Mackinac Race Sponsors Up on 2009.


Not all sailing events are struggling to find sponsorship. In Michigan organisers from the Bayview Yacht Club say that sponsorship for the 2010 Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race is up by a third.

Pure Michigan, a function of the Michigan Economic Development Commission, provided the title sponsorship for the 2009 race. It’s back this year, and talking about extending it beyond 2011. George Zimmermann, Vice President of Travel Michigan, the marketing unit of the commission said to The Detroit News:

“It’s a good sponsorship for us, for a variety of reasons.”

Pure Michigan became the most-visited state tourism site in 2009, largely because of the race. Some two million hits occurred when spectators logged on to michigan.org/gps to follow progress of the race, including individual boats on both routes. The service is available again this year.

The cost of staging the event is estimated at $USD 500,000, making sponsorship crucial to the race’s success.

Last year there were 18 sponsors. This year there are 24, including some who have returned, like DTE Energy, Veuve Clicquot and Bacardi, which is back for the first time in five years. Bruce Babiarz, of BAB Associates LLC says:

“It’s been a great year, and there’s already a great deal of interest for next year. We’re at the best sponsorship level in five years. Bell’s Beer signed up right after last year, and Pure Michigan has a multi-year renewal option. It’s a fanatical tradition that has never been halted since its introduction in 1925. It’s a good fan base not only statewide and regionally, but in other parts of the world.

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