How to make sailing sponsorship successful
Interview with Stephan Kandler, CEO of ALL4ONE Racing Team.
• Creation and management of the French 32nd America’s Cup Challenge, named «Areva Challenge», from 2004 to 2007 (€25 million sponsored budgets)
• Creation of the «World Sailing Teams Association» and organisation of the «Louis Vuitton Trophy» with 10 other international teams and Louis Vuitton. Organisation, media coverage and financing of the first stage in Nice in 2009.
• Creation and management of several international professional sailing teams (K-Challenge, ALL4ONE, K-Yote), including prototype yacht construction, with several victories and participations in prestigious events (€30 million cumulative budget): Audi Med Cup, Louis Vuitton Trophy, Copa del Rey, One Ton Cup, Kiel Week, Key West Race Week, Miami SORC, Sydney-Hobart, Tour de France à la Voile, Admiral’s Cup, Course du Figaro, Spi Ouest France, etc.
• Launch and distribution of the Mumm 30 in France and Spain. New boat bid winner of the «Tour de France à la Voile» race (Longest use in TFV’s history).
• Organisation and media coverage of international events (€10 million cumulative budget): 4 One Ton Cup (Corel 45 - One of the first events live on the Internet in 2000), 6 K-Yachting Pro Am Cup (Mumm 30), 2 Tour de Corse en Double (Figaro one design), First Mumm 30 World Championship, 1 Mumm 30 European Championship.
• One Design Class Management : Corel 45, French Owner Mumm 30 Class
• Media deals: Daily TV billboarded programmes with French TV group Canal+ since 2004.
• Main brands : Areva, Audi, adidas, Canal+, Geodis, Bouygues Telecom, Soitec, Givenchy, Cities of Nice, Marseille and Saint Raphaël.
Stephan, tell us about your particular background?
I started my career in our family racing yacht charter business, «K-Yachting», just after graduating from the «Toulouse Business School» in France. I have been involved for 20 years but I was not professional sailor and I had the chance to manage almost every aspect of yacht racing, which certainly gave me a very different approach to our sport.
What is your approach regarding sponsorship and project management?
From day one I applied business management rules to all my projects but I also learned that sport has its own management rules and that pure business rules don’t work in sport. That is why many successful businessmen investing in sports do not necessarly succeed (and often they allow things in their team that they would not in their business!) On the other hand few sportsmen (including successful ones) are able to properly manage large sponsored projects which have become more and more complex due to the number of people involved and the sponsors & media pressure. From my point of view, to lead a sucessful programme you need to build a good combination between a CEO, with corporate and sports management skills, and a sports/technical manager. The final call shall always be the responsibility of the CEO.