OC Group Merges With ThirdPole to Create Outdoor Sports Force. 2

OC Group, the company behind the Extreme Sailing Series, has announced today that it will merge with European based ThirdPole. The non-cash deal will bring together the two companies’ competences to form a broad based outdoor sports and events company. The two brands will remain, OC continuing to specialise in professional sailing teams and events, and ThirdPole in outdoor events ranging from running, cycling and biathlon, to more extreme sports including adventure and trail running races.

[cleeng_content id=”546222616″ description=”Our archive is available as a premium service. You can read this article for less than £1.” price=”0.99″ referral=”0.1″]OC and ThirdPole combined aspire to become a world leader of outdoor events on all playing fields: oceans, lakes, mountains, forests and deserts and city centres.

The new business will fully own the existing operating companies in France, Switzerland and the UK, and will continue their work with global brands, host cities and regions, sporting federations and other promoters all over the world. The combined business already has events in place for 2011 in more than a dozen countries in Europe, USA and Asia.

Mark Turner, who has been rumoured to head up the next America’s Cup organisation, will remain fully engaged in the overall business as Executive Chairman. He said:

“The merger with ThirdPole is a really exciting new venture for us. OC Group has a great team of people who have delivered first-class events and sailing programmes worldwide over the past decade and our clients can rest assured that we will continue to do so in the future. ThirdPole already manages some outstanding outdoor event properties and we can combine our skills and experience to enhance what we do already in sailing, and help build some great new events together as well.

Those who know me well know I have a passion for a number of outdoor sports beyond sailing – that’s certainly been a key factor for me in this new development. The Outdoor Events sector has been developing fast, particularly in France, where I’ve spent most of my time these past years and it’s an exciting diversification for our company. This will not affect our determination for OC to remain as a leading player in professional sailing. Both sectors are well positioned at a time when strong sporting values, accessibility for the fans, and the importance of our natural environment are valued more than ever by brands and venues in the sports sponsorship world. We’ve never been afraid to push the boundaries in sport or to challenge tradition and these values, along with a very strong work ethic, will remain core to our strategy.

There have been a number of new and interesting opportunities recently on a personal and business level, but this one will allow me to get closer again to the incredible sportsmen and women that take on amazing challenges. Motivating people to push beyond their limits has always been the most rewarding aspect of sport business for me.

ThirdPole was created by Rémi Duchemin and Benjamin Chandelier, both former employees at Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the organiser of the Tour de France, the Paris International Marathon, the Alstom French Golf Open and other major events. As Head of Business Development, Rémi was responsible for the creation and management of the Merrell Oxygen Challenge and worked across all the sports that ASO are renowned for.

Although a young company, ThirdPole has already organised its own mass participation events in the endurance sports arena, such as the Geneva Marathon for Unicef, and has delivered consulting services to other events like the Merrell Oxygen Challenge (unique outdoor festival with mountain-biking, trail running and orienteering in the Cantal, France), the Biathlon World Cup 2011 in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand, and also for brands attracted by the strong values and potential of these disciplines. ThirdPole is developing several new projects and events in Western Europe and beyond, especially in the fast-growing market of running and cycling.

Rémi Duchemin said:

“We are very proud of the marriage of sailing and endurance sports, two worlds which maintain very close relations and common values, such as, nature, humility, facing adversity and conviviality. The new business born from the merger of OC and ThirdPole aspires to become a world leader of Outdoor Events on all playing fields: oceans, lakes, mountains, forests and deserts but also city centres. The new group has the privilege to work with a dynamic, international and multicultural team, driving the evolution towards more sustainable business practice. The skills convergence of OC and ThirdPole, in particular event management, logistics, communications, sales and office management, will allow us to set up a strong strategy to reach our ambitious objectives. “

OC Events, which is part of the OC Group is a major player in the sport of sailing. The list of projects and campaigns that it is involved with is extensive. As well as the award-winning and groundbreaking Extreme Sailing Series™, the company is co-creator and consultant to the Barcelona World Race, owner of The Transat™ single-handed transatlantic race, and Organiser, on behalf of Artemis Investment Management, of The Artemis Challenge.

Offshore Challenges, the sailing team division, will continue putting together effective racing campaigns, in the IMOCA circuit (most recently with Artemis Ocean Racing and BT Team Ellen), with Extreme 40s, and with the development of the Artemis Offshore Academy.

OC Group also remains strategic and technical consultant to the Oman Sail project, that uses sailing to contribute to the development of Oman and Omanis, which OC helped create and develop in 2007. OC also continues to advise and work with other brands in sailing, such as, Nespresso with the Nespresso Cup.[/cleeng_content]