IWC Schaffhausen, the International Watch Company, has signed up with Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority to become the first major sponsor of the Emirates sailing team.
The deal marks the luxury Swiss brand’s debut in top-tier global team sport sponsorship. The partners will foster enhanced promotional and awareness initiatives around the team’s circumnavigation. The IWC Schaffhausen logo will also be featured on their new Volvo Open 70 racing yacht to be launched next month.
“We share a pioneering spirit based on the fundamentals of tradition,” said His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, ADTA and Team Principal for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
“This is a coming together of two organisations that have a great deal in common, including the pursuit of perfection, strong community responsibility, unwavering commitment to sustainable business practices and the environment, and a desire to excel beyond expectation.”
The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing deal is the second Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12-associated partnership for IWC Schaffhausen, after it signed on as the event’s Official Timekeeper in January.
“For over 140 years, IWC has epitomised values such as engineering excellence, perfection, pioneering spirit, quality and passion. We are proud to put these attributes to the test as the Official Timekeeper for the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race and to share them with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team,” said Georges Kern, CEO, IWC Schaffhausen.
The crew of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is undergoing final training, having spent the winter in the UAE capital.
Over the last few months, the team has been spread around the globe with weather training in the USA, wind-tunnel sail testing in New Zealand, race practice in the UK and Hong Kong, as well as mast construction in Spain and yacht build in Italy.
At the end of this month skipper Ian Walker and his crew will take delivery of their Farr-designed yacht which is under construction at Persico S.p.A in northern Italy.
Once delivered, the team will undertake a rigorous Atlantic Ocean sailing programme, before heading to the race start in Spain this October.