Exclusive: New Design of Volvo Ocean Race Boats to Appeal to Sponsors

By Community | October 17, 2012

Knut Frostad, CEO of Volvo Ocean Race has revealed the new design of the boats have become more media friendly and will provide it’s audience with the best shots of the sailing series.

In an exclusive interview with iSportconnect, he said: “When it comes to the sponsor experience, there are a couple of elements. By actually creating a new design, we are able to build the boat around the media rather than shifting equipment on the boats.

“In the past, we had rules about where cameras had to sit on the boat. Now we can actually look at what will be the best platform for television and design the boat around that. You will find that the new boat is perfectly designed to be able to deliver content very efficiently and from there you get better angles and higher quality than you have ever seen before.”

The former sailor also portrayed the different mindset sponsors went through when sponsorsing a “stop-start” event.

“The other one is the economics of it and the risks involved. We are not an annual event yet, maybe we will be in the future, so the sponsors don’t have that same technological evolution that you have in Formula One, where you slowly develop the team,” he said.

“We have more of a start-stop project where new sponsors don’t really know the route they are taking technology-wise when they sign.

“Of course, development and open-class is interesting, but it’s not interesting for a sponsor who realises after a couple of months that his boat isn’t competitive. What you want is to eliminate the risk of being uncompetitive.

“At the same time, one of the reasons we went to one-class is because of the current environment, the sponsor market and the economy. We need to be extremely efficient, which means that they’re getting more for less. This is a very clear way path to reduce the losses for sponsors.

“With a one-design project you don’t have to really start your team up before the boat’s ready, so you can buy yourself some time.”

Read Knut Frostad’s featured profile here http://dev.isportconnect.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12257&Itemid=367