Rich Wilson says US Companies are Missing Out. 1

Rich Wilson, the only US sailor in the Vendee Globe has been featured by in an interview. He is critical of US companies that don’t get sailing. It’s a subject that is close to our hearts at Why is it that the country that turned niche sports like NASCAR into world beating commerical operations can’t get behind professional sailing? Its something that we want to get to the bottom of, so if you have an opinion, please comment below or send us an email. 

How have you dealt with costs involved with this race, and what’s your experience with US sponsorship?

I didn’t want to do the Transat for a variety of reasons, including adding more cost to the whole thing. One of the things I see here is, because these races are unknown in the US, it’s very hard to find sponsors in the US.  Gigantic missed opportunity for American companies.  Gigantic!  For an American company who wants to do business in France, it would have paid a 1000% return.

I called the Cultural Affairs office of the US Embassy in France, and said “I’m the only American sailor in this race, and US-French relations have been pretty poor these last eight years, so Use Me!”  And they didn’t even know what the Vendee Globe was, let alone that there was an American in it.  So, that’s, frankly, pretty pathetic. 

Read the Whole Interview at 

  • American-based companies do not understand or see the sport as other areas of the world. As an American (please don’t hold that against me!) most Americans know what the cup is, but with so much negative press, it has a negative impact emotionally.

    Furthermore, it’s elitist for many Americans and they simply have a hard time relating. NASCAR is easy and simple to relate to, sailing requires a few creative, patient personalities to help put it on the map, having someone relate-able with personality and humble heart like Sam from Roxy do a few corporate presentations in the US, would help (just an example.) It’s about education and awareness. Ask the folks from PUMA…I would bet they had no idea till they took the plunge and are now having a blast: literally.