SEIKO Watch Corporation has confirmed that it will continue as the Official Partner of the International 49er Olympic Class until June 2009.
SEIKO's support of the 49er Class in 2007 was the first global sponsorship deal with an Olympic sailing class. SEIKO used the partnership to launch its brand new marine range, "Velatura" to the worldwide sailing community. In addition SEIKO used the opportunity to run successful internal hospitality at key 49er Class Championships in Portugal and Italy.
SEIKO's financial and equipment support has stimulated global growth for the 49er Class through a series of training and master class initiatives. In addition the provision of equipment to the Class has been a significant attraction for sailors. For sailors the interaction with SEIKO at events has been positive with several teams now being sponsored by SEIKO at a national level.
The success of the partnership has shown the significant appeal that the sport of sailing can deliver when packaged correctly for sponsors.
Commenting on the announcement, Rob WILSON, Director of European Marketing said: "SEIKO has enjoyed a very successful partnership with the 49er Association over the past 10 months and we are delighted to renew our agreement for a further 18 months. The competitive 49er racing in 2007 provided us with a perfect backdrop to the launch of our new sailing watch collection and we are delighted with the enthusiastic reception it has received from the sailing community and the wider public.
"In 2008 and 2009, we will support the Association with further finance and with material in the hope that this exciting sailing class will continue to grow in global popularity. "
Marcus SPILLANE, CEO of the International 49er Class said: "Through our partnership with SEIKO, we have been able to deliver on our growth plans for the Class worldwide. We have taken the knowledge gained from dealing with SEIKO to better understand the requirements of a global brand and what sailing as a sport can offer such a brand. Their generous equipment support has allowed the Class attract more sailors and we are delighted now to be able to continue our relationship and further build on our initial success."