Sailing does a pretty bad job of appealing to a female audience. You’d think that sailing would be more attractive to women than a sport like NASCAR, but the America’s Cup Facebook page has an estimated breakdown of the gender demographics being about 74/26 in favour of men while NASCAR has a ratio of 54/46.
The audience for a sport obviously impacts upon the sponsorships that are available. Brands that are looking to develop relationships with women may have better options than sailing, though there are big exceptions. There are real opportunities for brands who are willing to back the female stars of the sport.
Team Tunnicliffe, a trio of Olympic sailors: Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi have announced a sailing sponsorship deal with Maclaren. Maclaren is a global lifestyle brand leader for parenting products. For nearly 50 years Maclaren has stood for excellence, empowerment and innovation, and is best known for the creation of the first umbrella buggy which revolutionized baby transport.
It is the first time the brand has sponsored the sport. The Team will now be re-named Team Maclaren.
Sailing of course has all the elements to promote a brand like Maclaren, but it is not a obvious choice for the mostly male sponsorship hunters who are looking to earn big commissions from financial services companies. Like many companies that sponsor sailing, the fit between a commitment to excellence and a platform to promote lifestyle, attributes, and heritage comes together in one place.
The sponsorship is the beginning of a larger initiative for Maclaren to align with the sport of sailing globally.
Team Maclaren is one of several major international programs within sailing the company has planned this year. As influential young athletes, Tunnicliffe and her team are perfect to represent the Maclaren lifestyle. They will serve as a visible reminder of exceptional women who believe it is possible to accomplish great things and also maintain a balance and quality in their active lives.
Tunnicliffe, who hopes to lead her team to a gold medal in 2012, says
‘We are very excited to partner with such a great company. Maclaren embodies the same values of performance, quality, empowerment and safety that we sail by every day. We’re just thrilled to be welcomed into the Maclaren family.’
The three members of Team Maclaren are currently balancing a busy schedule training for the Olympic Games and competing in premier regattas around the world.