In 2009, Audi replaced Skandia as title sponsor of Victoria Week, once known as Geelong Week. The deal meant that the Australian regatta retained momentum and support through a period when Cowes Week, who also lost Skandia as a title sponsor struggled to find a new backer.
The two year deal has now ended and Audi Australia will not renew the title deal, although the car manufacturer, who are big supporters of sailing in Australia and around the world have confirmed that they will have some sponsorship presence at Victoria Week and remain committed to the sport of Sailing in Australia through Audi Sailing Sport.
Uwe Hagen, Managing Director of Audi Australia said:
“We have enjoyed a successful relationship with Victoria over the past two years, but now we feel we need to concentrate our efforts in other areas of the sport of sailing. I would like to thank the organisers of Audi Victoria Week and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club for their commitment and dedication. I would also like to thank all the competitors who sailed in Audi Victoria Week for providing such wonderful on-the-water action.”
Event Chairman Andrew Neilson said:
“Royal Geelong Yacht Club is thankful for Audi’s considerable investment and support of Victoria Week and we look forward to continuing a long and mutually beneficial relationship”.
The news means that Victoria Week is now looking for a new title sponsor. The spin from the commercial team echoes statements made by Cowes Week over the last few years, which translated mean that packages will be re-bundled to try to make up any shortfalls. In PR speak that goes like this:
“…with the successful finalisation of Audi’s Title Sponsorship contract, the management team is utilising the opportunity to review and restructure its sponsorship offering to ensure that the event continues to deliver positive results to sponsors across the distinct facets of the event.”
The pitch to prospective title sponsors goes like this – Victoria Week is the largest annual sailing regatta in the Southern Hemisphere, and Australia’s oldest, dating back prior to 1844. Held annually over the Australia Day public holiday, Victoria Week attracts over 400 yachts, 4700 event participants and in excess of 100,000 patrons to the Shoreside Festival to enjoy the free activities and entertainment on Geelong’s beautiful waterfront.