City Sets Sail in New Partnership
The final stage of The Tall Ship Races – the world’s biggest sailing event – will be organized in Szczecin in 2013.
Building on the success of the 2007 finale held in the city, municipal officials and those from Sail Training International (STI), which organizes the event, agreed a cooperation that will see Szczecin become a title sponsor of the regatta, in which student-sailors compete in an annual series of regattas aboard the historic vessels.
These activities are germane to the Szczecin brand – Szczecin Mayor Piotr Krzystek told a news conference announcing the deal, in which the city will pay PLN7 million for sponsorship rights. – Unlike other Polish cities, we do not have historic monuments or an old market place. Instead, we have a lot of water, which is ideal for the development of sailing-related activities. That is our trump. And our cooperation with STI will enhance the promotional dimension of this resource.
Thanks to this cooperation, officials say, Szczecin will gain from:
• Tourism promotion in an international forum, as well as related cultural and economic development;
• Promotion of issues relating to sailing, ecology and youth education among local, national and international groups;
• Association with The Tall Ship Races, with STI and its values and customs, and with annual international family and youth meetings of international importance;
• Setting a ‘gold standard’ for harbors that host The Tall Ships’ Races based on the event’s success in 2007.
In addition, the city will realize a number of benefits during the annual regatta. These include space for exhibition and promotional purposes and office access in cities where the individual races are staged. Municipal officials also will receive invitations to attend VIP events, including meetings, Capitan’s Dinners, Parades Under Sail and guest cruises. Representatives from the city will take part in press conferences, awards ceremonies and benefit from the promotion of the city’s brand at race venues.
Further, the agreement calls for a number of co-branding and advertising arrangements, with STI providing the city with space on everything from its website, its advertising and promotional materials, including flags and banners, its race documentation and the crew shirts used in conjunction with the races. Meanwhile, the city gains use of The Tall Ships Races logo for its promotional materials the right to license it for use by other partners.
Szczecin was anxious to host the final in 2013. said Nigel Rowe, the STI president, noting the city’s sponsorship offer outweighed that of Antwerp in Belgium, which had been the title sponsor. We agreed on that because we are convinced that Szczecin will manage to organize that challenge, especially in light of the success of two years ago.
Hosting the 2013 finale is the lynchpin of the agreement, officials said. The 2007 proved an organizational, promotional and economic success, as well as having a positive influence on Szczecin’s inhabitants and on perception of the city at-large. The event gave rise to the ‘Szczecin – Friendly Harbor’ program, which provides no-cost berths for visiting sailing vessels. It increased the amount of young people participating in the event and resulted in the establishment of the ‘European Centre of Water and Sailing Education’ in the city. It also provided the impetus for organizing sailing events and races, and for work on building a new marina in the city center.
After our last success, Szczecin is well known in a sailing world, Mayor Krzystek said. In the next several months, the initial program will be developed. And I am convinced that this will be even better that the one in 2007.