The Volvo Ocean Race raised a few eyebrows when it included India in the last edition of the Round the World race. Traditionalists shook their heads and muttered about the Southern Ocean, but those with a more global view saw the move as being essential to build the sport of sailing in developing markets with huge populations. All sports are looking to try and unlock the potential of markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China, the so-called BRIC nations. In India, sports like Cricket have a huge head-start, but those who take the initiative should win out.
Given Volvo’s success in India, it is not a huge surprise to see them, sign on as the exclusive corporate sponsor of India International Regatta, scheduled at Chennai during 1-8 November 2009. Where the company might use sailing in the UK to promote dinghy towing SUVs, the Indian event will be backed by Volvo Buses and Volvo Penta on behalf of the Volvo Group in India.
The regatta to be sailed off Chennai is expected to see more than 150 sailors from across the world racing in the Optimist and the 29er class of boats, which have been recently procured with the assistance of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.
Commenting on the deal, Marketing Head with Volvo, Sohanjeet Randhawa said,
“We have seen a great synergy between our brand and sailing, and the growing popularity of sailing in India makes this a great opportunity for us to partner. We now have a special connect with Chennai city and sailing in India. Volvo Buses with a 100 bus order from Chennai City will soon be part of the city’s development landscape. Volvo Penta on the other hand is one of the most preferred Global brand in the boating industry and as well as in marine commercial and industrial segments. On land, air or on sea Volvo seeks to create value in consonance with its core values of environment care, safety and quality”.
The world’s most followed and toughest ocean race is sponsored by Volvo and the yachts made a stopover at Kochi in December 2008, during its last edition. The next Volvo Ocean Race is scheduled to start from Alicante, Spain in mid/end 2011.
Shankar Narayanan, Managing Director, Asia Growth Capital, Carlyle Group and Chairman Fund Raising & Publicity Committee of the Yachting Association of India said:
“We are delighted to have Volvo come on board as the title sponsor of the event. It is our privilege to have one of the world’s leaders join hands with us and I extend a hearty welcome on behalf of the entire sailing family. I am confident that together we will create a wonderful experience for the sailing enthusiasts and help make this event even bigger in the days to come.”
For more information on how to get to the regatta, and to book your charter boats, visit the event website www.iiregatta.in.