Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 Entrants

smackdaddy

Super Anarchist
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610
SmackDab, Middle
The question is whether or not the Volvo is Grand Prix racing, or an adventure reality TV show.
False dichotomy. In order to have the first - at least in a sponsor-funded model - you also have to have the second and in a way that doesn't undermine the first. That's the circle that must be squared.
I know that I am a lifelong F-1 fan in large part because of the heady 'reality show' days of Senna and Mansell and Prost, and because of the drama that Eccelstone's wars brought to the game. It's exactly what the ACWS is missing; personality and drama - or more importantly, someone getting the story out.
Stay tuned.

 

roca

Anarchist
638
3
italy
I do not see how this team decision can be related to the new OD boat. It is the crew numbers' rule who can have affected. I bet they would have done the same on a VO 70 with 2 more crew than other teams. no particular reason for the new boat being interesting for a female crew.
The same rule was in effect last time.
A new team for this edition doesn't necessarily imply they did not apprciate the race race 3 years ago. It is like pretending that groupama entered last edition because there were no 2 boats programs anymore. I really do not see the reason to credit this new team entry to OD. Costs will not change much than what was this last edition. The boat in the end will be harder than last time, even for women (tougher to sail the vo65 in 10 than the vo70 in 12). This managing team has experience in managing the most complex programs, design and building and logistics (erikson 2 boats program and in house building ). They have a strong record in results with these complexity. I really do not see any advantge in OD for them.

 
Just an excuse to practise their skills.
Extreme+Ironing.jpg


 

roca

Anarchist
638
3
italy
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda said they are valuating an entry under the glorious "azzurra" name. Mainly italians with some of the old dogs of the race. checking for sponsors, meeting with knut in short...

 

mr_ryano

Super Anarchist
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda said they are valuating an entry under the glorious "azzurra" name. Mainly italians with some of the old dogs of the race. checking for sponsors, meeting with knut in short...
Rumor was around for the last race too. Soldini even bought the old E3, but couldn't secure sponsorship. That was in the glory days of the Italian economy compared to now..

 

MR.CLEAN

Moderator
46,682
4,726
Not here
Yeah but Soldini's issue was baggage, not the commercial market.

Azzurra has some real money behind it. Not sure whether they have the long term will to be in the VOR, but they do have cash and a few Whitbread/VOR vets in the family.

 

eddieww

Member
140
0
Yeah but Soldini's issue was baggage, not the commercial market.

Azzurra has some real money behind it. Not sure whether they have the long term will to be in the VOR, but they do have cash and a few Whitbread/VOR vets in the family.
Baggage? Meaning...?

 

eddieww

Member
140
0
Baggage, meaning he has some past big name sponsors that weren't happy with him.
I'm sure there is a story there, of which I'm unaware, illustrating the relative value to sponsors of showmanship versus winning sailboat races. One strains to imagine Soldini, in a tux, standing on his keel bulb. But it's a different topic for a different thread. Or is it?

 

DtM

Super Anarchist
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516
Out of the Office
Many have said it before and at length. It is about ROI nothing more or less.

There are plenty of great crews for these boats that is not an issue.

 
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mr_ryano

Super Anarchist
Many have said it before and at length. It is about ROI nothing more or less.

There are plenty of great crews for these boats that is not an issue.
+1, and a new one design does little in the greater scheme of things to fix the corporate ROI problem. Anyone looking at campaign costs alone is really missing the boat.

 

Francis Vaughan

Super Anarchist
As I have written before, I tend to think that the one design does address ROI in a useful manner. ROI for sponsors can often be measured in the amount of media coverage their team gets, which is often as simple as counting the number of times their corporate logo appears in press coverage, and aggregate on screen time their logo appears in video coverage. If we consider the race coverage as a zero sum game, the use of a OD boat will have the effect of evening out the coverage and brand exposure - simply because coverage tends to concentrate on the winner or leaders. A OD design boat means teams start out with much more even chances of getting coverage. Thus sponsors can feel more secure that they will get a reasonable share of coverage - and thus a more clear ROI. This is simple risk management. When the boats are a development class sponsors have less assurance - they may get more, they may get a lot less, and it becomes harder to make an ROI assessment ahead of time. The other effect is less clear - will the OD boat lead to a more exciting race to follow? If it does then overall race coverage and exposure will increase, and the game isn't zero sum, there is actually a bigger pie to go around. The MOD70 race produced extraordinary racing. The last VOR produced some great finishes - but not of the same tightness as the MOD70 - and when it did I think it is reasonable to say general interest rose. So there is a good chance that a OD VOR will also create a better level of interest and coverage due to tighter racing. So in both ways a reasonable case can be made that a OD class will directly benefit ROI.

