There was a Tweet recently from someone in a London agency that claimed B2B sponsorship was not given it’s fair share of coverage in the media. It depends which sport you are looking at, but sailing sponsorship is predominantly businesses talking to other businesses, even though some promoters are trying to lure more consumer brands to the sport.
The interesting thing about using yacht racing to promote a product or service is that you don’t have to sponsor an athlete, team or event. There are related properties that can provide benefits around sailing events and the tourism that those events drive.
Musto (Australia) has announced a deal to become the official clothing supplier of tourism promotions company Explore NZ. The deal will see the marine apparel company outfit more than 150 Explore NZ management and staff across its Auckland, Bay of Islands and Sydney offices.
The agreement also sees Musto attain the rights to produce an exclusive merchandise collection to be sold both onsite and via the offices of the Auckland-based company’s subsidiaries: Sailing Sydney, Dolphin Discoveries, Sail NZ, Dune Rider, Whale & Dolphin, Otehei Bay and Pride of Auckland.
In a hyperbolic release, the partners describe the timing of the deal as “something of a masterstroke” with Explore NZ – which takes guests sailing aboard America’s Cup yachts – expecting to see a significant increase in international tourists in New Zealand for the staging of the Volvo Ocean Race and the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Musto also sponsor the Camper Volvo Ocean Race campaign run by Emirates Team New Zealand, and are also the official clothing supplier to the 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship.
Explore NZ managing director William Goodfellow said:
‘Not only will our crew and staff look smart in the Musto range, they will be well protected throughout the year. We are sure the exclusive merchandise collection will be sought after particularly this year with the Volvo Ocean Race and the Rugby World Cup.’
Sailing clothing is one of the most competitive sectors of the yacht racing industry, with a wider appeal than just professional sailors. Brands like Musto, Henri Lloyd, Gill, Slam, Marinepool and Sail Racing, all use sponsorship as a way of positioning their gear to both pros, amateurs, groupies and people who appreciate form and function.