Swedish automotive manufacturer Volvo has signed a new partnership with World Sailing, the sport’s global governing body.
Under the agreement, the Volvo Ocean Race, Volvo Group and Volvo Car Group will become the official automotive partner of World Sailing. The length of the deal was not disclosed.
The new deal will focus on developing the next generation of sailors through Volvo Ocean Race Academies, designed to provide a stepping stone for young offshore sailors.
Additionally, World Sailing has proposed an offshore showcase event to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
"The partnership with World Sailing is important for us to show a long-term commitment to the sport and, equally, World Sailing's support and understanding of the Volvo Ocean Race does," said Volvo Ocean Race chief executive Mark Turner.
"But we need to create some steps underneath it like the Volvo Ocean Race Academies and ultimately a closer link to any Olympic offshore showcase event if approved by the IOC. If and when that goes through, the Volvo Ocean Race will be uniquely positioned to provide a path towards the Olympic Games, with a qualification or test event potentially taking place at one of our stopovers."
Volvo has worked with World Sailing in the past, through its title sponsorship of the Youth Sailing World Championships from 1999 to 2010.
The new deal was signed as the Volvo Ocean Race yesterday (Thursday) unveiled a wide-ranging package of reforms that organisers said would result in the most radical overhaul of the series since its formation in 1973.