Hoist Up Your Sales, Mate!
America 2 Fund Raising Campaign
It's quite possible that your company or your client's
company is missing the boat for the most outstanding sports
marketing opportunity of the year -- the AMERICA'S CUP
According to UPI's 1983 survey of sportswriters, the second
most significant sports story that year was the Australians
winning the America's Cup (270 votes) ending an 132 years
record of successful defenses by the New York Yacht Club.
And since the first was drug abuse (296 votes), which is not
a sporting event but issue, it's undeniable that the
America's Cup was the premier sporting event of the year.
Imagine! An athletic contest, which was considered more the
"curiosity" of the wealthy in May '83, commanded the #1
attention of the masses by September '83. While it may seem
inappropriate to describe the America's Cup's transformation
as a rags to riches story, it isn't. In those five interven-
ing months, the financial stakes and promotional value of the
Cup moved from the clubroom to the boardroom. The America's
Cup became a major league sport.
Unfortunately, just as the "curiosity" made its coming-out,
the debutante was kidnapped from our shores. Emotionally, it
was a bitter pill to swallow; financially, the after-taste
still makes the throat gag.
Today, American yacht clubs and syndicates are attempting to
raise millions of dollars for campaigning a hemisphere away
without the benefit of obtaining revenue from the gate (the
only fee for spectating is for chartering a boat). To support
this costly effort, the U.S challengers are relying as much
on creative fund raising as they are the crews to win back
Therefore, they are looking for corporations to provide the
deep and shallow pockets in return for publicity and
promotional opportunities (even billowing spinnakers bearing
corporate logos) brought about by the sports's heightened
importance. And oh what a great opportunity it is for
companies and agencies that understand the payback from
promotional dollars invested in the appropriate yacht
club/syndicate, as opposed to traditional media.
In addition to cash contributions, the challengers are
seeking companies that can provide useful and quality
"in kind" products and services as well.
For at least two of the American yacht clubs/syndicates --
New York/AMERICA II and San Diego/STARS & STRIPES -- winning
back the America's Cup has become a crusade. This is
directly attributable to the defeated players of '83, the
New York Yacht Club and Dennis Connor, the losing skipper who
spearheads the San Diego effort. Consider the fact that these
two syndicates are individually spending sums almost equal to
the combined sums of the 1983 25th Defense (about $15 million
each) and one comprehends the intensity of their commitment.
And for the other challengers, Americans or otherwise, the
1987 America's Cup Defense has become the all time Megabucks
Ticket. They have witnessed the hundreds of millions of
dollars that have already flowed into the economy of Western
Australia... to say nothing of the world recognition and
attention it has provided the Australian entrepreneur, Alan
Bond (Australia II) and his Swan Beer Brewery. All covet it.
The vanquished 12 meter yacht, Liberty, had not even been
hauled from the water (as was done each day) on that dark
September '83 day, and on the dock $3,000,000 had already
been pledged to BRING BACK THE CUP. But to where?
FACTS OF LIFE
Actually, the Australians didn't defeat the Americans in
1983; the Royal Perth Yacht Club (the challenger) defeated
the New York Yacht Club (the defender). UNDERSTANDING THE
DIFFERENCE IS ENORMOUSLY IMPORTANT FOR THE CORPORATIONS OF
NEW ENGLAND WHO ARE AT RISK OF LOSING THIS WORLD CLASS,
SPORTS MARKETING OPPORTUNITY, FOREVER!!!
The America's Cup is a match race between yacht clubs of
different countries... not the countries themselves. (In
fact, the Cup was named "America" not for the country, but
for the name of the boat that won the first challenge). What
this means to New Englanders is that with six, U.S. yacht
clubs challenging the Royal Perth Yacht Club to win back the
Cup (there are 7 foreign challengers as well), it's possible
that even if a U.S. challenge is successful in bringing back
the Cup to America, the Cup might not come back to the New
England waters off Newport.
๔๏ ฮๅ๗๐๏๒๔ฌ าษ. The other American challengers plan to
carry the Cup back to their home ports of either San Diego,
Newport Beach CA, San Francisco, or Chicago. (As of this
writing, the status of the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club/
COURAGEOUS challenge is uncertain.)
The impact of this fact is that should an American club other
than the New York Yacht Club win the Cup, that club (now the
new defender) would then have to lose the Cup in order to
provide the New York Club with another opportunity to
challenge for the Cup. The bottom line is New England
businesses could be literally deprived forever of the
proximity to and economic benefit of this international,
sports industry... even though the Cup is back in America!
According to Chapman College professor James Doti, such a
loss will cost about $1.5 billion dollars in touism and 1,600
related jobs in 1990.
๔่แ๔ง๓ ๒้็่๔ ๆ๏๒ ฮๅ๗ ล๎็์แ๎ไ ้๓. Therein lies
the extra economic justification for New England businesses
to "buy into" this exciting new media and endorsement
darling. Provincially speaking, it would be better that no
American challenger is successful in winning the America's
Cup than one that would retain it outside of New England
waters. At least then, New Englanders would have a chance to
bring it "home" in 1990.
All U.S. boats names sound so American that it is easy to
lose sight of the above fact: "Stars and Stripes", "Eagle",
"USA", "Heart of America", "Courageous" (perhaps), and
"America II". And soon there will even be a joint fund
raising blitz for the first five called the "Americans". Yet
only America II has committed to bring the Cup races back to
Newport. Consequently, the New Englanders' boat to back is
is AMERICA II. It provides the right stuff: the best
investment and promotional payback... to say nothing of
future business entertainment, sales incentive and social
HOIST THOSE SALES (sic) Ed. Spelling OK
So scuttle the idea that the Cup is a "curiosity". Accept
that it's now a major media darling. Take advantage of its
untapped marketing opportunities which will disappear with
further maturity. And welcome aboard the hottest property
since Marylou Retton and the Statue of Liberty.
Companies that don't exploit this situation are missing more
than a boat. They're letting sales opportunity sail right
out the window.
(Those interested in learning more about America's Cup
marketing opportunities call 617/237-SWAT -- ำail ืith
For an very abbreviated example of existing sponsors...
AMERICA II/New York Yacht Club has Amway, Cadillac Motor
Division, and Newsweek Magazine for major sponsors. HEART OF
AMERICA/Chicago Yacht Club has MCI as its anchor. SAIL
AMERICA/San Diego Yacht Club is maintained through Ford Motor
Companies, Atlas Hotels, Disney Studios and recently by
Anheuser Busch. EAGLE/Newport Beach CA lists Carlson Group
and Western Digital as major sponsors. USA/St. Francis
Yacht Club has Pacific Telesis and NASA. COURAGEOUS/Yale
Corinthian list Safe Flight, Royal Sonesta Hotels, and
Charlestown Community Development.