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My current comments about this article: 

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

CHALLENGE.

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.

BIG BUSINESS

e. S

s T

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

the Cup.

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.

SERIOUS BUSINESS

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

? E

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๏ ฮๅ๗๐๏๒๔ฌ าษ. 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.

RIGHT STUFF

F

๔่แ๔ง๓ ๒้็่๔ ๆ๏๒ ฮๅ๗ ล๎็์แ๎ไ ้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

benefits.

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 -- ำail ืith

merica ิ

wo)

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.

Sottile's Winning Action Team
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Tactical Marketing Agency

"Marketing Tactics Make Corporate Strategies Happen!"
                                                                   John Sottile