Sponsorship Value – The Commerical case for a DOG Match. 10


Our thinking has been all wrong. Ever since the New York Court of Appeals brought down their verdict in favour of the Golden Gate Yacht Club and BMW ORACLE, we have taken the position that the best thing that the new Challenger of Record and the Defender could do, would be to dispense with a Deed of Gift Match and opt for a multichallenger event.

This was obviously a view taken from the point of view of a non-American fan, or the Commercial Director of a team like Emirates Team New Zealand or TEAMORIGIN. Our argument was that a multichallenger event may stop these teams from disspearing altogether, putting more pressure on an already depressed industry.

But why should businessmen Larry Ellison and Ernesto Betarelli care about other team’s sponsors? This is a great sponsorship opportunity for their commercial partners. If I was the Marketing Director of BMW, a DOG match with only one other opponent guarantees more share of media coverage. Instead of being 1 of 20 potential sponsors, I am one of two. 50% of the coverage of a DOG match is about my brand.

Here is an opportunity for any media that still care about the America’s Cup to write about a handful of commercial partners for 10 months, without having to devote column inches, airtime or web-pages to other team’s sponsors and distractions.

It’s something we really should have thought about earlier, but I guess we were in a more ‘winning by sharing’ frame of mind. Given some of the statements from series like the iShares Cup and sponsors of the Vendee Globe, we really should have taken a step into the shoes of Alinghi and BMW ORACLE earlier.

Mark Turner, CEO of OC Group, has said that the iShares Cup should have a maximum number of boats per series. This is because on the one hand, eXtreme 40 catamarans at close quarters could get messy, but it also guarantees sponsors a certain share of the coverage. The Vendee Globe has also used the same argument – 30 boats is the maximum that can be accommodated on the docks at the start, but also being 1 out of 30 sponsors means your campaign gets lost in the noise of brands.

Even Louis Vuitton could sign up to that. How exclusive can you get? No dog food or pizza sponsors, no riff-raff, just an American billionaire versus a European billionaire – just like the good old days.

So, providing BMW ORACLE and Alinghi keep some high profile Kiwis and Aussies to guarantee a little bit of interest from fans in the southern hemisphere, and choose a venue in Europe to keep a couple of casual fans interested in that part of the world – the DOG match could be a sponsor’s dream and deliver real return on investment for a lucky few.

Scott Mcleod – Chairman of Force10 Marketing says different : Click to read what he has to say.

  • P Kady

    GGYC has been pretty clear all along that they would try to negotiate a Muli-Challenger event if they won in court. Ironically, it has been SNG/EB all along who has insisted that if GGYC were to win (as they now have) in court, that that would force a Deed of Gift Challenge. It could be that EB was making those statements purely for PR purposes to try and gain sympathy for their blatently sham challenge by CNEV, but perhaps now that CNEV is definitively out of the picture, EB might be willing to change his tune. Somehow, though, I personally believe that EB won't be willing to participate in a fair protocol when LE has Russel Coutts working for him.

  • Claudia

    Oh just leave the Bertarelli bashing at the door and move on. The article is a point of view based on commercial pragmatism – whether or not it is 'EB' or 'LE' (for that matter why isn't Russel (sic) Coutts RC?).

    If you have a comment that is based on some kind of logic and not some clairvoyant insight into the psychological drivers of the individuals, please tell us.

  • Some people just don't know what to be angry about anymore. Not content to just accept the judges decision, they continue to pursue petty little personal vendettas based on pure speculation in the abscence of any other news.

    The New York Court is not enough, he should be put in stocks so that the membership of SA can throw tomatoes at him, or better still, subject him to their whimpering.

    You're right Ed, you should have spotted this angle a long time ago. Given the title of your site, how could you be so empathetic with the other teams. 😉

  • Ivan

    Don't forget that the BOR and Alinghi are owned by the billionares. So the conventional commercial rules are not applied to tham since they don;t seek revenue but only fun and vanity.

  • Ivan

    Don’t forget that both BOR and Alinghi are owned by billionares so the teams are like non-profit private orgs. So the common commercial rules may not apply to them. It is already well known that this kind of sailing never was profitable exept for the last AC event in Valencia which brought some income for the teams and the city.

  • John Oliver

    I bought my last BMW a long while ago, while they were still affordable, now if I want a german car I'll buy an Audi, they sponsor some more realistic sail boat classes like SB3 and Melges, much nearer to the hearts of most sailors outside the spoilt professionals that seem so prevalent in th AC.

    Don't know what kind of drugs Bertarelli sells, probably steroids ! Keep off!

    jonO

  • james

    Is that the real John Oliver – the Daily show's own? One the one hand I am thrilled, on the other, I am slightly dissapointed at the lack of wit in the reply. What to believe.

  • John Oliver

    I bought my last BMW a long while ago, while they were still affordable, now if I want a german car I'll buy an Audi, they sponsor some more realistic sail boat classes like SB3 and Melges, much nearer to the hearts of most sailors outside the spoilt professionals that seem so prevalent in th AC.

    Don't know what kind of drugs Bertarelli sells, probably steroids ! Keep off!

    jonO

  • james

    Is that the real John Oliver – the Daily show's own? One the one hand I am thrilled, on the other, I am slightly dissapointed at the lack of wit in the reply. What to believe.

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