B. Servaas: I won't lose energy to complete the best possible team
During the press conference which took place on Wednesday, 17th of June 2020 in the Hala Legionów in Kielce, the President of KS VIVE Kielce Handball S. A. — Bertus Servaas — informed that after 18 years of cooperation, VIVE Group would no longer be the Club’s sponsor. At the same time, he assured that he would remain fully committed to the Club as President, outlining the challenges facing the Club in the upcoming 2020/21 season, taking into account the financial situation after the coronavirus pandemic.
During the press conference held on the 17th of June, Bertus Servaas, the owner of the VIVE Group companies and President of the Management Board of KS VIVE Kielce Handball S. A., announced that after 18 years of cooperation as one of the main sponsors of the VIVE Kielce Handball S. A. Sports Club, the VIVE Group decided to part ways with handball. The sponsorship contract of the VIVE Group companies will expire at the end of June 2020, which opens the possibility of joining the Club's titular sponsors group starting with the 2020/21 season.
BERTUS SERVAAS, OWNER OF THE VIVE GROUP AND PRESIDENT OF VIVE HANDBALL S.A.
“As the owner of the VIVE Group, I must say that this decision is very painful. Over the past 18 years, together with other Sponsors, the Kielce City Hall, the Marshal's Office, Club Management Board, Employees, Fans, Staff and Players, and Handball Fans, we have built one of the strongest clubs in Europe. Today, at a time of the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a very acute impact on my company, I have to choose between my love for the Club and responsibility for over 2000 employees and their families.
I would like to thank you very much for this beautiful time as the owner of the company – the titular sponsor of the team and the Club. It was a wonderful time of joy and tears, horror and euphoria, a time of honor and pride that we could be one of the drivers of this success as a brand.
At the same time, we are aware that we were only a part of the success, one of the cogs in this great machine in which other companies play a huge role. Without these brands and the people behind them it would be impossible to achieve so much success.
I would like to express my special thanks to the Coaches, the Staff and the Players who have represented our brand with dignity. Special thanks are also due to the Fans who have repeatedly proven themselves to be one of the best in Europe. And in my personal opinion – the best.
I also want to express my hope that the situation of the VIVE Group will improve and we will be able to come back one day to help participate in the team’s future success. Investing in the Club has always brought not only satisfaction for our company, but also extensive promotion of the brand and high returns on the investment — especially visible for the last 7 years.
As the President of the Management Board of KS VIVE Kielce Handball S. A. I would like to tell you that we have taken a number of actions in the Club to adjust the budget to the conditions of the new reality, we have used the available aid tools of the State Development Fund (Polish — Państwowy Fundusz Rozwoju) and we are actively seeking another titular sponsor. We are currently negotiating with several companies, but at this point I would like to invite any and all entities interested in cooperation with one of the best teams in the history of Polish sports.
Eighteen years of hard work is behind us and I know that we all want to continue to play at world-class level. In agreement with the players who want to stay in our City, in our Family and fight for success for our Fans, we want to fight together to stay at this level and remain the pride of Kielce, the Świętokrzyskie Region and Poland as a whole. In order to make this possible, taking into account all the actions taken and realistic budget assumptions concerning, among others, the number of tickets sold, we are PLN 2.5 million short. Therefore, I would like to ask everyone, for whom our club and its social role in our City is of key importance, for help in the form of purchasing tickets for the 2020/21 season and participating in the fundraiser organized on the Internet. I know I am asking a lot, but I am not asking for myself. I ask you to continue what we have been doing together for the last seven years. I ask you to save us from losing what made up the great history of this Club, built up by the effort and commitment of hundreds of people. Because we may never be able to rebuild it again. I strongly believe that you are with us now.
We are in an ongoing battle to maintain the good team line-up and to continue fighting for the victory in the Champions League. It will not be easy, but anything is possible. However, for this we need the help of the entire circle of the Club’s fans. We have always said that we are the Club of all Poles. This is our chance to emerge victorious from the biggest crisis in the 18-year history of VIVE Group sponsoring the Club. I can promise you that together with the Management Board and all the employees of the Club I'll fight right until the end. And even if this does not work, I will not lose the energy to complete the best possible team line-up for the 2020-2021 season. I will be very happy if, in cooperation with the Management Board, we can maintain the current line-up — and in this last step I really need your support.”
During the conference the following possibilities of supporting the Club were presented:
- purchase of 2020/21 season passes (sales commences on 18.06.2020),
- participation of fans in the fundraiser via the zrzutka.pl portal (www.zrzutka.pl/kielcehandball)
- becoming a sponsor of the Club (at any time),
- joining the JoinBertus business project (at any time).
Details of individual support options will be presented on an ongoing basis via the Club's communication channels, i.e. on the website www.kielcehandball.pl and in social media @kielcehandball.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- from 0.371 million to 2.871 million — that's how much the league's live viewership increased in the last season.
- 23 — that's how many years President Bertus Servaas has been associated with the VIVE Kielce Sports Club (since 1997).
- 18 — that's for how many years the VIVE Group companies have been titular sponsors of the team (since 2002; the sponsorship agreement will expire at the end of June).
- 17 – that’s how many Polish Champion titles have been won by the Club in its history (12 in the years in which the VIVE Group was the titular sponsor: 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 – 2020)
- 16 — that’s how many Polish Cups the Club has won in its history (14 in the years in which the VIVE Group was the titular sponsor): 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009 – 2019)
- 4 — that’s how many times the PGE VIVE Kielce team participated in the Champions League final tournament, the Velux EHF Final4, in the years: 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019.
- 1 — the PGE VIVE Kielce team won the Champions League in 2016 as the first team in the history of Polish sports.
ABOUT THE VIVE GROUP
Active for 27 years, the VIVE Group is the leader of the textile recycling industry in Poland and Europe. The company is committed to the 100% utilization of second-hand clothes, segregated every day in the amounts of hundreds of tons, using Poland’s most modern, fully computerized clothe-sorting lines, allowing the processing of 500 tons of raw material per day while maintaining the highest quality in line with ISO 9001 and 14001 standards. Every day, working in a 3-shift system, employees sort and pack finished products from 700 different assortment groups. Products prepared this way are sold to over 70 countries worldwide and to 34 VIVE Profit stores with unique second-hand clothes, all over Poland, which are owned by VIVE Textile Recycling. The company has over 2000 employees.
Thanks to the optimization of costs incurred by the company and the application of innovative recycling methods, VIVE Textile Recycling is currently Poland’s leading company producing alternative fuel from textiles, the main recipient of which is Cementownia Ożarów S.A. It has also developed an innovative textile composite for industrial use and produces industrial cleaning cloth used by companies in a wide range of industries.
The VIVE Group is also expanding its business in the field of transport and logistics, offering its customers a wide range of TSL services and A/A+ class warehouse solutions. The company also specializes in transporting spatial and standard loads with high volume BDP-system swap bodies. The company carries out transport services on the international market, offering a distribution system to retail chains with the use of its own dedicated fleet.
As a socially responsible entrepreneur, the company supports the activities of the VIVE Kielce Handball S.A. Sports Club, the VIVE Serce Dzieciom (Polish — Heart for Children) Foundation, as well as the Kobiety VIVE (Polish — The Women of VIVE) Association.