The Volvo Ocean Race creates business for Volvo Car Corporation
The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the most demanding team sporting events in the world. It generates enormous media coverage and offers a unique chance for race partners and sponsors to meet customers without the presence of competitors.
From a business point of view it is a goldmine of opportunities.
The ties between the Volvo Ocean Race and the Volvo Car Corporation run deep. When the fourth race under the Volvo flag starts in Alicante in October 2011, the competing teams will embark on an eight-month-long adventure travelling around the world in some of the world's most treacherous seas. The race is the ultimate mix of world-class sporting competition and on-the-edge adventure, a unique blend of onshore glamour spiced with offshore drama and endurance. The extraordinary team spirit required, the demands on empowering leadership and the strong focus on safety and environment that characterise the race all add up to a perfect match for the requirements that Volvo Car Corporation sets for engaging in a sport.
"With the Volvo Ocean Race we have a fantastic opportunity to reinforce the brand and highlight specific characteristics such as design, dynamic performance and innovative technology. It enables our effort to move the brand towards more emotive values," says Karin Bäcklund, Director Global Sponsorship at Volvo Car Corporation.
Strong business focus
The business focus will be strong at the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race with a pavilion, shared by all the Volvo companies, where corporate guests as well as the general public can get to know the brand and its products. Volvo specifically invited 10,000 corporate guests for a unique two-day programme during the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race.
At the various stopovers, business and brand seminars will be offered as well as demonstrations and test drives. There is also a strong focus on developing the stopovers, making them into a more active and entertaining scene for visitors.
"Our target group consists not only of people with a specific interest in sailing - the Volvo Ocean Race is a great adventure containing lots of human drama and it therefore attracts a wider audience," says Karin Bäcklund.
Core value reinforcement
Safety has been a core value for Volvo Cars since its very first car was manufactured in 1927, and safety is also at the top of the agenda for the Volvo Ocean Race. For example, the boats are equipped with GPS systems so the vessels can always be immediately located should something untoward happen. All competitors must complete a safety training course before entering the race. Furthermore, there are collaborative agreements with the various national coastguards and maritime authorities along the entire route.
When it comes to environmental care sailing is the obvious choice since it does not use any power source other than the wind.
Media coverage and long-term relations
Media coverage of the Volvo Ocean Race is enormous. If we examine only the value of TV broadcasts, printed press and online media the return on investment is estimated at between 300 and 400 percent.
"The Volvo Ocean Race also gives us a fantastic opportunity to build long-term relations with customers all over the world, especially in countries with stopovers. During the last race, almost 4 million people visited race villages around the world. We are expecting even more this time," Karin Bäcklund concludes.
Facts and figures, Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012
- Start in Alicante, Spain, in October 2011
- Ends eight months later, early July 2012, in Galway on Ireland
- The race covers 39,000 nautical miles
- Each entry has a sailing team of 10 professional crew plus 1 media crew member
- Some legs will require more than 20 days at a time out at sea
- Each team member takes on different roles on board the boat. In addition to the sailing roles there will be two sailors with medical training, as well as a sailmaker, an engineer and a dedicated media crew member
For more facts and figures visit www.volvooceanrace.com