Target Darts have announced the capture of five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, ending the Dutchman’s eight-year association with rival manufacturer Unicorn.
The legendary Den Haag ace was unveiled as Target’s big new signing at a press launch in the Hotel Den Haag – Noortdorp, Van Barneveld’s home town, on Monday morning. He has signed a five-year deal, therefore will use and promote all Target products bearing his name and image until at least 2022.
There had been plenty of speculation about Van Barneveld’s potential transfer to Target, as his contract with Unicorn expired in May and he wasn’t featured in their 2018 launch last month.
Nevertheless, he enjoyed plenty of success with Unicorn, winning 10 PDC events; including five televised titles. RvB lifted the World Cup of Darts on three occasions, the most recent of those coming last month. However, he also won the 2012 Grand Slam and the 2014 Premier League, beating Michael van Gerwen in the final on both occasions.
However, Van Barneveld becomes the third multiple world champion in recent years to have made the switch from Unicorn to Target. Adrian Lewis made the transfer in 2011, whilst Phil Taylor joined Lewis three years later.
The St Helen’s duo of Dave Chisnall and Stephen Bunting are also on their books, which means that in the shape of Lewis, Chisnall, Taylor & Van Barneveld- Target now boast four of the top ten players in the PDC.
Speaking at the launch this morning, Van Barneveld explained: “The reason I signed with Target is an inner feeling I have to take this step. The material feels spectacular, looks fantastic and so does the packaging so I cannot wait to start using their products.
“Target is the perfect next step for me to take in my career and I plan to continuously succeed whilst working with them. You have to dream where you want to go in life and what your next step should be from here,” Van Barneveld added.
The 50-year-old is set to use his new exclusive Target RVB darts at next week’s Shanghai Darts Masters, as the 2017 World Series roadshow continues. Barney will then take part in the inaugural U.S Masters in Las Vegas, before attention turns to the BetVictor World Matchplay at the Winter Gardens on July 22nd.
Despite this, the ultimate goal for Van Barneveld remains the same; winning a sixth World Championship title. He claimed: “I had many dreams seeing myself lifting trophies and with Target I am going to do all I can do to achieve that. My goal is to win a sixth world title.
“I have been watching the types of unique darts Target have been releasing in recent years and I need that level of introduction in my game. With the current setup, I feel that I can definitely be world champion again. Maybe not this year, but in the coming years. I absolutely believe that.”
Photo Credit: Target Darts