Sailing is getting better at adopting the best marketing techniques – from innovating TV visuals to online multi-player games and even using social media platforms to entertain, educate and engage. But it’s the little things that make a difference between building a consistent brand with a solid message for a well defined audience and missing the mark.
In the middle of ‘Awards Season’ we are reminded that there is an Oscar for best original score and best song. Getting the choice of music right – to define an event, a team or a campaign – can make a massive difference to whether or not that promotion is remembered. The soundtrack may even allow something to go from being great to being iconic.
Whether it be the CSI franchise using a different Who song for each spin-off, Tarantino using Son of a Preacher Man, the BBC F1 coverage using Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain or Australia II adopting Men at Work’s Down Under - the addition of a well chosen piece of music appeals to another emotional trigger in the audience.
The sport of sailing is fairly unimaginative when it comes to the use of music. Whether it is because rights holders don’t want to pay for music rights and instead use unidentifiable corporate video instrumentals or whether it’s the increased speed of content production for an insatiable social media consumer makes the consideration of a soundtrack slip off the priority list – sailing has no theme music.
When ACEA relaunched the America’s Cup with a promo video, we weren’t big fans of the visuals or the script, but at least someone had thought about the music. Using How You Like Me Now from The Heavy’s 2009 album ’The House that Dirt Built’ added an extra emotional hook into the presentation, but the opening theme for all videos since is back to psuedo-classical drudge.
This week, the America’s Cup and Live Nation announced the America’s Cup Concert Series with a concert by Sting.
While Sting might be the perfect artist for the real, traditional America’s Cup audience, he’s not the kind of act you would think of first if you were trying to pair music with the ‘new, young, speed-obsessed, high-tech, extreme’ brand values of the 34th edition of the event. Oracle’s OpenWorld Music Festival had a cooler line-up!
If the America’s Cup (or any other global sailing event) wants to be considered alongside events like the Soccer World Cup or the Olympics, then perhaps it should act like them.
In 2010, FIFA named Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira, featuring South African band Freshlyground as the official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The song was also included on Listen Up! The Official 2010 FIFA World Cup Album which was released on May 31, 2010.
In 2012, British rock band Muse provided a soundtrack for London 2012 through their single Survival which became the official song for the games.
Creating a song that was of the time and written specifically for a sailing event or team may even make people think of someone other than Rod Stewart or REO Speedwagon when they think of ‘sailing’ songs. For that reason alone it should be done.