29 October 2010 – The global production and distribution company IMG Media is confirmed as official television partner to the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 on the day that the organisation celebrates the ‘one year to go’ milestone. Racing will begin in the Spanish home of the race, Alicante, on 29 October next year.
IMG Media, a division of global sports and media company, IMG Worldwide, is the world’s largest independent producer and distributor of sports programming operating in over 30 countries around the globe. Volvo Ocean Race joins a portfolio, which includes The Open Championship, IRB Rugby World Cup and The Wimbledon Championships.
“Our ambition is to create ‘event’ television that becomes ‘appointment to view’,” says Adam Binns, Director of Television for the Volvo Ocean Race. “A mix between live, highlights, short form and news programming will enable us to strike the right balance between the offshore ‘DNA/essence’ of the race, and made-for-television spectacles such as the in-port races.”
A whole host of programming will be produced and distributed by IMG including a series of ‘Golden Moments’ showcasing the greatest footage in the 37-year history of what is the world’s premier ocean race. Live video conferences, daily and weekly news updates will also be broadcast around the world and as Binns explains, “IMG and SNTV are the perfect fit for us. Our Race will be consumed when the viewer wants, on all kinds of devices so it is essential we work with a company whose experience across television, mobile, broadband and IPTV is unrivalled“.
The hub for these regular updates will be the brand new NASA-inspired Race Control room in the Spanish Race Headquarters. It will not only allow organisers to achieve greater communications with the racing fleet, but also help to connect the media directly with the race itself as the action unfolds.
With one year to go, the Volvo Ocean Race is working hard with the six teams already committed to being on the start-line and focusing on helping the remaining potential teams to reach their goal of competing in the next edition.
Knut Frostad, CEO Volvo Ocean Race explains, “I believe the syndicates we are working with have had great success since the end of the last Volvo Ocean Race. We have managed to jointly, with the teams, raise over 210 million Euros in sponsorship and rights fees in this rocky economic climate and, while that is an amazing achievement, we continue the push to bring more boats to the start line next year. To enter the race in spring 2011 with one of the best boats from the last race is now both a competitive and attractive option due to the extensive cost cutting measures put in place for the next edition.”
“Our ambition is for the Volvo Ocean Race to become one of the top sporting events in the world and we have directed our attention towards a few key areas which we believe will help us to achieve this goal. One component is the way in which we communicate the event to a wider audience, which has led us to appoint IMG as our television partner. We want to spread the story of the Volvo Ocean Race as far and as wide as possible, and not limit it just to our fan-base, but to capture the imagination of the public.”
In each port, and among an array of new experiences planned, is an enhanced interactive Race Experience to be situated in each race village, which will showcase the event to the public in a modern, exciting and informative way. Frostad is also personally keen to promote the sport of sailing globally and his plan includes a youth sailing event to be hosted in each port. More details on this and other activities will be announced early next year.
Fast-forward one year and the Volvo Open 70s will be engaged in combat in the bay of Alicante as they compete for the first points of the race in the spectacular in-port racing. The race course will be set close to the Alicante port and beach to allow spectators to watch from the shoreline as the teams push their yachts to the limits. The build-up to the event has begun and the countdown clock clicks on.