Sailing is as much an aspirational lifestyle as it is a sport. Just like rugby or surfing, there is a look that can be bought off the racks without ever entering a scrum or paddle out to the line-up. Those who do it, rather than just wear the clothes have a phrase to describe these people as having “all the gear and no idea”, but aspiration is important for promoting a sport to a wider audience.
There are only so many super-fabric technical jackets you can sell. There are a lot more people who love the promise of what sailing has to offer. No surprise then that British sailing clothing brand Henri Lloyd is using their association with one of the UK’s (World’s?) most recognised sailors to promote a range of clothing that should appeal to both those who do and those who wish they could.
The news story on Ben Ainslie’s website describes what Henri Lloyd are trying to do:
Drawing inspiration from the iconic streets of the country’s capital and journeying through Mr Henri’s personal archives Henri-Lloyd have created a collection that this season epitomises the brands innovation, adventure and outstanding quality, British design
The AW09 collection from Henri-Lloyd is a journey through the history of this truly British brand. Henri-Lloyd visited their archive, sailing back to the time when their technical expertise was born and they set their precedent as the leaders in the world of marine wear.
More sailing sponsors should use their athetes faces in advertising. More often than not, ads feature the boats or the waves or the storms or a piece of deck hardware photographed with glistening droplets of water. It’s part of the hero creation that sailing is so well positioned to do.