Let the Race (for coverage) Begin

With the start of the Vendee Globe today, the media releases have kicked up a gear, with PR agencies trying to get the most for their teams in the increasing noise. Today we have a quick look at the online offer of the UK entrants. 

Dee Caffari Aviva – www.avivaoceanracing.com

We’ve praised the brand activation skills of this team in the lead up to the Vendee Globe. The team website has all the latest toys – blog, video, wallpaper downloads and even a mobile site. Getting to aviva from the site is a little tricky though.

www.aviva.com has a link from the home page (below the fold) to a dedicated microsite www.avivaoceanracing.com/avivachallenge/

Mike Golding – Ecover – www.mikegolding.com

All the things that should be there including a link to main sponsor ecover from the top of the page. Also a competition.

www.ecover.com/gb/en/ homepage has no mention of the Vendee Globe or sponsorship of Mike Golding. With a couple of clicks you can get to a microsite: www.ecover-vendeeglobe.com/

Sam Davies – Roxy – www.roxysailing.com

We love the look and feel of this website. It’s young and cool – everything you would expect from an action sports fashion brand for girls. It is lacking some of the interactivity of other sites though.

http://www.roxy-europe.com/en/Home.html has a link to the site from the homepage. Though ‘below the fold’ it is easy to find.

Jonny Malbon – Artemis – www.artemisoceanracing.com

Clean, simple to navigate. Video and subscription to news updates. Link to sponsor in main navigation.

www.artemisonline.co.uk/ has a small tout on the homepage linking to the sponsorship.

Brian Thompson – Pindar – www.teampindar.com

All the goodies. The main feature of the homepage features a race tracker which doesn’t work in all browsers, but solidly professional. Links to the main sponsor Kingdom of Bahrain visible.

www.pindar.com/ has a tiny link at the bottom of the homepage about teampindar, but no mention of sailing.
2 or 3 clicks from the main menu gets to a page about the involvement, which is strange considering how large a part of the marketing mix sailing plays for the company.

Outside of sailing news sites, we found it extremely difficult to find anything linking back from the kingdom of Bahrain to the Vendee Globe.

Alex Thomson – Hugo Boss – www.alexthomsonracing.com

Cool carbon fibre effect website with all the latest multimedia bits and pieces. Link to Hugo Boss in main navigation (though nav is a little tricky). The brand values ooze throughout this website.

We did manage to kind the microsite, www.hugoboss-sailing.com/ from the main Hugo Boss website. Although it has some great stuff like beautiful wallpaper downloads of the boat, all navigation is removed which is a pain.

Steve White – Toe in the Water – www.toeinthewater.org/vendee/

Considering the battle that Steve had to get to the start line, his website is everything to be expected. Busy with preparations to the boat his personal site, www.whiteoceanracing.com, needs a few tweaks to promote the cause that he will be championing, ‘toe in the water.’

The charity on the other hand is up to speed with the campaign. www.toeinthewater.org/ has a link to a page with up to date livery and news.

Sebastien Josse – BT Team Ellen – www.btsebjosse.com

Part of the massively capable OC Group, which includes a dedicated multimedia agency, you would expect the online offer to be state of the art. It will be interesting to see how the combination of a French Skipper sailing for an English team will be picked up. Though Ellen Macarthur will be able to put an English spin on things, the UK media to date has been talking about the seven british sailors in the event and have dropped BT Team Ellen from much of their coverage. The website if anything is too busy – so much information packed onto the screen. Big clickable links to a BT microsite with it’s own URL www.biggerthinking.com/en/bt_team_ellen.aspx (though how anyone would find that link is a mystery for the b2b marketing boffins at BT). 

www.bt.co.uk has no mention of the sailing tie up, but does list the BT sponsorship of 2012 on the front page.