While parts of sailing argue over how the sport should be funded, those at the commercial end are getting on with business. The World Match Racing Tour are clear about which side of the argument they on, announcing the appointment of a new Sales Director. Many organisations in sailing prefer the more vague title ‘Business Development Director’ – but it’s good to see that the WMRT are clear about what they are doing – selling a product.
The man who has the task of selling the World Match Racing Tour to potential sponsors is Matthew Strachan, and the product that he has to sell is title sponsorship of the series.
WMRT organisers say; Strachan brings over 15 years of business development experience and a background working in the sports marketing industry having represented a number of global sports properties. Prior to establishing his own sports marketing business, he held roles at IMG (UK) where he developed corporate partnerships for a number of prestigious tournaments including The Open Championship and also headed corporate sales for Wembley Stadium. Strachan joins the World Match Racing Tour on the 13 September and will be responsible for identifying and targeting potential Tour title sponsors as well as secondary partners.
Jim O’Toole, CEO of the World Match Racing Tour, said:
“We welcome Matthew to the WMRT team as we focus on developing the series in terms of the number of events, our commercial proposition and multi-media footprint around the world. Matthew has a proven record in strategic and creative business development and will play a key role in helping us to achieve our commercial objectives.”
“I’m excited to be joining the WMRT team at such an exciting time as its new management looks to take the business forward. A relationship with the WMRT offers so much to potential commercial partners; it’s a clean sport with a positive environmental message, is contested on three continents, is watched by millions, and demands the very best from those who compete. Strong focus, strategy, teamwork, attention to detail and consistent performance are all essential elements to success in this sport and I believe are values inherent in successful businesses around the world.”
The World Match Racing Tour has some good selling points. It is the only annual sailing series that visits multiple markets on multiple continents (though the Extreme Sailing Series may soon be able to make that claim too). The tour has a growing footprint in emerging markets like S.E. Asia and features some of the sport’s most marketable stars. On the other hand, the tour does not visit the US, UK or Australasia. Changes to the America’s Cup format may also impact on the tour.