Of all yacht racing sponsorships, sailing clothing and apparel is one that perhaps has the most direct return on investment. But the sailing clothing market is getting crowded and high-street brands that have nothing to do with sailing are also using nautical themes to sell to a wider audience that specialist brands are trying to attract.
The Global Ocean Race has announced that Helly Hansen will become the official clothing sponsor of the race for 2011-12.
Helly Hansen also sponsor Sweden’s, Magnus Olsson, the Ericsson Racing Team during the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race and French solo sailor, Thomas Coville, during his solo round the world record attempt on the 32 metre maxi-trimaran, Sodebo.
As with most clothing sponsorship deals – sailors will receive discounts and race personnel will receive clothing.
Emma Russell, UK Marketing Manager at Helly Hansen said:
‘We are extremely proud to be supporting the GOR,’ commented Russell. ‘Helly Hansen is renowned for protecting professionals who live and work in some of the most extreme environments known to man,’ she continues. ‘As a technical brand, we continue to learn from the feedback from these professionals, providing assurance to the consumer that our kit has been put through its paces by those that need it the most.’
Josh Hall, Race Director of the GOR added:
‘We are delighted to welcome Helly Hansen aboard for the GOR,’ says Hall. ‘Staying warm and dry in highly practical, technical clothing is an essential ingredient for success with an offshore racing campaign, and with Helly Hansen we could not wish for a better or more enthusiastic partner for our skippers in this important area.’
The sailing clothing and apparel market varies around the world, and a global race with several stops, allows a clothing brand to promote their products to new markets. Brands like Sail Racing, who sponsor the World Match Racing Tour and MarinePool who back the Extreme Sailing Series are using the global nature of events to reach new customers.
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