US Sailing Team Partner Leverages Sailing’s Experiential Assets.

Sailing is more than a sport. It can be a multi-dimensional platform that can be tailored to deliver against all kinds of different goals. Now that might sound like marketing-speak, but sailing, as shown by the iShares Cup has the ability to engage partners in a way that other sports can’t, whether it be riding on board during a race as the ‘5th man’ or competing in corporate races or giving people chances they might not otherwise have.

Sailing is a also a natural fit for team building. The team aspect of sailing is almost unique in that members of the team must all be working simultaniously to get the best results. So its a natural fit for Group Experiential Learning (GEL) to joined forces with the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) as a new bronze-level partner.

GEL will deliver high impact team building and leadership training experiences for current and future USSTAG sponsors. As part of the partnership, GEL will introduce some of USSTAG’s non-endemic sponsors to the sport of sailing, while offering sailing veterans the opportunity to sharpen their skills and enhance their teamwork on the water. Many GEL events will feature participation by USSTAG’s Olympians and Olympic hopefuls.

Jay Palace, President of GEL says:

‘Sailing is an extremely team-oriented sport. Because sailboats won’t move without coordination between a helmsperson and the sail trimmers, it’s the perfect platform for improving communication, collaboration and developing leadership capabilities needed by high performance teams. The challenges GEL participants face on the water literally mirror what happens inside the office.’

USSTAG’s title sponsor, AlphaGraphics, has tapped GEL to organize a special introduction to sailing and racing, during which AlphaGraphics’ franchisees will sail side-by-side with USSTAG members in Naples, Fla. in early 2010. The afternoon of racing will strengthen relationships and give participants a unique glimpse into the training, preparation and focus required to win medals at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Dan Cooney, USSTAG’s Commercial Director says:

‘We are excited to welcome GEL to the team because they are terrific at what they do and they will contribute a new element to our program. We are constantly thinking about new ways our partners can leverage their investment in the team, and GEL provides a truly unique opportunity for a sponsor’s employees and clients. Introducing new people to the sport through this sponsorship is a welcome bonus.’