Oman Air Sponsor Oman Sail’s Majan To Build Brand in Europe.

You might think that there would be more airlines involved with the sponsorship of sailing. At the top end of the sport, airfares and air travel make up a large part of a professional sailing team’s expenses. The rise of sailing as a sports-tourism driver should also help make the case for more airlines to back the sport – after all, what is the point of promoting a destination if you don’t know how to get there.

As the Oman Sail project moves into its next phase of promoting the sultanate as a tourism destination, Oman Air has announced that it will sponsor the programme’s Arabian 100 trimaran – Majan.

The initial platform for the sponsorship will be the 2010 Route de Rhum is a transatlantic single-handed 4,000-mile yacht race that takes place every four years. Most of the media exposure will be in France, which suits Oman Air who are trying to increase their brand awareness in the European market, building on Oman Air’s services to France, Germany, and the UK. From September 2009, Oman Air began direct flights between Paris and Muscat. The sponsorship aligns Oman Air, Oman Sail and the Ministry of Tourism’s marketing strategies in Europe, with all three taking an active role in the Route du Rhum project.

Said Peter Hill, CEO of Oman Air said:

“With Oman Air’s ongoing initiatives in promoting Oman as a unique destination throughout Europe, our sponsorship of the Route de Rhum blends well with our efforts to both position Oman as a destination of choice and Oman Air as an exclusive brand amongst our target market in France. The timing of the event coincides perfectly with France’s premier travel trade show (Top Resa) which takes place towards the end of September, giving Oman Air, Oman Sail and the Ministry of Tourism the perfect opportunity to actively promote Oman as a business, trade and tourism destination.”

There is no doubt that the event is big in France, however it is a bit of a stretch to believe the claim by race organisers that

…the race is held second in popularity to the FIFA World Cup by the French Media.

David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail said

“We are delighted to have Oman Air as Majan’s sponsor as she will symbolise Oman’s vitality and innovation as she competes in one of the most prestigious and challenging offshore races in the world. Within the Sailing fraternity, we have spent two years promoting Oman as a destination. This is now amplified with Oman Air on board.”

Assembled in Salalah and launched in the summer of 2009, Majan is a 105ft trimaran classed as one of the fastest offshore multihulls in the world; she was given the honour of being named by HM Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.

The racing yacht took part in the Arabian Tour in 2009 with stopovers in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar. Majan also crossed the Indian Ocean in the 5 Capes Race early this year with stopovers in the Maldives, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia and India before returning to Oman.

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