Somerville Baddeley Marketing (SB:MKTG) have relaunched their website for 2009 with a nod to the increasing importance of sailing in sports marketing. The company, founded by Denis Baddeley, has traditionally been involved in Motor sports sponsorship, but believes that yacht racing is positioned well to take advantage of lower budgets and changing values.
Speaking recently in Monaco, where the Motorsport and Yacht Racing came together at respective business forums, Denis said:
“For companies that are looking to associate themselves with top level sport and all the values that go along with that; like competition, technological innovation, performance and teamwork, but perhaps also want to focus on messages of sustainability and reduced carbon footprint, yacht racing has something to offer.”
But while Baddeley was impressed with direction parts of the sport are taking, he believes that yacht racing has a lot to learn from other sports:
“There is a culture shift that has to happen to make the sport more sponsor friendly. Every sport that grows from a predominantly amateur undertaking to a professional game goes through the same growing pains. At the moment, as an outsider, it is difficult to navigate the huge range of opportunities and to recommend to sophisticated brands with savvy marketing directors one platform over another.
I’ve been impressed by the extreme 40 concept. They are running those teams as commercial operations and thinking about the sponsors and the fans. On the other hand, as we speak in mid-December, there is no confirmed calendar for the iShares cup for 2009, which makes it very difficult to position to the right sponsors.”
The new SB:MKTG website is embracing aspects of social media that Baddeley is pleased to see being used by some of the yacht racing world.
“Technologies like Twitter should not be ignored. For some of us, they are a little scary, but ultimately, this is the media that the customer is interacting with brands through. The people who will win, in sports marketing and sponsorship, whether it be offshore sailing or MotoGP, are the ones that activate intelligently through a combination of traditional media, new media and extreme media – the concepts that are being innovated daily through global access to real-time, user generated content.”
The SB:MKTG sponsorship and sports marketing blog can be found at http://www.sbmktg.net/blog/