What does that all mean? It means that Team Novo Nordisk is in a contract year and for team members as well as passionate fans like myself, we don't know if Team Novo Nordisk will be back in 2018. What follows are my feelings and just me typing from my heart, yes I have interviewed a number of Team Novo Nordisk members and had the honor of sitting down with team co-founder and CEO Phil Southerland but that does not mean I know anymore about sponsorship details then the guy that just drove past my apartment.
Team Novo Nordisk has saved my life!! Team Novo Nordisk has taught me more about myself then anything in the world. The team has taught me that it takes hard work to be successful and even then you don't realize your dream. I have seen team members come and go, I have cried tears of joy when they have won stages of a race. I have checked my phone in the middle of the night to see how Stephen England is doing in a race in France, I've never been so happy to wake up at 230am to use the bathroom!! I have true friends on the team that are at the top of the list for invitations to my wedding next July. I have cried for athletes that haven't gotten the call to join the pro team, I know the clock is ticking for them and that they may never join the pro team and will always be on the developmental team. I have worried about team members when terrorism strikes, seeing that they are ok on social media brings a smile to my face. I love seeing their pictures with team members and their families. I wear my Team Novo Nordisk kit every time I ride and I even wear a Team Novo Nordisk shirt or jacket when they have a big race, somehow it brings them good luck.
That isn't what makes Team Novo Nordisk so special though. It is diabetes that makes the team special and so inspirational. It is seeing post after post on Twitter about a child that is wearing Team Novo Nordisk apparel that now loves his or her diabetes because a pro athlete has diabetes just like them. It is the parents that brought their son or daughter to a race to try and help their child. I have been living with diabetes for 27years and until Team Novo Nordisk I hated diabetes. A life changing surgery didn't make me love my diabetes, I only started taking care of myself because I didn't want to die. My diabetes didn't become my passion until Team Novo Nordisk was created. I have a daughter that is five and a son that is three, I worry that they may be diagnosed with diabetes one day. I also feel a calmness when I think about them possibly getting diabetes because of Team Novo Nordisk. My son loves watching Team Novo Nordisk videos on Youtube with me, each and every time he says "Daddy they on bikes like you!!" and asks "Daddy that your friend?" My daughter will ask "Daddy is that you?" as she sees team members speeding in the peloton during a race recap. All they know is that their father rides a bike and does so in a blue and white kit. If my son or daughter are ever diagnosed with diabetes I know they will be ok because of Team Novo Nordisk, the team is showing the world what is possible with diabetes. They have given mothers and fathers a way to show their children what is possible. Diabetes is the same for members of Team Novo Nordisk as it is for a seven year old boy living with diabetes in Ohio.
Team Novo Nordisk has also made me love Novo Nordisk. In a world that is turning against pharmaceuticals, Novo Nordisk is building a fan base because of their sponsorship for a pro cycling team. They have believed in Phil Southerland and his dream of a cycling team made up of athletes living with diabetes. They took a chance when no one else would. Members of Novo Nordisk have been at races and team presentations, they have witnessed the teams impact on diabetes. That leads me to believe that they will offer a new contract but I then remember that at the end of the day it is a business. The bottom line is money and if you are losing money on any investment you will take your money out if possible. Again I don't know anything about the financial impact for Novo Nordisk, what I just typed in the last sentence is purely a fact of business in 2017!! If Novo Nordisk doesn't offer a contract I strongly believe that another sponsor or sponsors will come along to keep the team together.
Cycling teams change sponsors all the time but for Team Novo Nordisk to be any other team would be a tough pill for me to swallow. This might be the wrong metaphor but Team Novo Nordisk is like your first love. It is the team that believed in you when you thought no one would love you, they have changed your world and made you dream. You can't see yourself with anyone else and would do anything to keep them in your life. Things happen and more often then not our first love is not our last love. We grow and learn, we then find a new love or in this case a sponsor. You then see new things and realize your dreams, in this case it is the Tour de France. We now have a new metaphor, Paris, France is the city of love. Love is seeing a team of cyclists in the city of love showing the world what is possible as they cross the finish line of a grueling month long bicycle race around France. No matter who is the sponsor of this team they will change diabetes for the world!! My heart hopes that it is Novo Nordisk sponsoring this team, I can't imagine the team I love and the team that is my life by any other name!!