The OD class also provides a more assured cost base. One might argue that the cost may or may not be that much different to a VO70, but the cost is known ahead of putting together a campaign, so sponsors can be given a much clearer idea of what a team will need early in the game. This of itself does not improve ROI, but it does make it a lot easier to reason about ROI, and whether sponsorship makes sense. The OD design brings lower logistic costs, with shared spare parts inventory, so sponsors are more assured that there is less likelihood of sudden unwelcome requests for more money to do things like fly masts half way around the planet, or rebuild a custom rigging package. All this should help sponsors feel that the value proposition that sponsorship provides is much less risky than it was with a development class. Corporate mangers are usually much less worried about the absolute amount of money as the possibility that the demands for money are ongoing and hard to plan for. We heard a few times in the last race about "understanding and supportive" sponsors. Which is code for, "we needed another million to fix the boat, and they coughed up." In hard times it is that which will scare sponsors off. An open ended money siphon that reduces their ROI in an uncontrolled manner.

 
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Francis Vaughan

Super Anarchist
Thanks Francis. Very clear and convincing.
Gosh, thanks. :wub:

I should add that there is a clear underlying issue in mr_ryano's post and what others have raised with ROI that I have not addressed. That is simply: what is the basic ROI benefit in the first place? My point above was that I think the OD boat helps not hinders in a lot of small but useful ways. But the elephant in the room remains. What is the core ROI proposition that you take to any sponsor? If it is poor, my reasons that an OD boat help are starting with too low a base, and probably don't improve things enough to really matter. Ocean racing is always going to be hard. And ordinary sports don't provide enough commonality to give guidance. I doubt anyone really understands how to make it work properly at the moment. But that should not stop people trying. Personally I think really well integrated internet based coverage may be the way. But it needs much better than the current 3 hour updates and idiotic suppression of strategic information from the teams.

 

DickDastardly

Super Anarchist
3,913
296
Syderney
Thanks Francis. Very clear and convincing.
Gosh, thanks. :wub:

I should add that there is a clear underlying issue in mr_ryano's post and what others have raised with ROI that I have not addressed. That is simply: what is the basic ROI benefit in the first place? My point above was that I think the OD boat helps not hinders in a lot of small but useful ways. But the elephant in the room remains. What is the core ROI proposition that you take to any sponsor? If it is poor, my reasons that an OD boat help are starting with too low a base, and probably don't improve things enough to really matter. Ocean racing is always going to be hard. And ordinary sports don't provide enough commonality to give guidance. I doubt anyone really understands how to make it work properly at the moment. But that should not stop people trying. Personally I think really well integrated internet based coverage may be the way. But it needs much better than the current 3 hour updates and idiotic suppression of strategic information from the teams.
I was just about to respond similarly. ROI as measured by exposure is one thing - but there are kajillions of ways for a brand to gain exposure these days, many better than through an ocean racae. ROI is by definition a financial metric, thus the conversion to EBIT needs to be factored in at some point. That means how much "exposure" is actually and measurably converted to profitable sales, and how does that happen? "Feel Good" factor from brand exposure is limited these days. I've heard of research that plots the number of brand exposures the average consumer gets per day over time and the numbers are astonishing. It's measured in the many thousands per day now, so given that a consumer driven ROI case based on exposure is pretty ropey. B2B is an altogether different story, however. ROI for in-port activity is often taken to be related to the value of sales gained by sponsors through the various hospitality efforts at each stopover - to the extent that this is quantifiable. In terms of B2B ROI for a team sponsor, however, I'd imagine that's another set of thinking.

 

mr_ryano

Super Anarchist
B2B is the only real, proven way to sell this event to a sponsor. As such, you need a sponsor that has clients in most of the stopover areas, or really wants to do business there. Problem is, B2B is expensive, and needs to be added to the total budget of the program. Worse, B2B can't be amortized in the way the sporting program can, so you need a few really big checks to be written. if you look at Ericcson, for example, the B2B spend was greater than the sailing program spend....

 

roca

Anarchist
638
3
italy
As I have written before, I tend to think that the one design does address ROI in a useful manner. ROI for sponsors can often be measured in the amount of media coverage their team gets, which is often as simple as counting the number of times their corporate logo appears in press coverage, and aggregate on screen time their logo appears in video coverage. If we consider the race coverage as a zero sum game, the use of a OD boat will have the effect of evening out the coverage and brand exposure - simply because coverage tends to concentrate on the winner or leaders. A OD design boat means teams start out with much more even chances of getting coverage. Thus sponsors can feel more secure that they will get a reasonable share of coverage - and thus a more clear ROI. This is simple risk management. When the boats are a development class sponsors have less assurance - they may get more, they may get a lot less, and it becomes harder to make an ROI assessment ahead of time. The other effect is less clear - will the OD boat lead to a more exciting race to follow? If it does then overall race coverage and exposure will increase, and the game isn't zero sum, there is actually a bigger pie to go around. The MOD70 race produced extraordinary racing. The last VOR produced some great finishes - but not of the same tightness as the MOD70 - and when it did I think it is reasonable to say general interest rose. So there is a good chance that a OD VOR will also create a better level of interest and coverage due to tighter racing. So in both ways a reasonable case can be made that a OD class will directly benefit ROI.

