Oct 18, 2012, 9:35 AM
IMOCA strives to optimize commercial profile
IMOCA STEPS UP A GEAR BY SIGNING COMMERCIAL AGREEMENT TO MAXIMISE THE PROFILE AND VALUE OF THEIR WORLD CLASS SPORTING PROGRAMME
On 16th October 2012, IMOCA (International Monohull Open Class Association) signed a collaborative agreement with Open Sports Management (OSM), a newly established commercial rights & event management consultancy, with the aim of optimising the profile and the commercial potential of IMOCA, one of the world’s leading ocean racing classes. The multi-year contract will see OSM develop and implement a new marketing and commercial strategy, capitalising on the strength of the IMOCA class programme, and ensuring its future commercial success to the benefit of all parties involved.
OSM, a new organisation being set up by Sir Keith Mills, Deputy Chairman of London 2012 Olympic Organising Committee and long-time supporter of IMOCA and America’s Cup sailing, is being set-up to specifically promote ocean racing with IMOCA and to manage the commercial interests of the IMOCA class. Following a period of insight gathering and strategic planning, Open Sports Management will publish their commercial plans in early 2013.
IMOCA President, Luc Talbourdet commented: “I am tremendously pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with Open Sports Management to develop IMOCA’s commercial potential. OSM presents a fantastic opportunity for IMOCA to build on its heritage and position as one of the world’s leading sailing properties. The Executive Committee looks forward to working closely with OSM to ensure the continued success of the class.”
Sir Keith Mills added: “I have been involved with IMOCA and round the world sailing for a number of years, and I am very excited by this opportunity to help develop the class further. This class has an incredibly healthy number of active teams and sponsors and some world class events in their circuit. However, I see a great opportunity to propel the class to a whole new level, benefitting all the parties involved. The OSM team will be working extremely hard over the coming months, together with existing teams, sponsors and events, to develop a robust commercial strategy that I hope will see IMOCA develop into a more sustainable and commercially successful class.”
The IMOCA Executive Committee will retain control of the technical and sports aspects of the class, with all commercial, marketing and communications functions passing to OSM. OSM has committed to retaining the heritage of the class, whilst looking for new opportunities to grow.
For more information contact:
Leslie Greenhalgh – Marketing Director
Open Sports Management
Tel: +44 7795 483116
Notes to Editors
Open Sports Management
Open Sports Management (OSM) is a newly established organisation which aims to manage world class event programmes for sporting properties, and by doing so aims to activate and maximise their commercial rights.
Under this agreement OSM will specifically manage, promote and optimise the commercial rights associated with the IMOCA Class. OSM is an independent organisation that plans to build on the strength of the IMOCA Class to unlock the class’s full commercial potential. OSM is being set up by Sir Keith Mills, Deputy Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and long-time supporter of IMOCA and America’s Cup sailing. Over the coming months, OSM will recruit a full-time team of commercial and sailing experts to run the company on a day to day basis. Further information will become available at: www.opensportsmanagement.com
IMOCA is the class association that administrates the rules and events for IMOCA 60s, a 60ft long monohull built specifically to be sailed shorthanded and offshore. The class was formed in 1991 and was recognised by ISAF, the International Sailing Federation, in 1998. IMOCA is run by an Executive Committee, chaired by Luc Talbourdet, and is made up of current and ex-IMOCA 60 skippers who are voted onto the Board by the IMOCA members. The class is currently one of the strongest offshore racing classes in the world with over 30 boats competing in recent events.
The Boat – IMOCA 60
The Open 60 was born in 1986 and is among the fastest monohull yachts in the world. Built in composite materials, the boats are designed to be as light and fast as possible, whilst being strong enough to withstand the extreme conditions that ocean racing encounters. The boat can be a maximum of 60ft in length with 4.5m draft and a mast no higher than 28m. The boats are extremely powerful owing to a canting keel and have a maximum downwind sail area of up to 620m2. The design must conform to a set of safety requirements but otherwise it is up to the designers to interpret the guidelines and design the best boat possible.
The pinnacle of Open 60 sailing is the single handed non-stop around the world race, the Vendee Globe, which is held every four years, starting and ending in Les Sables D’Olonne, France. The rules stipulate that a skipper cannot receive any outside assistance, nor can they step on land above the high water mark, without being disqualified. The first race was held in 1989/90 with 13 boats on the start line; the winner, Titouan Lamazou, completed the course in 109 days and only 7 boats finished the race. The most recent race in 2008/09 was won by Michel Desjoyeaux in 84 days. To date only 50 people have finished the race. There are currently 20 boats entered for the 2012/13 Vendee Globe which will begin on 10th November. (www.vendeeglobe.org)
Barcelona World Race
The Barcelona World Race is a double-handed non-stop around the world race starting and ending in Barcelona. The first race was in 2007/08 with the winning boat finishing in 92 days and the third edition will start in December 2014. The course for this race is slightly longer than the Vendee Globe with boats passing through the Cook Straits, so the record set in the first race by Jean-Pierre Dick is slightly slower than the Vendee Globe. As there are two people sailing the boat, the boats can be pushed harder for longer, which puts even more emphasis on the balance between speed and survival. (www.barcelonaworldrace.com)
There are several major transatlantic races that are raced every two years or so. The most well-known and popular races are: Transat Jacques Vabre, Route du Rhum, The Transat Race and Transat B to B. These are raced between various cities in France, the UK and South America/Caribbean. Transatlantic races usually last a little over two weeks and are a mixture of single-handed and double-handed events. For many of the skippers these races are the perfect testing ground for their boats ahead of the two round the world races.