Quick-Step, Pergo and Balterio brands as well as wood-based panels (particle board, MDF), decorative panels, roof systems and insulation boards. UNILIN employs 4800 people at 20 production sites worldwide. UNILIN had a turnover of 1.8 billion euros in 2017 and forms part of the international listed group Mohawk (NYSE: MHK).
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