Taking a page out of the dominant Team GBR’s Olympic program book, US Sailing Team Chairman Dean Brenner has created a new sponsorship structure and new full-time position of Commercial Director to develop and organize new sources of funding for the team The new hire is Dan Cooney, former marketing director of US SAILING – an organization that can’t really be called a marketing success. But Brenner told us today that Cooney is great at what he does, the architect of the important Alphagraphics sponsorship. “We know we must fund these sailors better, and to do that, we have to run like a real business,” Dean said. “Dan is great at this, and with his help, we will be able to put together corporate funds that will make it a lot easier on our sailors.”
We also asked Brenner how the new structure would effect teams that are good at raising money, and he assured us that competitors could still find and keep their own personal sponsors alongside the US Sailing Team’s unless the team member’s sponsor directly conflicted with the Team’s – in which case the sailor could opt out of the program.
An entirely reasonable response from someone that we are (gulp) learning to trust and respect – something we don’t often find among the leadership of our sport’s US National Governing Body. Let’s hope he rubs off on the rest of ’em.