US SAILING, national governing body of the sport, has named Zodiac of North America (ZNA), the world's largest manufacturer of rigid inflatable boats, inflatable boats, life rafts and marine safety equipment, as an official sponsor.
Announced yesterday, 23 October, the partnership gives Zodiac of North America official sponsor rights as the "Official Rigid Inflatable Supplier of US SAILING," a Presenting Sponsor of the organization's Safety At Sea program and the "Official Rigid Inflatable Supplier of the US Sailing Team."
"The new partnership between US SAILING and Zodiac of North America is a perfect fit,"
said Nick Craw, US SAILING's Executive Director. "It aligns Zodiac's world-class experience and products with US SAILING's extensive programs; the end result will be enhanced benefits for our members, additional resources to promote safe boating, and top notch tools for our Teams as they compete across the globe."
Commenting on the partnership agreement, Zodiac of North America President and Chief Executive Officer JJ. Marie said: "We are absolutely delighted with this partnership between Zodiac of North America and US SAILING. Zodiac boats have been an integral part of the sailing scene for so many years, and now, working together with US SAILING, we take this involvement to a whole new level. In the process we are supporting an outstanding organization and promoting safety among its members. It's a natural fit on so many levels."
Under the terms of the agreement, US SAILING will work with the Recreational Division of ZNA to:
- Develop a special US SAILING Support Boat designed specifically for use by US SAILING's extensive base of member yacht clubs and sailing associations. Three or four configurations of a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) will be developed and offered at a special price to US SAILING members.
- Develop a life raft program for US SAILING's large and diverse membership. This program will include various communications to members about the importance of, and appropriate uses for various types of life rafts. ZNA will provide members with a special coupon offering a $50 discount off the purchase of a new Zodiac or AVON brand life raft, as well as an incentive to encourage proper service and inspection of life rafts.
- Provide support boats for the US Sailing Teams for use in training and competition, including the 2004 Olympic Games. These boats will be similar to those developed for use by US SAILING member yacht clubs and sailing associations.
- Implement ZNA sponsorship of US SAILING's annual National Sailing Programs Symposium (the premiere event for sailing education programs in the U.S.), ZNA sponsorship of the "Safety At Sea" seminar program, and ZNA sponsorship of the "Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal" program.