Thursday, April 20, 2006

Desafío Español 2007 signs new sponsorship agreement

Desafío Español 2007, the Spanish America's Cup challenger, signed this evening another sponsorship agreement, reaching another milestone in their successful commercial promotion. This makes it the sixth important sponsor for the Spanish team, with another one to be announced shortly.

This time, the group that will sponsor the home team of the 32nd America's Cup is Viajes Marsans, the oldest and largest Spanish tour operator, present throughout Spain, Europe and Latin America. As part of the agreement, the logo of the tourist group will appear on the boat's mainsail.

Yet another sponsorship deal for Desafío Español 2007, as their technical director Agustín Zulueta (left) shakes hand with the president of Viajes Marsans, Gonzalo Pascual. Photo by Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

According to Gonzalo Pascual, president of Viajes Marsans, the financial part of the sponsorship agreement consists of 3 million euros of direct cash contribution to the team's budget in addition to other indirect contributions, such as advertizing, marketing as well as promotion. When I asked whether the indirect part of the contribution could be valued, Mr Pascual stated that this figure could be as high as four or five million euros.

Agustín Zulueta, technical director of Desafío Español 2007, gave some interesting news concerning the team's new boats. First of all, ESP-88, the new boat under construction, will be launched shortly, without getting into details but he emphasized it was the team's intention to race with it in Louis Vuitton Act 12 two months from now.

Secondly, having covered almost 95% of their budget of 60 million euros, the team can now seriously think about the second new boat whose design and construction should begin in July or August. According to Zulueta, the team will continue its marketing efforts even after its budget is entirely covered in order to further improve its performance in the 32nd America's Cup and set the foundations for a strong team for the 33rd Cup. Desafío Español is ranked fourth among the challengers, a very respectable achievement after taking into consideration the strength of the top-three challengers, but everything must be done in order for the Spanish syndicate not to be relegated to the status of a one-trick-pony. According to Zulueta, the rest of the challengers should also be feared as some of them could perform surprisingly well this year.

A party with more than 1,000 guests followed the presentation. Photo by Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing


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