SmartStop® Self Storage, in conjunction with Premier Sports Partners and Mountain Khakis, is pleased to announce a new multi-year partnership that will see the nation’s 10th largest self storage operator become the title sponsor of what will now be known as the Team SmartStop Presented by Mountain Khakis Professional Cycling Team.
Mountain Khakis and SmartStop Self Storage both made it possible for Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop to return as a UCI Continental-level professional squad in 2012. The self-storage provider has been a presenting sponsor of the team since 2011. This is also the fifth year the Jackson Hole-based Mountain Khakis® has been the team’s title sponsor.
While other USA-based professional teams have targeted the multi-day stage race events, Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop recognized the marketing power and exposure of the USA Crits Series and the National Criterium Calendar (NCC). In contrast to the National Racing Calendar (NRC) stage race calendar, the NCC is a full calendar with 19 events and includes almost all of the major one-day criteriums across the nation. Pair that with a growing USA Crits Series and you have the ability to hit most of the major U.S. markets.
The team has long recognized the popularity and marketing exposure offered by this uniquely American discipline of racing.
“We are really excited about the NCC Series and the USA Crits Series this year and – from our conversations with both organizations – what lies ahead for them in terms of growth and development. The NCC format and the national recognition it brings are something we feel poised to take complete advantage of,” said team owner Jamie Bennett. “We have been touting this as a great opportunity to market a national brand and give our riders wider exposure. It is fortunate that a national company like SmartStop also recognized it and wanted to be part of our plan to capitalize on it.”
“SmartStop has been affiliated with Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop for well over a year and it has been a rewarding relationship for us both,” said H. Michael Schwartz, chairman and CEO of Strategic Storage Trust Inc., one of the fastest growing self-storage REITs nationwide operating under the branded name of SmartStop Self Storage.
“Since we have a number of cycling enthusiasts in our company, steeping up to becoming the title sponsor of the team just made sense,” Schwartz said. “One of our company’s core values is giving back from our success and if we can do it by helping this team rise to the next level of professional achievement, then it is a worthy endeavor for us all.”
Team Mountain Khakis swept the 2011 USA CRITS Series by claiming the individual championship and team titles for the third year in a row. Once again this year, the team has proven to be a dominate force in the series and currently leads the team competition with Luke Keough in second place in the individual series. The team also won the coveted Terrapin Twilight Criterium and the Tour of Somerville races this year, two historic U.S. criteriums. The hard work and strong results are starting to bear fruit for the team as they can now announce a new long-term title partner.
“This is exactly what we’ve been working towards since we first started the program,” Bennett said. “We have shown our ability to deliver a national caliber team and to provide our sponsors with a great return on their investment. Now that SmartStop has recognized the long-term value of the program enough to invest in it for multiple years, our cycling team can focus on enhancing that return as we strengthen our program and our roster.”
In the past, the team’s goal was to develop young riders, who typically moved on to other programs. This sponsorship will allow the team to become a more stable and professional organization that will attract and maintain top riders.
Bennett emphasized the respect and appreciation his team has for Mountain Khakis, which has consistently supported its growth and success over the years, and will become the presenting sponsor of the team.
“Mountain Khakis is a stalwart supporter of bicycle racing – not only of this team, but many other aspects of the sport. They will continue to provide the backbone that we need to be successful,” Bennett said. “We feel truly fortunate to have them on board and consider our relationship a complete success – past, present and future.”