This is the first major sponsor contract signed by the newly established Australian Sailing Team.
In appointing Gill after a detailed two month evaluation process, which included aspects such as technical compliance, functionality, range, quality of product, style and logistics support, Olympic Sailing Program Director Michael JONES said, 'We are very happy with our decision to appoint Gill to this very important function. Not only is it a key contract for us in terms of our team's corporate image and look, but it will hopefully have a significant positive impact on our athletes performance.'
JONES went on to explain the selection of Gill, 'We were very impressed by the scope and professionalism of their response. The Gill range suits our requirements perfectly and their commitment to service our needs was second to none. Whilst it was a very close contest between Gill and two other companies, we knew Gill had an excellent product range with high technical value and the performance package they offered us was a outstanding. In the end, Gill was clearly the right choice for us.'
As part of the three phase contract, Gill will be developing a specific style and look of clothing for the AST. In the lead up to Beijing, they will partner closely with the AST in developing a range of technically advanced clothing which is aimed at providing the team a competitive advantage.
Gill is also aiming to use the AST relationship as a key marketing tool in the Australasian marketplace for years to come. Gill Australia Director Greg WOODS said, 'We are extremely pleased with this appointment and we are looking forward to working closely with the AST. We are very confidence this association will not only highlight the quality, technical excellence and range of our products but also show the market place the high level of service and support we can deliver.'
Following their appointment Nick GILL, Chairman of Gill International reinforced the company's commitment to the AST by saying, 'This is a very important, long term association for us. We are very committed to this relationship and its success. We will be establishing a dedicated team to support the AST and we are sure our clothing and equipment will enhance their already impressive performances this year.'
Phil JONES, Chief Executive Officer of Yachting Australia said of the contract, 'This is an important milestone for the team. It is the first commercial contract for the AST which has been set up as separate body within Yachting Australia. It will give us a harder commercial edge as well as the agility to focus on winning gold medals in 2008. We are making good progress as is evident by this contract and the expectation of signing a further two major sponsor in the coming weeks.'
The Australian Sailing Team was officially launched in March 2006 and contains some of the best sailors in the world. It has been the standout national team this season with impressive performances in the ISAF Grade 1 Semaine Olympique Française in France, ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta and last week in the ISAF Grade 1 Kiel Week in Germany, where the team was again the top nation with three gold, one silver and one bronze medal from the seven classes contested. The team also won the prestigious King's Trophy, as the leading nation at the recent ISAF World Sailing Games in Neusiedl, Austria, winning three gold, one silver and a bronze medal.
The Australian Sailing Team is the peak official Australian national representative team of sailing and is comprised of the top Olympic class sailors in Australia. Selected annually, athletes qualify for inclusion in the team by finishing in the top ten at an Olympic Class World Championship or being identified as having the potential to do so within two years. The team is an Australian Institute of Sport programme and is managed within Yachting Australia. The team's goal is develop the talent and to win Olympic gold medals for Australia in Beijing 2008 and beyond.