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HUGO BOSS Named as Title Sponsor for Alex Thomson
for next two years

Alex Thomson is ‘ecstatic’ as dream to win Vendée Globe comes one step closer

Gosport, 1 September 2004: After months of searching, AT Racing has confirmed that leading international fashion company, HUGO BOSS, is to be title sponsor for Alex Thomson. The sponsorship starts with immediate effect and kicks off with the forthcoming Vendée Globe Challenge - the only single-handed, non-stop, round the world yacht race.

“This is fantastic news,” says Alex. “We already have a highly successful relationship with HUGO BOSS as partner sponsor and this new agreement provides the perfect springboard for our bid to win one of the ultimate challenges in world yachting.”

Dr Bruno Sälzer, CEO of HUGO BOSS AG is equally delighted. “Sailing is now the fastest growing area of international sports sponsorship and our experience with Alex confirms that it is a highly successful marketing investment. He is exceptionally media-friendly and has the charisma, lateral thinking and individual style in which the HUGO BOSS brand prides itself.”

Sailing complements the sponsorship portfolio of HUGO BOSS which already includes Formula 1 (Team McLaren Mercedes), Tennis (Davis Cup), Golf, Boxing (the two Klitschko brothers) and Soccer.

In sailing, HUGO BOSS gets another platform to demonstrate its fashion competence both on the boat with BOSS GREEN and shore-side with BOSS BLACK. BOSS GREEN provides Alex and the crew with highly functional and technical outfits for all possible weather conditions around the globe. BOSS BLACK will dress the crew for every celebration function in the smartest possible way.

Though the sponsorship deal (for an undisclosed sum), starts with the Vendée Globe, arguably the most challenging yacht race in the world, the campaign of European events AT Racing has put together for HUGO BOSS is “beyond compare”, believes Alex. The ambitious

programme includes a full spectrum of racing and hospitality events, ranging from the Fastnet Race and Transat Jacques Vabre to Kiel Week. The yacht will also be in port for the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix.
Alex Thomson is widely recognised as the most exciting and successful new talent on the international yachting scene. The youngest skipper ever to win a round the world yacht race, in 1998, more recently he smashed the world solo monohull speed sailing record, when he covered a remarkable 468.72 nautical miles in 24 hours in December 2003.

The boat is currently in Cherbourg, undergoing extensive technical preparation and the boatyard is working ‘round the clock’ to have the boat ready for the start date 7 November. At the same time, work is also underway on the new livery for the boat, to be called ‘HUGO BOSS’. The official naming ceremony for Alex’s title-chasing yacht will take place in early October.

The Vendée Globe Race now attracts huge media and public interest. “In 2000, for example, more than half a million people were at the start line at Les Sables D’Olonne to see one of the most prestigious events in the international sporting calendar get underway,” confirms leading entrepreneur and co-founder of AT Racing, Keith Mills, best known as CEO of the London 2012 Olympic bid and for founding the Air Miles and Nectar marketing programmes.

“Modern technology will also enable huge numbers to follow the race closely on the Internet – like a virtual ‘Big Brother’ on water,” he continues. With sophisticated computers, satellite phones, on-board cameras, email and video conferencing, the media and race-followers can experience the highs and lows of the race in real time and interact with Alex throughout the one hundred day ocean race.

“As a result, it will provide HUGO BOSS with the chance to sustain and build its brand in front of a global audience in a way no other medium or event can equal,” believes Mills.
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Notes to Editors
AT Racing was formed in September 2003 by Alex Thomson to support and manage his bid to win the 2004 Vendee Globe, the only single-handed, non-stop round the world yacht race. AT Racing was set up together with marketing entrepreneur Keith Mills, recently appointed CEO of the London 2012 bid for the Olympics and founder of both the Air Miles and Nectar marketing programmes. Keith Mills is also a keen sailor and was part of the crew on board the winning boat which Alex Thomson skippered in the Clipper ’98 round the world race. The fifth Vendee Globe race starts on 7 November at the French port of Les Sables D’Olonne.

More from: 1 September 2004
Tanya Brookfield Sarah Brambley/Laura Slade
Alex Thomson Racing The WhiteOaks Consultancy
Tel: +44 (0)23 9252 4343 Tel: +44 (0)1252 727313


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