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RaboPlus announces principal sponsorship of BikeNZ

MEDIA RELEASE

25 November 2008

RaboPlus announces principal sponsorship of BikeNZ

RaboPlus and BikeNZ announced today that RaboPlus is now cycling’s principal sponsorship partner in New Zealand.

As the online savings and investment service of Rabobank, RaboPlus says partnering with BikeNZ is an opportunity to demonstrate its on-going commitment to New Zealand, as well as support and promote a sport that emphasizes sustainability, fun and freedom.

“These characteristics are entirely appropriate for a banking service – and particularly one that focuses on savings and investment,” says the General Manager of RaboPlus, Mike Heath.

“We also share common values; Rabobank prides itself on being local and involved in the communities in which it operates, and cycling is accessible to just about everyone and caters for all levels, from the elite to every-day cycling.

“At the top end there is the focus on the 2012 London Olympics, and we want to be part of the journey in helping them get there. But equally, it’s for the kids riding to school, the bunch-riders who cycle for fitness and social engagement, and those who take part in organised events like this weekend’s Wattyl Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. So we’re excited about the support we can give to the broader cycling community, at a time when the sport has never been more popular.”

More than 1.2 million New Zealanders ride bikes to work or school, or for fitness, fun or competition, and more than 75,000, from kids to veterans, participated in bike events last year.

Greg Hamilton, Marketing Manager of BikeNZ says that New Zealand is “a nation with a passion for pedals” and the partnership with RaboPlus will help them reach their goal of getting more people on bikes.

“Having a commercial partner on board is obviously critical for our sustainability, and our ability to invest further in cycling,” he says.

“Our vision is to see New Zealand embracing cycling to the point where it simply becomes the cultural norm. It will make our society a lot healthier, a lot happier and a better place to be.

The sponsorship will also enable BikeNZ to introduce new initiatives for the betterment of the growing cycling community.

“This week BikeNZ is launching an exciting new initiative that will make cycling safer and more enjoyable for all. We want to ensure cyclists of every age and ability are given the opportunity to participate, develop, compete and perform, right up to the highest international level.”

Boasting four Olympic and 72 Commonwealth medals, six world titles and a world record that still stands, professional New Zealand cyclists are at the top of their game.

Mike Heath says RaboPlus likes the way New Zealand’s cyclists are able to punch above their weight in the world sporting arena “- a bit like RaboPlus, which has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2006”.

He also cites the strong track record of parent company Rabobank, which has been sponsoring cycling in the Netherlands and at a professional level – including the Tour de France – for many years.

Competitive Kiwi cyclist Julian Dean rode in the Tour de France this year, and three times previously, and says the new partnership is a great development for the sport.

“Cycling is really taking off in New Zealand and it’s good that BikeNZ has secured this kind of support. Anything that raises the profile of cycling in New Zealand is good – it helps spread the word that it’s not just a professional sport, but something that can be accessed and enjoyed by every one of all ages.”

Mike Heath agrees, saying: “Cycling is not just for elite performers or a particular geographic region, and it’s not rural versus metropolitan –it’s nationwide and it appeals to many New Zealanders. This sponsorship gives RaboPlus the opportunity to be more involved with local communities.”

BikeNZ’s Greg Hamilton couldn’t be happier.

“Having a partner is one thing, but getting the right partner is critical. I think RaboPlus is a perfect partner for the cycling community – it has the zest, energy and drive that’s required to assist us in ensuring cycling reaches its potential,” he says.

Ends

RaboPlus is an online banking service designed to complement customers’ existing banking arrangements. RaboPlus offers New Zealanders a high interest, no fees, on-call savings account as well as term deposits and access to managed funds.

RaboPlus is a division of Rabobank New Zealand Limited, part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 110 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness.

Rabobank has the highest possible credit ratings from both Standard & Poor's (AAA) and Moody's Investor Service (Aaa), and has held these Triple A ratings for over 25 years. Rabobank operates in 43 countries, servicing the needs of more than nine million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1600 offices and branches. Rabobank is among the 20 largest banks in the world based on tier one capital. In New Zealand Rabobank employs approximately 211 staff across 29 branches to service its clients. Sixteen staff, including a Wellington-based call centre, support RaboPlus customers.

RaboPlus is the winner of Best Online Savings Account, Best 90 Day Term Deposit and Best New Product (Cash Advantage Fund) at the 2008 Sunday Star Times, Cannex Banking Awards. RaboPlus also won the Emerging Business Award at the 2007 NZ Marketing Magazine Marketing Awards, and won the Gold in New Product or Service Introduction and the Best in Show award at the 2007 Effies (Advertising Effectiveness Awards).


www.BikeNZ.org.nz

www.RaboPlus.co.nz

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