Both boats will be designed by Argentinian Juan KOUYOUMDJIAN. Killian BUSHE, the Irishman living in Sweden who constructed illbruck - winner of the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race - will build both boats.
It will be a three year project, with a budget of approximately EUR 20 million. ABN AMRO is selecting the best team possible and will work closely with the Dutchman Roy HEINER, who sailed in this event in 1997-98 and 2001-02. Relying on Heiner's knowledge and expertise of the sailing world, a project plan has been written and the preparations have started. At this moment, ABN AMRO is selecting a skipper.
The ABN AMRO strategy to success is to build and race two boats. Experience gained from the first boat will be used in designing and building the second boat, giving it an optimal start. Ultimately both boats will take part in the race.
ABN AMRO considers its participation in this top sporting event an ideal opportunity to further strengthen its international brand awareness. Besides this, qualities essential in this race, such as professionalism, flexibility, teamwork and innovation match the bank's corporate culture.
Following last year's rebranding campaign of its major subsidiaries - Banco Real, LaSalle Bank, Standard Federal Bank, Delbrück Bethmann Maffei, Alfred Berg, Hoare Govett, Banque de Neuflize en Banque OBC - ABN AMRO wants to further reinforce its brand worldwide.
"The Volvo Ocean Race, which visits almost all of the continents, emerged as an ideal candidate, especially considering the range of commercial opportunities offered by participating,"
said Tom De SWAAN, Member of the Managing Board of ABN AMRO and responsible for this project.
Speaking in Holland, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Glenn BOURKE, said, "Today's announcement of two fully funded raceboats from ABN AMRO, in addition to Pedro Campos with his Telefonica team from Galicia, confirms that the Volvo Ocean Race is in good shape. We are 300 per cent up in terms of entries, compared with this period in the previous race. With 20 months still to go before the start of the event, we believe the signs are all positive from the corporate community."
About ABN AMRO
Netherlands-based ABN AMRO is a leading international bank with total assets of EUR 560.4 bn (as of 31 December 2003). It has over 3,000 branches in more than 60 countries and territories, and has a staff of over 110,000 full-time equivalents worldwide. ABN AMRO is listed on the Euronext, London and New York stock exchanges.
The Volvo Ocean Race
· Seven teams from Holland have competed in this event in the past, with the famous Conny VAN RIETSCHOTEN winning it twice on Flyer.
· 60 people from Holland have sailed in the event since its inception in 1973.
· The Volvo Ocean Race will start with an in port race in Sanxenxo, Galicia, on November 5, 2005.
· The start of leg one, the first offshore leg, will be from Vigo, Galicia, on November 12, 2005.
· The Volvo Ocean race is a round the world yacht race featuring nine offshore racing legs. Included in the 2005-2006 event will be an inshore race at each of the main stopover ports including the start port in Galicia.
· Four teams from the last race measured the media value of their exposure. The results showed an average of US$50 million, which equates to a 200-300% return on their sponsorship investment.
· Volvo Ocean Race achieved a cumulative audience of over 800 million viewers ranking it among the top international sporting events.
· Research on awareness of the competing teams was also conducted which again showed an increase by up to 30% for some sponsors.