Let’s imagine for a moment that a company had £10 million to spend on sponsorship. Where would be the best place to put it? It’s a question that marketing directors and CEOs ask themselves occasionally – usually once a year when reviewing long term marketing strategies.The reason this site exists is to communicate how sailing as a sport can compete with other sports for a share of sponsorship budgets. There are literally hundreds of combinations each offering different investments and different levels of return on that investment.
We believe that there are some great bargains out there and some great opportunities for sponsors who want to make a splash to really grab hold of a segment and own it the way Audi have done in Australia or with the Med Cup or iShares and their eXtreme 40 events.
We also think that sometimes there is a tendency for those in sailing not to look over the fence at other sports and realise just how much a company can get for £10 million.
Elaine Bunting, writing on YBW.COM has reported that UK sailor Steve White, who pulled together a shoestring budget for his amazing recent Vendee Globe campaign is looking for £10 million for the next one.
He’s not the only one. Any sailor looking to build a new boat for the next Vendee will be looking at raising a similar amount.
On the plus side, the money creates an asset, which as long as it makes it around and back in one piece has some residual value. There is also obvious media value, though this is limited mainly to France and handful of other sailing countries.
Sponsorship people are very good at creating a case that in isolation looks like a good deal, it’s only when a marketing director puts that deal next to one from a MotoGP team or Tennis or Golf, or even football, that £10 million for 90 days of racing seems like a big wedge of cash.
In a recent poll by Sports Pro Magazine ranking the top 200 sports properties, the Vendee Globe didn’t make it. In many of the sports that did make it, £10 million would go a long way.
We’re in Sweden this week for the Match Cup as part of the World Match Racing Tour. It’s not the Vendee Globe, but if you spent £10 million you would get a lot of return. In fact, you could spend that money not on a boat build, but on marketing, media and activation and deliver incredible results. More than that, you would deliver in 10 countries including emerging markets.
In offshore sailing, there is nothing like the Vendee Globe. It delivers on many levels and immense media value is generated. But as Steve White and Sam Davies showed in the last version, the biggest budget doesn’t always mean the biggest return.
There are companies out for whom sponsoring a Vendee Globe entrant to the tune of £10 million makes a lot of sense. They are probably French or have big French connections. As always, whether or not a sponsorship makes sense comes down to the marketing goals of the sponsor.