The company took the decision to back the Volvo Ocean Race as part of their investment and expansion of an entirely new category of products. “The race is the perfect instrument for our boat, our team, and all the activities surrounding the competition that give us corporate exposure and strengthen our brand value across the entire world,” Zeitz says.
Although the other syndicates in the race pursue a strict business-to-business client strategy, Puma practises a different tactic. “We don’t arrange any client activities – instead we aim to reach out to the consumer market,” says Puma Sailings Group Head of Marketing, Daniel Miles. “Here in Galway we have a copy of our boat “Il Mostro” available for visits from the public, and the daily visitor rate to the boat is about 5,000, which is an amazingly high number.”
In line with its strategy to target marketing to the consumer market, all the stop-overs are equally important, says Miles. Consequently, the company builds a retail outlet in each port of call to sell its new sailing product line and the official clothing products of the Volvo Ocean Race. “The Puma headquarters are in Boston so we laid it on a little more there,” says Miles. “We did the same for the start in Alicante, Spain. Otherwise we put the same amount of effort into marketing our products in each port, to raise the profile of our brand, and provide information for the international mass media.”
The Volvo Ocean Race has also become a crucial in-house mechanism for Puma, especially in the light of the international financial crisis and recession, says the CEO of Puma, Jochen Zeitz. “The Volvo Ocean Race provides us with many instructive analogies about how vital it is to look ahead, and to solve problems whether the sun is shining on you or whether you’re in a storm,” says Zeitz. “Our crew makes it through all the challenges of the race with good results, and we can strive for the same thing in our day-to-day business lives.”
“The Volvo Ocean Race is the extreme test of endurance, skill, technology, and co-operation and we believe that these attributes mirror the central values of our organisation: passion, self-belief, and entrepreneurship,” he says.
Jochen Zeitz is convinced that Puma has a great deal to contribute to the world-round competitive sporting event. “We are a leading global band and we aim to attract the new global consumer to the sport of sailing, and of course new fans to the Volvo Ocean Race.”