[cleeng_content id=”467670893″ description=”99 cents or 10,000 hours. The path to being an expert can be easy or hard. ” price=”0.99″]At the elite end of sailing, hosting large yacht racing events provides cities with real economic benefits. The number of regional tourism authorities bidding to host events like the Volvo Ocean Race, Extreme Sailing Series and America’s Cup shows that sailing fits with a desire to market destinations to an attractive demographic.
In June 2009, Stockholm hosted a stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. The event has been rewarded for their organisation by being awarded the ‘Årets eventarena’, Event Arena of the Year, by the Swedish Event Academy EventAkademin at the annual trade fair ‘Eventdagarna’ in Gothenburg earlier this month.
EventAkademin presented the award for Project Manager of the Year to Malin GunnÄng from PS Communication. GunnÄng was responsible for the project planning of all the content, events and ceremonies during the two weeks of the stopover. Mattias Rindberg, the director of events at Stockholm Visitors Board, also received a prize for the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover in Stockholm.
As well as hosting the stopover, Stockholm was also the home port for Ericsson Racing Team, which had two Volvo Open 70s competing in the race. Ericsson 4 was the overall winner of the 2008 -09 Volvo Ocean Race.
The Volvo Ocean Race was by far the biggest event the city had ever organized. The city of Stockholm was able to promote itself on a global platform but it also brought a massive boost to the local and national economy.
The waterfront at Skeppsbron was used to create a temporary event area for the two week stopover allowing a large number of visitors to join in on the fun of the many entertainment acts and get a closer look at the high tech racing machines.
The Skeppsbron Race Village was designed to attract visitors from all over the country. Over 700,000 spectators visted the village during the stopover period with a record number of 160,000 attending on single day.
The race village was not only a public venue, it was an important opportunity for the teams and race sponsors to be visible and have room to work throughout the entire event. The real success of this stopover was in achieving a balance between the exclusivity of the sponsors and the accessibility for the public.
Hosting an event of this calibre was a fantastic marketing tool for the city. Stockholm received extensive international media coverage during the entire race and throughout the stopover, 163 media were welcomed from more than 20 countries.