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Weíre Quantum Racing, and weíre here to beat you

Quantum Racing
(October 27, 2008) The topic here involves advertising on boats. The ISAF Advertising Code allows for races to be run under either Category A (no advertising) or Category C (advertising permitted with some restriction). The most prevalent examples have been in the Americasí Cup or the around the world races, but boat sponsorship can trickle down as far as a one design class or an event permits.

Lately, various race results include teams named Quantum Racing, with the boats being branded after the sailmaker they receive support from. Amid the TP 52 circuit in Europe, and the Melges 24 racing in the U.S., you will find successful teams named Quantum Racing. The question is whether there is any difference between a boat being branded after a sailmaker and a boat being branded after a non-marine entity.

Will PUMA have demonstrated they have better shoes if Ken Readís team wins the Volvo Ocean Race? Not likely, but PUMA certainly hopes to leverage the marketing opportunities of the race to better expose their brand. Now exchange PUMA with Quantum Racing, and shoes with sails. Much like the old line about chickens and pigs, and their respective relationships with ham-and-egg breakfasts; it's a parable on the differences between involvement and commitment. The chicken, of course, is involved, but the pig? He's committed.

The history of all sailmakers supporting racing teams is long, most notably in one design classes. Sometimes it is the companyís boat, and sometimes it is not. Either way, the purpose, at least in part, is to demonstrate the effectiveness of the sails. Good results donít always equate to selling sails, but bad results make for a rocky sales pitch.

This week at the Melges 24 North Americans, if you didnít know that Terry Hutchinsonís team was supported by Quantum Sails, the Quantum Racing boat name will dispatch any doubt. For those following the event online, the teamís sponsor will be quickly evident. So how do you feel about this? Here is the reply when people were asked how they felt about a sponsored sailmaking team's boat also being fully branded:

  • It makes no difference to me. - 32.51%
  • I am glad they are branding themselves. - 33.50%
  • I wish it was more subtle. - 9.36%
  • I am not pleased with the trend. - 24.63%


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