Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The America's Cup - marketing genius!?

Over the past 12 months, where ever I have gone in the world and everyone I have spoken to has had an opinion or commented on the current 'state' of the America's Cup. Many wonder whether the America's Cup will ever truly recover from the past two years of litigations and disputes. One of the greatest concerns for pro-sailors, teams and commercial partners is the long-term affect that the current situation of the America's Cup will have on sponsorship. But, what amazes me is the number of people that are aware of the ongoing crisis and aware that the 'Americans' and 'Swiss' are going to be sailing against each other in the world’s most technologically advanced racing yachts. In fact, people that may previously have had little idea of the America's Cup are now intrigued. So, apart from the fact that more than 2500 sailors and support staff (me included) have been out-of-work for the past two years, the current state of the America's Cup may just have increase the marketability of the event...
Sponsorship is all about exposure and increasing revenue; if the Deed of Gift race between BMW Oracle Racing (USA) and Alinghi (Swiss) on February 8th in Valencia is half the spectacle we are all expecting, then Russell Coutts (skipper BOR) and Brad Butterworth (skipper Alinghi) may actually succeed in elevating the global exposure of the sport way beyond what may have otherwise occurred. Call it what you will, but in my opinion, history may just look back at this event and call it “marketing genius”!

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