The Volvo Ocean Race starts on 5th November 2005, but, for Angus BUCHANAN, head of sponsorship, the race is already on with the focus on helping syndicates put sponsorship packages together to make sure they are on the starting line in two years time.
Buchanan's own particular round-the-world challenge effectively ends, paradoxically, on the start line and he will consider he has won his personal marathon with the elite of world sailing lined up ready for the off in southern Europe for the world's toughest, roughest race.
" The principal focus of my job is to support the syndicates in raising the cash to finance their Volvo Ocean Race campaign, in relation to the costs of building the all-new Volvo Open 70 race yacht, hiring the best possible sailing and shore crews and the complex logistics exercise over eight months, five continents, ten ports and 31,000 nautical miles,"
says Buchanan, an ex-professional sailor and lawyer by profession.
" The unique selling points of the Volvo Ocean Race are quite simple,"
he reflects, explaining, "It offers participation in THE ultimate sporting event, a true test of human skill, endeavour and teamwork, an event with global, continental, national and local perspectives, with excellent environmental credentials.
" For a sponsor, the Volvo Ocean Race represents a global branding opportunity with a pan-media value far in excess of that generated by Formula 1, but it also offers integrated communications opportunities across the spectrum of existing clients, investors, employees and prospective customers."
The father of two and a top professional sailor in the early 1990s, started his career as the youngest crew member on ENZA, the late Sir Peter Blake's successful Jules Verne Trophy record-breaking campaign in 1994.
" The sponsorship market has become much, much more sophisticated since those days,"
explains London-based Buchanan, adding, "sports sponsorship, especially a distinctive blue-chip property like the Volvo Ocean Race, is a highly perspicacious business tool, as quantifiable and equally effective as other pillars of the marketing mix such as advertising."
"The Volvo Ocean Race represents a multi-dimensional and integrated marketing and communications opportunity,"
emphasises Angus Buchanan, adding, "the key factor is identifying the business objectives and how the world's most iconic race can communicate those aims though a multi-media programme far in excess of the scope, quality and volumes delivered by F1."
Full story available on the event wensite at the address below.