Sponsorship is about return on investment. Even in the current economic climate, there are brands and properties that don’t fully understand how sponsorship delivers results to the bottom line. Artemis, the UK investment management company, are in the business of ROI and therefore sponsorship has to deliver.
So how did Artemis come to sponsor sailing, and how are they ensuring that they continue to get the results they want?
Mark Tyndall, CEO of Artemis Investment Management explains that the goal was to use sponsorship to engage the company’s primary market – independent financial advisers who sell Artemis’ products to investors. It was also important that those investors had an awareness and recognition of the Artemis brand.
Although Mark loves the sport of sailing, his emotions were put aside while an objective analysis was carried out as to which property would deliver their objectives. Triathlon and Athletics were amongst the options, but in the end the company chose offshore sailing as the vehicle to prmote Artemis to it’s UK market.
That was back in 2006 and since then the company has backed a combination of events and sailors including the Artemis Transat, Artemis Challenge during Cowes Week and more recently the Even Keel Project, using the Artemis 20 boat.
In 2008, Artemis, a brand new Open60 and UK sailor Jonny Malbon were on the start line for the Vendee Globe, the pinnacle of the offshore sailing calendar. Looking back, the company admit that the preparation for the race was not ideal and problems with sails meant that the campaign came to an end in New Zealand. They weren’t the only ones – only a third of the fleet finished the race, but Artemis had some decisions to make.
Most Vendee Globe campaigns are designed to end shortly after the race. Artemis had invested heavily in a new Open60, which along with Artemis 1, now renamed Artemis the profit hunter, gave them a platform to try and deliver the maximum ROI. To help them achieve that ROI they turned to the OC Group.
OC’s job for 2009 is to deliver a program for Artemis that will allow them to evaluate the value for money they are getting from their sponsorship. That evaluation will be based on three key criteria:
- That they are satisfied that they have the best competitors and the best team to deliver their goals over the long term.
- That, given the changing economic conditions, the company can still devote the same commitment to sponsorship of offshore sailing that it used to.
- That there is a real payoff that goes beyond the ‘soft’ benefits of feel-good factor, aspiration and motivation. That there is real media value being gained.
Based on OC’s own experience of a distributed approach to sailing, they have convinced Artemis that the marginal cost of running several skippers in several disciplines is relatviely low, once the basic platform is in place. So the plan is to develop a ‘talent pool’ of British offshore sailors who will include Sam Davies, Jonny Malbon, Nick Bubb and Ollie Bond.
The program will also use the second Artemis Open60 to give experience to non-team sailors including Ben Rogerson and Oscar Mead.
The OC program will also see the new Artemis compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre at the end of the year with Sam Davies teaming up with Sidney Gavignet. In order to be competitive in a race that is traditionally downwind and light airs, Artemis has undergone a major overhall.
Firstly, OC undertook two boat testing againt their other Open60, BT to determine just what the performance of the boat was. They then set about optimising the boat which included taking out up to 500kg of weight. Though the diet is not complete, Artemis will have a chance to show any speed difference against 9 other Open60’s in the Artemis Challenge next Wednesday.
The Artemis Challenge is also a great opportunity for the company to really use their involvement in sailing to make an impact on their primary market.