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12 April 2004, 08:01 pm
EBay Auction Ends With No Bids
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America's Cup

The first eBay sailing sponsorship auction has ended with no sell. Last Friday at 2 am PST bidding ended for the Exclusive Sponsorship of The Sausalito Challenge for the 2007 America's Cup.
"It was a great success." said John Sweeney, the head of San Francisco challenge and co-founder of Challenge Series and Sailing Billboards."As we did not sell our sponsorship package on line, we have definitely gained very valuable exposure."Sweeney continued.

"What this has allowed us to do, even if there were no bidders, was to expose our selves to very board public and present our sponsorship package in a different way."

"This auction has also demonstrated our (different) approach to the sponsorship issue. While we employed eBay's auction in sponsorship search, we have showed that what we are creating is truly a very different team, team that can think out of the box. In this game this is very important".

"As our challenge has been established about 2 months ago and there is a number of teams getting ready for the 2007 AC. The mount of exposure that we have gained just by implementing the idea of eBay auction gives as a felling of being just a little ahead of our competition. "

J. Sweeney also said that they may try the eBay auction again, but he feels the companies are a little reserved to bid on line and they are more likely to close the deal in private. "We have been contacted by a number of companies in private, and we expect getting our sponsorship that way rather than through public auction. We are waiting for offers and we will see what will happen (this) next week"

As Sausalito Challenge America's Cup challenge sponsorship did not sell for 45 million, this gives a lot of information about current market of sailing sponsorship. If we recall AC challenges with budgets of 80 to hundred of millions in 2002, this offer was on very low end yet no one had jumped-in for this what would seen to be a sponsorship bargain.

Asked about the readiness of the two months old team, J. Sweeney said that the team seems to have everything in place and ready to roll. As Sausalito Challenge has already assembled a team of experienced AC sailors, talented people on the shore side, plus the fleet of four AC boats owned by Challenge Series. It seems that the only missing factor for this challenge, is major title sponsor.

The team has already narrowed down their search for the boat designer to one person and they are also are negotiating with potential skipper, but details of that still remain a secret.

For the time being Californian AC challenge team will sail and train using the fleet of AC boats of Challenge Series and is basing their company at the Challenge Series Sailing Centre located on Treasure Island on San Francisco Bay.

Team Kan Do challenge for Volvo Ocean Race sponsorship auction ended last Saturday recording no biders. Team Adventure bid with Buy-Now price tag of 9 million is due to expire on Monday. (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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