Sponsors Focus on Consumers At Cowes Week
Oman Sail continues to combine professional sailing with savvy marketing. This is long-term, grown-up strategy meets great execution of tactics. While Leigh McMillan was winning the Cowes Round of the Extreme Sailing Series on Muscat the Wave, the sponsors were making the most of the crowds around the corner in the main Cowes Week entertainment areas.
Cowes Week might have a reputation for being stuffy or old fashioned. Some might say that it is the epitomy of the ‘Flintstone generation’ approach to sailing. That might be true for the classes and teams sailing out of the Royal Yacht Squadron, but demographics in the Yacht Haven and the beer tent is the kind of audience that brands like Aberdeen Asset Management, Oman Air, and Talisker Whiskey want to talk to. Chances are – if you can afford a pair of Dubarry boots and the ability to take a week off to sailing, you are the kind of adventurous traveller who might want to experience travelling to somewhere like Oman.
The advantage that Cowes Week has over some other sailing events, is that the audience is a known quantity. They are not a mythical social media community or some trendy marketing segmentation – they can be well defined by their age, gender, geography and social standing. It might not be millions of (unqualified) TV eyeballs, but that’s the point – some brands don’t want to be mass market.
While the new title sponsor of Cowes Week, Aberdeen Asset Management played to their B2B VIP Guests through closed door hospitality and some flags, Oman Sail and Muscat the Wave, who have a more ‘consumer’ focus, were activating in tried and tested pavement level ways – competitions for data collection mixed with banners and other visual awareness methods which combined with good results on the water.
Oman Sail Renew Offshore Program with MOD70
The MOD70 is gaining momentum. With politics and increasing costs plauging the IMOCA 60 class, the one-design multihull is being looked at seriously by many offshore teams. Now Oman Sail has announced that the MOD70 will be part of the team’s offshore campaign.
Sidney Gavignet, who has skippered the Oman Air Extreme 40 this year will head up the MOD70 program. Sidney joined Oman Sail team in 2010 to skipper the 100 foot trimaran Oman Air Majan in the Route du Rhum. Gavignet, skipper and project manager of Oman Sail MOD70 said:
“For me the MOD70 is the most attractive boat on the water currently. The boats are quick and although I always enjoy racing around the planet, it’s better when it’s quick! Also it’s absolutely one design, similar to the Extreme 40, so racing will be extremely close amongst the six boats from New York to Brest.”
Sidney will step off of the Oman Air’s Extreme 40 after Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cowes to manage the MOD70 project and the all important crew selection process. The team will be made up of four top international crew and two top Omani national sailors for the offshore legs with an additional international and Omani sailor joining the crew for the inshore legs. A rigorous selection process will start in October.
One of the main deciders for Oman Sail’s participation in the MOD70 circuit was the destinations the boats will visit in the World and European tours, the majority of which are key markets for Oman with direct flight routes to Muscat with the countries national airline, Oman Air. The programme will continue to promote Oman as a unique luxury tourist destination around the globe.
David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail said:
“The MOD70 will take the Oman Sail project to another level. It is a very powerful boat whose crew will need to have the skill base to perform against some of the world’s best sailors. It will be crucial to recruit the right people to the project and I know we have a number of great sailors in Oman that will earn their place onboard and make Oman proud. It is a truly inspirational project that will provide a platform for our current top sailors compete and develop their sailing skills and inspire a whole new generation of Omani’s into sailing.”