Mark Turner Praises America’s Cup Exposure of Sailing, Extreme Sailing on the Same Path

December 8, 2011

Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of OC Thirdpole and in charge of the Extreme Sailing Series (ESS) has praised the America’s Cup (AC) exposure of the sport and wished he had the same budget to increase the popularity of the Extreme Sailing Series.

Turner who was offered a job at America’s Cup in October but turned it down said in a an iSportconnect discussion: “If we had just 5%  of the America’s Cup current annual budget on TV we could do some amazing stuff. As it is we have to make some tough choices between live, programming, features, news, online, sailor techy, non-sailor lifestyle… What the guys are doing in the AC is outstanding in pure production terms, the audio is great, the youtube setup very nice with multi-channel, the onboard cameras excellent. Unfortunately for us as a purely commercially funded event, I just can’t afford a fraction of it. Hence we have to make choices on the content and number of channels, not always easy.”

Richard Worth, America’s Cup Chairman added: “We have a healthy budget for the America’s Cup output, and we believe that we are investing it ways that are aimed at enticing the non-sailing fan, and increasing the appeal and understanding. If we can continue the growth path of distribution and interest over the next two years, everyone in the sport will benefit.”

Turner is still happy at the exposure the ESS is getting.

“I’m nonetheless very happy with how we have managed to evolve the TV media results over 5 years of building Extreme Sailing Series – ever year we get bigger and bigger coverage on all areas – news, programming (CNBC, Bloomberg, Eurosport, TRT, CCTV, Channel4 UK, etc this year), youtube, features on other programmes etc.. BUT we’d all lover to go much much bigger. The ESS content is made for it,” he said.

To read more on this topic go to our discussion Will more TV exposure for the Extreme Sailing Series help change the way sailing is seen? for more expert opinions.