In the next 4 years, decathlete and citizen of Deinze Thomas Van der Plaetsen will be receiving the support of pet food and care items producer Versele-Laga, also located in Deinze. Even though the two ambassadors of Deinze both have their own ambitions, they still have multiple common ‘disciplines’.

They already have a strong connection through the Versele-Laga 11 km of Deinze: a part of the proceeds is donated to Thomas’ ‘Back on Track foundation’. Because they directly and indirectly share several principles and values, a further collaboration was bound to happen.

For example, they both work in a family atmosphere. Thomas works together with his brother and sister and receives the unconditional support of his mother. Versele-Laga, too, is a true family business, given the fact that the fourth Versele generation is currently running the company. Both parties have started out ambitiously; locally in Deinze, but later on, national recognition grew and the start of an international record was set.

They share values like passion, expertise and responsibility.

  • A decathlete cannot rely on talent alone; he also has to keep refining his technique and expertise every day. Expertise and investments in this expertise are vital to keep feeding and caring for 15,500,000 animals every day.
  • The love for animals is self-evident when you have grown into a player in more than 75 countries, with 7 production sites worldwide and an assortment of more than 2,100 articles for cats, dogs, small mammals, rabbits, chickens, pigeons, birds, horses and farmyard animals. Thomas, too, has a heart for animals, especially for his own cat.
  • The passion Thomas has shown can also be found in Versele-Laga. Sport is centre, both for animals (racing pigeons, racing horses, racing dogs and show animals) and for the employees. For example, many bicycle, football and running activities are being organised to promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • The ‘Back on Track Foundation’ shows that Thomas loves putting his heart to helping others and that he is not afraid to take responsibility. At Versele-Laga, the CAT project is a beautiful example of the sense of responsibility that lives strongly among us.

The marketing of nutritionally sound feeds and feed supplements for animals, the base line of Versele-Laga, shows many similarities with the care and attention a top athlete has to bring. The right food and proper support are essential to enable athletes to deliver top performances.

Respect is a value we feel very strongly about. Moreover, this partnership is proof that the company respects the incredible accomplishments Thomas made and that it supports him completely toward his goal of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Thomas in his turn will help Versele-Laga realise their ambition of their own ‘decathlon’, meaning growing out to the preferred brand in animal nutrition and care in 10 different animal categories. To that end, he will be giving motivational speeches in the company and he will help promote the company brand in general, by exposing the brand on his social media. Moreover, as of today, the Versele-Laga logo will be visible on his athletics club Deinze running shirt. In short, this will be a collaboration that enables both Thomas and Versele-Laga to make progression.