Ocean Race organisers buoyed by Volvo’s commitment

Swedish automotive company Volvo has reaffirmed its commitment to the Volvo Ocean Race sailing event amid a scaling back of its sponsorship commitments elsewhere.

Volvo has served as the title sponsor and joint owner of the showpiece race for the past 15 years.

A statement released by the company read: “Every brand in the industry is involved in some form of sponsoring activity, mostly because it is regarded as a ‘must have’ within the marketing mix. Volvo Cars questions that logic and has decided to wind down most of its sponsoring activities.

“Instead Volvo Cars will increase its commitment and investment in the Volvo Ocean Race. Rather than just another sponsoring activity, it sees the Volvo Ocean Race as purely Volvo. It is the most competitive, fair and pure blend of people with nature.”

Over recent months, Volvo has withdrawn from sponsorship commitments in motor racing and on golf’s European Tour.

The 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race is due to finish in June next year. Chief executive of the event, Knut Frostad, said: “Volvo’s backing has been the foundation on which we’ve been able to build this race year after year. Without that kind of support we simply wouldn’t have been able to make probably the biggest decision we’ve taken in the race’s history – to move to the one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boat which has put the emphasis fully on the sailors on board and their skills and determination.”