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14 May 2003, 10:45 am
Timberland Support European Race Series
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2004 Timberland Euro-Prix

A brand new world-class sailing event has been given the go-ahead following the announcement that leading outdoor gear manufacturer Timberland are to sponsor the inaugural series of Europe's premier yacht race in 2004: Timberland Euro-prix.
Timberland Euro-prix is the first truly European Grand Prix Racing Series - and will begin in Italy on 8 May 2004. Each team will compete in a standard one design Euro-prix45 yacht, making this a fair and open competition. The race will culminates in Sweden on 21 June and comprises of 7 offshore races from port to port, as well as in-shore races during each 3-day port visit.

In each port, Timberland will organise community support events, in which Timberland staff, local retailers, the port authority and competitors will participate, emphasising the company's commitment to community involvement on a global basis. The race also provides opportunities for at least two members of each team to be recruited from youth sailing organisations, giving valuable experience to the next generation of sailing stars.

Timberland's European Vice President Richard O'ROURKE is excited about the projects potential: "Timberland Euro-prix provides the first truly pan-European opportunity for Timberland to sponsor an event which is genuinely right for our brand principles. It reinforces our marine credentials as a brand, and most importantly, reflects our commitment to fairness, honesty, integrity and teamwork. We were enormously pleased to find that race organisers Fast Track share these ideals and goals, making this a really integrated partnership."

Event organisers Fast Track have been involved in ocean racing events for some time
- Organising and running the Laureus Match Racing Regatta in Monte Carlo. They are also leading the sponsorship sales for The Clipper Race in 2005 and Around Alone '06 plus developing the 'Team Volvo for Life' British Sailing Team.

Chief Executive and founder of Fast Track, former double Olympic yachtsman Edward Leask, believes that Timberland Euro-prix marks an important development in sailing:
"Timberland Euro-prix will be one of sailing's best run and highest profile events and heralds an exciting new era in the sport. Fast Track identified an opportunity within sailing for an event of this nature and we believe the structure of this event will broaden the appeal of the sport".

Timberland will support the sponsorship of the event with a fully integrated pan-European communications programme, including advertising, a retail promotional activity programme and an intensive public relations campaign in each country, which will be run in conjunction with event organisers Fast Track.

The company will also design and launch a capsule Timberland Euro-prix apparel range that will be available in each ocean village as well as selected retail outlets. Additionally, to support a long-standing heritage in the boat shoe market, new innovations are expected in Spring 2004 to coincide with the Timberland Euro-prix across its whole range of marine footwear.

The overall investment in the sponsorship programme is expected to reach €2.5 million; making it a significant step in Timberland's marketing activities for Spring 04.

David Stubley, Managing Partner of Fast Track is delighted to welcome Timberland on board: "Timberland and Euro-prix share many ideological aims and objectives and we
believe that Timberland Euro-prix will highlight the best of these. The event will be impeccably run and will make a tangible difference to the communities that it touches"

Henry Trotter, the man charged with attracting further sponsors to the event on behalf of Fast Track & Timberland, is currently scouring the globe for official suppliers: "A code of ethics is to be drawn up between Timberland and Fast Track to agree which official partners are appropriate for this prestigious event. I am currently investigating possibilities in telecommunication, airlines, hotels, insurance and major blue-chip European companies"
Steve Chisholm (As Amended by ISAF News Editor)
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