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Let’s talk sports, let’s think business! After a postponed start, the 138 skippers on the Route du Rhum should be able to catch the wind on Wednesday 9 November.
Departure from Saint-Malo. Direction Guadeloupe. And this non-stop! The fastest navigators had to reach the Caribbean coast in seven days. Held every four years, this race attracts more spectators each time. And therefore more sponsors!
This is an attendance record. 138 solo sailors have found the necessary funding and sponsorship to prepare for this transatlantic race. This is an indicator of good health for the arrangement. The Route du Rhum is showing itself more and more bankable. Hubert Coudurier, for example, editor-in-chief of Telegram (the race’s media partner), confided in September that sponsoring boat races represented a significant source of income for his group. As a reminder, Télégramme Group also owns Solitaire du Figaro.
Little by little, Route du Rhum tips over into another dimension. That of the Vendée Globe and Transat Jacques Vabre. With good reason, sailing gathers more supporters every year. In six years, the sport has grown by 36% in terms of popularity. If it remains far from the practice most valued by the French, sailing still appeals to 20% of them. The route to Pointe-à-Pitre is clearly benefiting from this renewed interest.
A breed that wants to be visible
From start to finish, everything is thought out to be as sensational as possible. Spectators can admire the sailboats for long moments around the coasts of Brittany and Guadeloupe. The route therefore offers a unique platform for sponsors. And this year, large groups have decided to take advantage of it. Crédit Mutuel, Prysmian Group, Banque Populaire… They are all joining in the fun and enabling single handed sailors to be better equipped and perform better.
Asked by our colleagues from Telegram, Antoine Carpentier, navigator leaving Saint-Malo, believes that a “good budget” has been allocated to him. His sponsor, Redman, entrusted him with 400,000 euros. A substantial amount for a Class40 trip – equivalent to a second division race.
A difficult sponsorship on paper
The random nature of an ocean race has long made sponsorship difficult. Especially for races with less media coverage like this. All it takes is a late-night arrival, an excessive delay or a traffic accident to destroy a brand’s visibility. A risky bet that scares the most cautious companies.
Conversely, if all goes well, it is jackpot ! For the Vendée Globe, panelist Kantar estimated that a monohull brought in an average of €500,000 for its builder at the end of the race. For the winner it is even more. Everything therefore indicates that the sailboats on the Route du Rhum are also profitable. Of course to a lesser extent.
A party in good time before departure
In the village created especially for the Route du Rhum, brands also collide. Transat’s official partners are present. Armor Lux, Brittany Ferries, Suzuki and others collaborate with Banque Populaire to offer activities, merchandising and stalls of all kinds. The village has been visited by over a million people in previous editions. Again this year, many have taken over the 70,000 m² space that has been reserved for the apartment since 26 October.
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