It is essential, so as to understand where ISAF is involved in the World of commercialism, to first remember what ISAF is.
It is essential, so as to understand where ISAF is involved in the World of commercialism, to first remember what ISAF is. ISAF is the World Governing Body for Sailing supplying services so as sailors can go to sea to race fairly and to promote Sailing. ISAF is a service organization and is not primarily an Event Organizer.
It is also good to recognize what the other sports do who get actively involved in owning and controlling major events. These sports, as does the IOC, have exclusive sponsorship categories with sponsors, and as a result remove from the Event Organizers the ability to acquire what may be the most relevant sponsors for their events.
Let me give you an example of which I have first hand knowledge. Toronto is surrounded and it's economy sustained by automobile factories of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota plus others. In our failed Olympic Bid, General Motors offered 60 Cedillas free anytime we wanted them. Ford gave us vans. Toronto ran the IAAF World Indoor Track Championships and the Federation had an exclusive deal with a car manufacturer which is non-existent in Canada. It cost the event organizers over $300,000 US for car rentals. Germany must use their manufacturers and Italy, Japan and France theirs.
ISAF does not have exclusive categories!!! ISAF leaves the sponsorship arrangements up to the Event Organizers. ISAF is financially solvent due mainly to the support of Member National Authorities and the Olympic revenues. ISAF does charge the high-profile events a fee for the services provided plus a contribution for the development of these services and ISAF feels they should pay these fees to contribute to the development of Sailing.
There again has arisen the question of ISAF's protection of the Media Rights which I thought was put to bed a few years ago, but once someone has made up their minds it is hard to get it displaced no matter how wrong the thought was. Due to lawsuits, especially in the European Union against FIFA and Formula 1, ISAF was advised by the lawyers to ensure a protection for events, so as to ensure they had their Media Rights. ISAF was advised that it was the responsibility of the World Governing Body to own the rights and assign them to the relevant event. The reasoning was that when challenged in the courts, the major question asked would be: "Who gave the event the TV rights?" If the event could respond, "The World Governing Body - ISAF", the case for the event would be stronger and so ISAF responded to superior legal knowledge. The Media Rights are automatically transferred by ISAF (see ISAF Regulation 18.13 - http://www.sailing.org/regulations
ISAF has over the years limited its sponsorship opportunities to specific properties it has developed and has been very encouraged by the relationship with the quality involvement of Volvo for the Youth and with Rolex for "World Sailor of the Year Award". ISAF also respects and does not want to limit the opportunities of the sailor to get individual sponsorship or for the Member National Authority to get national sponsorship
ISAF is encouraged by the positive entry of major sponsors into Sailing. ISAF can and will continue to supply the fair play and integrity for sailing that must be provided if sponsors are going to continue to be attracted. However, ISAF will address a much needed governance over the scheduling and overlap of events.
Paul Henderson, ISAF President
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