- A brand that understands the value of sponsorship in the first place.
- An understanding of which type of sailing platform will deliver return on investment and objectives.
Over the last year, economics have sorted out the companies who include sponsorship as part of a well thought out, integrated marketing strategy and those who were doing it because someone told them it was a good idea and they enjoyed the hospitality. While sponsorship was seen by some as a way of justifying executive perks and subsequently withdrawn when it ‘didn’t look good’, other brands who really understand their audiences and objectives have stuck with their relationships and a few have even extended them.
In recent years, Hugo Boss has been one of the most recognisable and innovative sponsors in sailing. Alex Thomson’s distinctive black open 60 showed how 300 square metres of sail area could become a massive racing / floating billboard with its groundbreaking boat branding.
In 2009, Hugo Boss and Alex Thomson have continued to innovate and get the most value out of their platform. The boat has been strategically positioned at major sporting events including the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, attracting extra television exposure and several photo stunts have been picked up by media around the world.
Alex Thomson is the only UK Open 60 sailor that started the Transat Jacques Vabre yesterday with a fully funded campagin to take him through the next Vendee Globe. Dee Caffari’s relationship with Aviva has come to an end, Sam Davies is skippering Artemis for this race only and is looking for a reported €9 Million for a four year campaign. Ecover will not continue their backing of Mike Golding and even BT’s relationship with OC Group is ending. While there is natural churn of sponsors after each Vendee Globe cycle, questions have been asked about the value of the IMOCA 60 class.
The news that Hugo Boss have renewed their relationship with Alex Thomson should be good news for other sailors in the class. The endorsement of such a savvy sponsor should help others make a case for backing.
Till Pohlmann Head of Sports Sponsorship for Hugo Boss said:,
“We are delighted to retain our title sponsorship of Alex and his team. HUGO BOSS has seen the IMOCA class deliver substantial media interest, which makes it very
appealing to us. We will continue to develop close relationships between our markets and the sponsorship and to explore the programme further. We are lucky to work globally with an ambassador like Alex.”
The seven year partnership stands as one of the longest within the IMOCA class and the teams says it has exceeded expectations in terms of media return for HUGO BOSS.
“I am delighted HUGO BOSS are retaining title sponsorship of the project, it has been a great partnership and I know there is still so much we can do. I will announce a full programme of events for the team soon. A brand like HUGO BOSS brings a new level of glamour to the sport, it is exciting to work with such an innovative and distinctive company. I am proud to have a reliable and successful partner onboard especially in tough times like these where sponsorship of such a scale is difficult to find. I would like to thank HUGO BOSS for their continued support and I am looking forward to exciting years ahead.”
The new deal means that Alex Thomson is able to commit to the next Barcelona World Race and the next Vendee Globe. In the meantime, as well as the current TJV, Hugo Boss will focus on creative cross promotion ideas, which have in the past seen a huge return.
Hugo Boss will also continue to leverage their other sponsorships. The brand has achieved huge exposure from cross-over promotions involving Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and international golfer Oliver Wilson.