Today GBR Challenge announced that Iain PERCY, currently sponsored by Skandia in his Olympic Star Class Campaign with Steve MITCHELL, is to join Britain's 32nd America's Cup bid as a core member of the sailing team.
Percy is one of Britain's sailing success stories winning a Gold Medal in the Finn Class in the Sydney Olympics and is currently campaigning for Athens 2004 in the Star Class. Percy will be involved in the early strategic planning stages and will support the sponsorship search programme for GBR Challenge during 2003 and 2004. After the Athens Olympics, he will join the sailing team full-time.
Iain PERCY commented, "It has always been one of my ambitions to sail for Great Britain in the America's Cup and I firmly believe that we have the talent to win this event and bring the Cup back to Britain. GBR Challenge now has the experience and foundations on which we can build and I am really excited about this new step in my career. It is important for me to get involved in the campaign planning at this stage when so many key decisions are made. Obviously my key focus for now is the Olympics in 2004."
Since completing the last America's Cup event in Auckland, New Zealand, the GBR Challenge team has been planning for the next edition of the event. Peter HARRISON, Founder and Chairman, commented, "Work has been carrying on to ensure that the correct foundations are in place so the team moves forward into the four year build-up programme for the 32nd America's Cup event, to be held for the first time in Europe in 2007. A key part of that process is recruiting the best people in each area. In Iain PERCY we have secured a fantastically talented sailor who is also capable of adding value to a number of strategic areas."
Derek CLARK, Head of Operations and Design, and currently responsible for running the day to day operations of GBR Challenge stated, "I'm delighted that Iain is joining the team. Since Auckland, a great deal of consolidation and progress has been made since we started this second campaign programme on 7th April 2003. The culture and team working atmosphere is focused and determined, an environment that Iain will fit perfectly into. We are making key decisions now that directly affect our performance and ability to deliver value to all involved."
"A key part of our Skandia Set Sail programme is to help people achieve their goals what ever they may be. We are therefore delighted that our sponsorship has helped Iain towards his goal of representing Britain in the America's Cup. I'm sure that he'll be a great asset to GBR Challenge",
commented André OSZMANN, Skandia Group Marketing Director.
Another vital area of focus for GBR Challenge is that of attracting Partner Sponsors to get involved in the team and partake in the newly developed GBR Challenge Partnership package. Leslie RYAN, Head of Sponsorship and Marketing, has been working with Apace Sports, a sponsorship consultancy with an impressive sponsorship sales track record in the world of Formula 1, over the last three months to pull together the right package of partner benefits. News of this programme will be released shortly.
Peter HARRISON summarised today, "The America's Cup event and this GBR Challenge team are changing and evolving. We learnt and achieved so much in the short period of time we had to prepare for the last event and now we are in a position to make sure we get it right. We are committed to attracting the best talent to the team and new additions such as Iain PERCY will provide an invaluable contribution. The team has already become a more focused and professional sports team run with a clear organisational structure and strategy in place. Today's positive news marks the first of many such announcements that we hope to make as we progress forward."