J.P Morgan Asset Management Renew Sailing Sponsorships.

One of the UK’s largest participatory sporting events, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race has announced that the title sponsorship is secure for another 3 years. The annual race provides a huge economic benefit to Cowes and the surrounding area, with over 8000 competitors taking part. During the recent London Boat Show, the Island Sailing Club who organise the race announced that J.P. Morgan Asset Management would continue to support the event in 2010.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management also announced their continued sponsorship of Ben Ainslie, Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor of all time. The company has been Ben’s title sponsor since 2007 and backed his gold medal campaign at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Despite the sponsorship giving the event an impractically long name (try and fit J.P Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2010 into a tweet with space left over), the renewed sponsorships are good news for UK sailing. With many of the country’s top competitors and the traditional cornerstone of yacht racing, Cowes Week, looking for commercial support, it’s great to see deals being done.

Jasper Berens, Head of UK Sales, J.P. Morgan Asset Management said:

“J.P. Morgan Asset Management thought it was exactly the right time to extend both sponsorships. We are now entering our sixth year sponsoring the Round the Island Race and have committed to sponsoring the event for a further 3 years, It’s been a very tough economic climate not just for banks and asset managers but for everyone, however over the last 5 years it has become clear to us that the Round the Island race sponsorship works incredibly well for J.P. Morgan Asset Management both in a brand and in a corporate hospitality perspective – we looked very closely at the sponsorship and the exact right thing for us to do was continue the sponsorship. One of the key aspects for us is the is the charitable fundraising, more than £350,000 has been raised over the last three years and we hope the total can reach £500,000 in 2010.”

Ben Ainslie is one of the most recognised sailors in the world and therefore a great ambassador for a brand like J.P. Morgan Asset Management. For a sailor, sponsorship gives the ability to concentrate on sailing rather than wondering how to fund being a ‘pro’. Those with secure deals are able to train harder and prepare better, increasing the chances of winning on the water. The Triple Olympic gold and silver medallist said:

“The J.P. Morgan Asset Management sponsorship enables me to go about my Olympic campaign in the right manner to be successful. For example I can now start working full time with my coach David Howlett enabling me to test technical equipment and hopefully have my sailing program in place well in advance of the qualifying events for London 2012., having David’s support is very important as my other sailing commitments will take up much of my time this year.”

Ainslie also understands that the key to successful sponsorships is giving back to the brand and organisation. Many sailors still have a mindset that corporate partners will write a cheque and not expect anything more than to see their decal on the side of the boat or sewn into a crew-shirt. Despite sponsor responsibilities taking time away from sailing, they are fundamental to creating long lasting commercial relationships. Ben continues:

“The other important part of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management partnership is the support I have received from their internal staff, since Beijing I have been involved with a number of staff and client activities, it was great how they make me feel part of the brand. I now look forward to celebrate continued success together”

Online Entries for this year’s J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race will be open from Thursday 21st January. The Notice of Race and Entry Form go live on the updated Race website at http://www.roundtheisland.org.uk