The OD class also provides a more assured cost base. One might argue that the cost may or may not be that much different to a VO70, but the cost is known ahead of putting together a campaign, so sponsors can be given a much clearer idea of what a team will need early in the game. This of itself does not improve ROI, but it does make it a lot easier to reason about ROI, and whether sponsorship makes sense. The OD design brings lower logistic costs, with shared spare parts inventory, so sponsors are more assured that there is less likelihood of sudden unwelcome requests for more money to do things like fly masts half way around the planet, or rebuild a custom rigging package. All this should help sponsors feel that the value proposition that sponsorship provides is much less risky than it was with a development class. Corporate mangers are usually much less worried about the absolute amount of money as the possibility that the demands for money are ongoing and hard to plan for. We heard a few times in the last race about "understanding and supportive" sponsors. Which is code for, "we needed another million to fix the boat, and they coughed up." In hard times it is that which will scare sponsors off. An open ended money siphon that reduces their ROI in an uncontrolled manner.
Sorry Frances but most of your assumptions are not proven at all and you might confuse other users as our friend Clovis.

It is not proven that OD adresses ROI in a positive way.

It is not true that in OD " teams start out with much more even chances of getting coverage".

it is not true that level in OD is always more balanced. It is not true that even if chances prove to be even, they create interest and coverage. On the contrary it would be very easy to prove that differencies create interest and coverage and chances and return.

It is not true that "OD class also provides a more assured cost base".

At this point it is very uncertain the cost of a winning campaign, as they all said (JK interview for example, finns designs for example) a certain amount of customisation on the boat is always possible in it can turn very expensive. There is no clear way of how the sail programs will be managed and at which cost and how. In my opinion there has never been such a confused idea of which is the needed budget to be able to win the race as now.

More, it is not proven that OD boats should break less.

 

bclovisp

Member
395
15
Ici
Sorry Frances but most of your assumptions are not proven at all and you might confuse other users as our friend Clovis.
Thanks for your concern Roca :)

What I meant is that I have read many negative opinions, but this was the first time I read something positive about the OD that was clear and logical, and went beyond "OD is cool cuz it makes for tighter racing".

And I think that Frances' points may not be proven, but it's not proven either that they are wrong. In any case the VOR had to change something major in order to survive. We may not approve of the way they did it, but at least they are trying.

 

Francis Vaughan

Super Anarchist
It is not proven that OD adresses ROI in a positive way.

It is not true that in OD " teams start out with much more even chances of getting coverage".

It is not true that "OD class also provides a more assured cost base".
Oh come one. I write "I think" and you say I wrote "it is proven." Of course it isn't proven, the race hasn't happened. Nor do any of your assertions that it will end in ruin have any greater validity. I do try to cast my ideas in the light of corporate reality. But hey are all opinions. I say that a boat that has a known purchase price provides a more assured cost base, and you say that that can't be true. How does within the scope of all the costs of running a team, having an item that accounts for about one third of the cost being fixed ahead of time not improve things? I didn't say it fixes the team costs I said it makes it "more assured". "More" does not mean "totally".

My point remains. There is very good reason to believe that all sponsors will have much less money to throw around. The idea that there is some team that will be given an open chequebook to blitz the field is fanciful. Sure, if there is one, they may still win. But with a OD boat they will find it harder. All the other points about how unlimited money will win were true last race. And it didn't work out that way did it? No matter what, a OD boat reduces the scope for unlimited money to steamroller the field. And with the very unlikely chance that there will be unlimited money things will be much tighter again.

 

Potter

Super Anarchist
2,116
355
Actually it is absolutely true that a OD provides a more assured cost base, the key word being base. It is then up to the teams to decide if they want to spend millions looking for design advantages and fighting the class rules, or to concentrate on going sailing and finding out how to make the boat go fast. In fact, in the next addition that will be aarticularly true, as there is not a lot of time, however the edition after will be a different matter.

A team can be on the water with a competitive boat and team for €15 million, last time that was only possible by a team like TNZ that already had a lot of infrastructure in place. Obviously if a team is able to find more then they can spend that money and hopefully find an edge.

In the last edition Groupama spent significantly more than any other team (Franck has admitted to €17million..PER ANNUM for 3 years!), and they won; but half way around you may not have put your money on that (although they were my favourites at the beginning). So was the money wisely spent, well maybe not, because it would appear that the reason they won had more to do with the team and the leadership than any percentage gain in design. Certainly they had a lot of time to train, and yet were not the fastest on the water at the start of the race.

 




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