By Claire Reilly

With the start of the 2012 Tour de France just four days away, Sharp has signed on as Technology Partner and sponsor to the Garmin team, picking up joint naming rights and securing a prominent position on the team’s cycling kit.

The team – owned by Slipstream Sports and formally known as Garmin-Barracuda – will be registered as Garmin Sharp in time for the first stage of the race on Saturday. The name-change is the sixth for the team since 2008.

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Speaking about the new arrangement, which will see Sharp’s logo splashed across the blue argyle jersey of the team, was Paul Molyneux, CEO of Sharp Europe.

“In the year Sharp celebrates 100 years of creating unique technologies and products that bring genuine benefit to society, we are delighted to become Technology Partner to the most exciting team in one of the world’s most beautiful sports, which perfectly showcases the convergence of technological and human achievement,” said Molyneux.

“Sharp has a strong focus on developing its brand presence globally, and this offers us the opportunity to put ourselves in front of a significant, new, world-wide audience. Sharp is dedicated to its founding ideals of sincerity and creativity, and with their clear commitment to ethical innovation, Slipstream are the perfect fit.”

As part of the sponsorship deal, Sharp is set to provide the team with “Aquos LCD screens, audio products, solar panels, air purification systems, microwave and steam cooking equipment, refrigerators and multifunction printing devices”.

The new team uniform will be unveiled at a press conference in Belgium on Thursday morning.