Panerai Add UK to Classic Yacht Challenge Circuit.

There’s a certain trick to getting all the elements of sponsorship, marketing and PR to all work together. The secret of the trick is usually understanding your audience. Many people still think that the important things for sponsors are millions of eyeballs and television exposure, but some brands are looking for a more niche audience. They don’t mind the ‘how many’ as long as the ‘who they are’ is right.

It’s probably no surprise that sailing is used by watch brands as a marketing platform. Ever since John Harrison invented the marine chronometer to measure longitude, watch makers have identified those who sail as a desirable audience for their wares. Some watch brands are more well known than others and if you don’t immediately recognise a name, it might be because the marketing is being done right – and only reaching the intended audience.

While much attention is given to the arms race of modern yacht racing, complete with carbon fibre and other exotic materials, there is a growing classic yacht racing scene. The good news for the ninth British Classic Yacht Club (BCYC) Cowes Regatta is that it will become part of the prestigious Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Circuit (PCYC) from 2010 as part of a three-year sponsorship deal signed this month.

Officine Panerai, the fine watch-making company founded in Florence in 1860, begun its sponsorship of this prestigious yachting circuit in 2005 and is a partnership which will certainly continue in the future, due to the profound values they share: the linkage with the sea, beauty, history and age-old skills. Officine Panerai’s passion and commitment to safeguarding and spreading the culture of vintage yachting also lies at the heart of the purchase of Eilean, the 22 metre Bermudian ketch built by legendary Scottish boatyard Fife in 1936, the same year as the first Panerai watch.

A visit to the brand’s website has the restoration of Eliean front and centre of the company’s communication, integrating the exposure and association developed through partnering with the Challenge Circuit with the most modern and essential marketing platform.

With regards to the addition of the UK regatta, CEO of Officine Panerai, Angelo Bonati said in a statement:

“We are delighted to align Panerai with the British Classic Yacht Club Cowes Regatta. The sponsorship enables us to reach a wider UK audience. The UK is a growing market for Panerai and we have been looking for a UK event to join our circuit for some time. The reputation, professionalism and camaraderie demonstrated by the BCYC not to mention Cowes Regatta’s position as the key classic yacht event in the UK yachting calendar make them an ideal partner for Panerai.”

British Classic Yacht Club Commodore, David Murrin added:

“The British Classic Yacht Club are delighted to become associated with Officine Panerai as principal sponsor of our Cowes Regatta. Panerai are an ideal partner for us because of our shared values.

Panerai have shown over a number of years a commitment to supporting premier classic regattas around the world, and we are proud that the British Classic Yacht Club Cowes Regatta is to be numbered among the most prestigious.

The BCYC Cowes Regatta which will take place from Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th July 2010 will be the first UK event to join the Panerai Circuit. In 2009 the circuit included eight of the world’s leading Classic Yacht Regattas among them the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and Regates Royale in Cannes.