Page 3: Why the catamaran?
Royal & SunAlliance is a new brand with a new logo and any sponsorship needed to support the development of both name and brand awareness. It also needed to be relevant to all staff and customers in the 100 or so countries in which the Group operates worldwide. In order to achieve this the sponsorship chosen needed to combine the following:
- It would need to attract media attention outside the confines of the UK.
- It should have truly international appeal, capturing the imagination and interest of people across the world. The challenges would therefore have to be unique and not be steeped in nationalism. In this way people around the world could relate to it, following progress in the media or directly from the Internet. The international crew aboard the Royal & SunAlliance would ensure international attention.
- It should be exciting.
- It should emphasise the qualities that relate to the Group in the ever increasingly competitive world.
- It should be challenging, have an element of risk and portray the personal qualities (i.e. task focus, commitment and teamwork) which the company will need to possess in order to be successful.
Yachting is a sport which is popular through the world without being strongly identified with any one country. It can be enjoyed by all age groups and is of interest to both men and women. It is also possible to become involved with the sport on many different levels and with varying degrees of commitment and does not require that you own your own boat! It was therefore the right vehicle for Royal & SunAlliance’s sponsorship message.
Sponsorship achieves its message by association and this sponsorship emphasises the pursuit of excellence. This is what Royal & SunAlliance aims to achieve by being the best insurance company in the world. There are many qualities within this sponsorship which combine to make its appeal truly international.
(i) Tracy Edwards MBE. Tracy’s return to the ocean racing scene after a seven year absence generated considerable media interest in its own right.
(ii) An all-woman crew with representatives from the UK, France, Spain, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Ranging from 22 to 42 years old, there is a good mix of seasoned campaigners together with the yachting stars of tomorrow.
(iii) Three exciting challenges in a single sponsorship. Transatlantic Challenge (sailing from the Ambrose Lighthouse, New York to Lizard Point, Cornwall). This challenge ended at 21.47 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on Tuesday 1 July 1997. The time of 9 days, 11 hours and 22 minutes sets a new world record for an all-woman crew crossing the North Atlantic. Round Britain & Ireland Challenge. The record currently stands at 5 days, 21 hours, 5 minutes. Round the World Challenge. Sailing non-stop around the world from west to east. This record was set by Olivier de Kersauson when the trimaran Sport-Elec crossed the finishing line on Monday 19 May 1997, breaking a record that had stood since 1994. The start/finish line is drawn between fixed points in Cornwall and Brittany. The new record stands at 71 days, 14 hours and 22 minutes and represents the toughest yachting challenge in the world. Royal & SunAlliance’s bid to break this record will start in December 1997.
(iv) A unique craft, Royal & SunAlliance is 92 ft long, 42 ft wide and has a mast that extends 102 ft above the structure. It is widely recognised as the fastest boat of its kind in the world. Bigger than a tennis court, the catamaran, in its new blue, green and white livery with eye catching yellow sails, never fails to attract attention wherever she is.
(v) In addition to the challenges, the catamaran has been available for corporate hospitality sailings in New York and from its base in the Hamble (near Southampton). Spending £4.27 million on this sponsorship carries with it a responsibility to all the stakeholders of the company. The sponsorship must justify the expenditure and stringent measurement of the sponsorship's impact in terms of name awareness and the value of the media coverage gained on an international basis has been sanctioned.