POSTED: Monday September 13th 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW SENIOR APPOINTMENT REFLECTS GROWING GLOBAL DEMAND FOR CLIPPER ROUND THE WORLD YACHT RACE
UK: Clipper Ventres plc, organiser of the unique 40,000 miles Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, has appoined Jonathan Levy (53) to the new role of Director of Business Development reporting direcly to CEO William Ward
The creation of a new senior role at Clipper Ventures plc, organisers of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, reflects the growing global demand for the unique event which has developed an international reputation for delivering its sponsors’ trade, tourism and cultural objectives.
The Director of Business Development will report directly into Chief Executive William Ward and oversee the company’s global business and external relations.
The appointment has gone to Jonathan Levy (53) who brings a wealth of international business, media and brand management experience. Levy is no stranger to the Clipper Race, having worked in a consultancy capacity for UK and Canadian yacht sponsors over the last five years.
William Ward commented, “We have developed a good working relationship with Jonathan in recent years and he has introduced a wide range of successful initiatives for sponsors on the race. Part of this new role will be to maximise the return sponsors enjoy by helping them to successfully exploit all the opportunities the race creates.
“As demand from yacht sponsors and host cities continues to grow and the race becomes even more popular with the public, we need to ensure we have the appropriate expertise and resources to drive the company forward. I am confident that Jonathan will add substantial value for all our partners.”
Levy has spent the last 30 years in the media, marketing, events and sponsorship arenas. Following the sale of his communications agency in the 1990s to a Chicago based international media company; he became their vice-president of sales and marketing working with substantial global brands. Following the events of 9/11 in 2001 he took a lifestyle decision to return to the UK in a consultancy role for a wide range of clients.
In recent years Levy has delivered successful trade, tourism and cultural initiatives for UK and Canadian sponsors in the Clipper Race, raising international media profiles and driving tangible new business including a number of significant international trade agreements.
“The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is the brand leader in its class. I have seen at first hand how powerful it can be for sponsors and hosts at so many levels,” said Levy. “I look forward to being able to focus on this in my new role and help the company develop its global presence even further. Plans for the future at Clipper Ventures are very exciting.”
Vision of a yachting legend
The Clipper Race was established 15 years ago by legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail around the world solo non-stop in 1968-9; he wanted to create the opportunity for people from all walks of life to be able to experience the thrill and challenge of ocean racing, spurred on by the fact that more people have climbed Mount Everest than have raced around the world. It is also changing perceptions of sailing from the elitist cliché to an event that is ‘Raced by people like you’ - in fact one of the race hosts has aptly coined it ‘The people’s race’.
The Clipper concept uses a fleet of identical stripped down ocean racing yachts so performance is down to the skill of the crews rather than design variations. The current fleet is owned and operated by Clipper Ventures and is composed of ten Ed Dubois designed 68-foot yachts which can carry up to 18 crew at any one time. About half the crew complete a full circumnavigation, with the rest joining for one or more legs.
Around 500 crew will participate in Clipper 11-12, the eighth edition of the race, which will start from the UK in August 2011, returning 11 months later in July 2012 after travelling 40,000 miles, visiting 15 cities on six continents. Crew places are expected to sell out again well in advance.
Global business model
Clipper’s business model for sponsorship encompasses Sir Robin’s other passion, to build international relations and stimulate global trade by having each yacht sponsored by a city, region or country. This has proved extremely successful and has gone from strength to strength. Growing public interest has also driven healthy economic impact for race hosts, especially at the start and finish.
Sir Robin stated, “This has become far more than a very special yacht race; it is a platform for a unique global event that has the power to not only be a life changing experience for the crew, but also to create a significant return for our sponsors and their private sector partners. While I am very proud of what we have achieved, I am even more excited by the way the Clipper Race continues to grow and evolve.”
Public interest in the race is greater than ever; in Clipper 09-10 media and internet exposure is projected to reach a potential global audience in excess of half a billion people. More than 150,000 visitors attended events around the race start in 2009, delivering an economic impact in excess of $15 million (USD).
Business alongside the race has also been brisk with trade missions generating millions of pounds of contracts and inward investment potential backed up by the creation of international agreements; tourism promotions and cultural programmes have also been extremely successful in reaching target audiences and influential opinion formers. The nature of the event opens doors at senior levels of government through the long term relationships Clipper has built with many of the respective yacht and host sponsors.
Sponsorship opportunities continue to be competitively priced: The rights fee to brand a yacht entry in Clipper 11-12 is £1-million, providing up to eighteen months of global exposure in addition to exclusive access to a vast range of in port activation benefits during the 11 months of the race. Hosting the event offers significant economic impact and profile raising potential. The race is being used increasingly by destinations to stimulate public engagement, civic pride and youth development.
In addition Clipper Ventures plc holds the rights to the VELUX 5 OCEANS race - a professional solo round the world yacht race which runs every four years. The next edition starts from La Rochelle in France on 17 October this year. The company also runs corporate sailing events, sail training and youth development operations.
Notes to Editors
About Clipper Ventures plc
Clipper Ventures plc, the marine sports company founded in 1995 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, is focused on developing and promoting major events capable of attracting significant participation, income, media coverage and associated sponsorship revenue. The company owns the rights to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, VELUX 5 OCEANS race, Clipper Training and Clipper Events.
About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race will start in August 2011 and return in July 2012. At 40,000 miles it is the world’s longest ocean race and will take in 15 ports on six continents. No previous sailing experience is required to take part as full training is provided. The overall race is divided into individual races and points are accumulated according to each individual race position. The yacht with the highest total at the finish wins the race trophy. For further information log on to www.clipperroundtheworld.com
Jonathan Levy biog
Jonathan Levy (53) has extensive international events, sponsorship, brand management, marketing and media experience. Following an early career in the broadcast sector he established Pentagon Communications - which included strategic communications consultancy, an independent television production company serving major broadcast, government and private sector clients, plus a drama division, Pentagon Films. The company developed to include strategic marketing and major event management, and was at the leading edge of digital media applications for television, on-line and print media in North America and Europe. In the 1990s the business was acquired by the Chicago based Fort Dearborn Company where Levy was appointed Vice President of Sales & Marketing, with specific digital business development in the US and Europe, plus implementation of global brand management for major multinational clients. Following 9/11 Jonathan reduced his travel and moved into a consultancy role for Fort Dearborn and a wide range of independent clients in the public and private sectors, including conferences & major events, sponsorship and publishing projects as consulting and launch editor of media and brand management magazines. In recent years he managed UK and Canadian entries in the Clipper Race on behalf of their sponsors. Throughout his career Jonathan has received a number of international awards for excellence in the various markets in which he has been active. He is married to Claire (49) and has two children - Hannah (22) and Daniel (25). Jonathan and his wife are relocating to Hampshire from Yorkshire.
To arrange interviews, request images and more information please contact:
Communications Manager, Zoe Williamson:
Telephone: office: +44 (0) 2392 526000; mobile: +44 (0) 7793 417 751
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Name: Jonathan Levy
Organization: Clipper Ventures
Phone: +44 2392 526000
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