Yesterday I suggested that Alex Thomson was being idle after checking out a couple of websites and and blogs, but in the afternoon Alex and the Hugo Boss Sailing crew released a photo that left me speechless. This is the kind of photo that if I was a kid, I would blue-tack to my bedroom wall. If I could get my hands on a paper copy I would probably frame it and put it in the office. Instead I have done what all modern kids do and saved it as my computer wallpaper.
Hugo Boss reinvented how to use yacht racing for marketing. The distinctive black boat with black sails and imaginative and clever livery made people like me take another look at yacht racing. They broke all the rules and showed that sailing doesn’t have to be about double breasted blazers with gold buttons – it can be, well, all the things that the Hugo Boss brand stands for.
The cliche runs that a picture says a thousand words, and in this case, the words are a marketing director’s dream. Rather than put them in your head, I’ll let you come up with your own.
Hugo Boss shouldn’t get all the credit though. Alex Thomson is one of the world’s most exciting and innovative sailors. The fit between brand and talent is a great one. Alex said about the stunt:
The conditions were perfect with good breeze and sunshine adding to the feel good factor on the day. I haven’t been ‘foiling’ before but I loved it. It’s pretty extreme – at a certain speed the hull is lifted above the water and the craft skims along on the hydrofoils at great speeds. It’s like snowboarding, just on water.
The new brand in this story is Carafino, makeers of the ‘Hydrofoil’ board. Richard Thompson from Carafino UK was on board Hugo Boss with Alex last week and was hugely impressed with not only the Open 60, but also with Alex.
“What a guy! He has this tremendous confidence with the water you don’t see very often and was straight up and gone first time. His level of fitness is staggering and served him well on the Hydrofoil, I really was blown away by his performance. Alex looked completely at ease and was in control all the time.”
Photo copyright Mark Lloyd