The rapidly changing face of sponsorship in a post-GFC world requires new thinking and new alliances, but it also is brings new problems to the table.
Example 1: All Americans are stoked to see the All-American Offshore Team boys running the show for the first Volvo Ocean Race challenge with a Turkish sail number. Turkish sponsor Alvimedica is a young, cutting-edge medical tech company from Istanbul, and the entry hopes to build and grow interest for offshore racing in the near East nation. But what happens to that effort if both Youtube and Facebook can’t even be accessed from Turkey, as an Associated Press story today reported might be coming soon? Check out what the Turkish Prime Minister said on censoring the internet here.
Example 2: The whole world has eyes on the Black Sea as Russia continues what seems like an empire-building exercise in Crimea. With sanctions on Russian individuals already imposed by the US and EU, suddenly those Greenpeace protests of the Gazprom-sponsored Esimit Europa Maxi seem almost quaint. Why’s that? Because the massive Russian-owned energy utility is already sponsoring an Extreme 40 team, and solid inside rumors have them looking at entering the next America’s Cup with a big Gazprom logo on the wing. ABC Madrid reporter Pedro Sardina says that Gazprom will be on the world stage even before that (though we haven’t been able to confirm); Sardina writes that ETNZ boss Grant Dalton has already signed a deal with Gazprom for sponsorship of the ETNZ/Pedro Campos round-the-world bid.
What happens when a Russian owned and/or sponsored team comes to a Europe that may be boycotting Russia? And what happens to events like the Extreme Sailing Series’ Russian stage?