It’s perhaps surprising that mobile phone network operators don’t use yacht racing more as a promotional tool. With the exception of Telefonica in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, it seems that network operators get more value from football, rugby, cricket and music and entertainment sponsorships. Now Vodafone in New Zealand have decided that sailing would be a good thing to promote marine coverage and network performance.
Vodafone has taken naming sponsorship of the ORMA trimaran previously Team G3, to launch ‘TeamVodafone Sailing’ with the boat’s major rebranding about to start. The associations of speed are important, but there is also the old fashioned billboard factor that will give the brand presence in one of the most well known racing harbours in the world.
Vodafone’s Director of Sales Grant Hopkins says:
“We have invested heavily in our Extended 3G network to cover 97% of where kiwis live, work and play – and a whole lot of kiwis play on the water. Whether you want to send a PXT of your award-winning snapper to a mate, keep the emails at bay or in the case of TeamVodafone check the weather to be in the best position for the wind, this partnership is about showing boaties you can still use all of our great data services at fast speeds on the water.”
Moored just 100 metres from the Vodafone HQ at the Viaduct in Auckland harbour, TeamVodafone is the fastest mobile billboard in town. As well as racing in Auckland, TeamVodafone intends to compete in numerous regattas and races in Oceania – Coastal Classic, Sydney- Hobart, Auckland – Fiji to name a few…and will challenge a few records getting there and back. Watch out for it overtaking the Waiheke ferry in the Auckland harbour.
In August next year TeamVodafone will also enter the ‘Round Australia Race’ – the last time it was raced it was won was by kiwi’s Sir Peter Blake and Mike Quilter in Steinlager 1, back in 1988.
TeamVodafone Sailing is owned and skippered by Simon Hull with an experienced professional crew. Simon has owned and campaigned a succession of race boats, the most recent the Transpac 52, V5 – recent wins include the Coastal Classic yacht race in 2007 and 2008, and the Bay of Islands Race Week in 2009.
“It is fantastic to have a brand as strong as Vodafone to back the team. Bringing one of the fastest sailing boats on the planet all the way down here from France has been a dream of mine for some time. It takes sailing here to a new level, and Vodafone’ support enables us to go for the records that we know she is capable of.
Of course this partnership is not just about coverage, let’s face it this boat is fast, it’s innovative and it will push the boundaries to break records – you can’t get more Vodafone than that.
More New Zealand Sailing news.