The World Yacht Racing Forum opens its doors in Monaco in less than a month. On the table for discussion is the value of sailing sponsorship. Annemarie Meyer is Co-Head of Sponsorship for Swiss Bank UBS. She talked with the WYRF about her views on the value of sailing sponsorship before the event.
WYRF: Does sailing provide good value for today’s sponsors?
Annemarie Meyer: Compared with other sports, the rights in sailing are generally less expensive, but they can also deliver less media coverage. Therefore, the value really depends a great deal on the activation in brand and in business.
WYRF: What advice would you give to potential partners interested in sailing?
AM: It is important to activate properties properly. When activation know-how and budgets are not available, it is not as easy, as most of the properties in yachting do not automatically generate media coverage.
WYRF: Do you think the sailors understand the sponsor’s needs? Do they usually “play the game”?
AM: Some do, and some do less. What I have noticed in the past five years is the majority of people involved in the sport of sailing are willing to listen and learn in order to be able to play a more valuable role.
WYRF: Is sailing an expensive or inexpensive sport from a sponsor’s point of view?
AM: It depends on the objectives and target groups. If they fit well or are the same, sailing properties and activation are less expensive than other sports but reaching the general public with sailing could become very expensive despite the comparatively lower costs for the properties, because considerable media investments have to be made.
WYRF: UBS has been involved in sailing sponsorship for decades. Why sailing?
AM: “The target groups of sailing are similar to those of UBS. Internationally speaking, UBS is aiming for wealthy private clients and corporate decision-makers. As far as Switzerland is concerned, we hope to reach a much broader audience. Alinghi succeeded in awakening the interest of the public with the victory at the America’s Cup in 2003. Sailing images are also ideal to illustrate our core values (teamwork/partnership, know-how, commitment, professionalism, leadership, etc.) and messages. The races produce a huge amount of images, carrying strong emotions. Alinghi and the America’s Cup produced many stories in print titles and on the web as well as numerous hours of TV coverage around the world. Finally, hospitality opportunities give UBS the possibility to strengthen existing client relationships, as well as to develop new relationships to prospects across business groups.
Yachtsponsorship.com will be attending the World Yacht Racing Forum in Monaco in December. For more information see: http://worldyachtracingforum.com/index.php