Formula 1, golf, tennis, sailing primarily... Luxury brands are more reluctant to invest in high performance sport. "It heals our image," says Christophe Babin, Tag Heuer, World President of prestige Chronographs, very discreet on the amount of investment in sponsoring, as are also all signs. This quest for innovation has led the brand of the Group LVMH to sign partnerships with the stable of F1 McLaren Mercedes and drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen, with the number one world golf, Tiger Woods, tennis player Maria Sharapova, and more recently with this challenge China Team on the 32nd edition of the America's Cup. "This partnership is an important part of the global commitment of the People's Republic of China brand, where Tag Heuer is now distributed in the best stores and shops to watch, as well as exclusive resellers in major cities," says Manager.
Strengthen their notoriety
This agreement follows one signed last December with the Chinese star of basketball in the NBA, Yao Ming, "which expresses our determination to strengthen our reputation and our image in China". Christophe Babin said: "It is important to understand that all our partnerships have major objective to help us develop new watch models from the expertise of sports and the athletes with whom we collaborate on a daily basis." This year, Tag Heuer launched the first mechanical wrist watch to the hundredth of a second associated to the driver Montoya and with Tiger Woods, a limited-edition for golf professionals. Vuitton, another LVMH flagship brand, has given its name to the prérégates of the America's Cup for more than twenty years, for an amount estimated by the experts at EUR 20 million. "The exceptional side of this test gives an extremely interesting visibility/exclusive ratio for the brand," admits Bruno Troublé, spokesman for Vuitton America's Cup. The Swiss group Audemars Piguet, him, disbursed in 2003, according to "Le Figaro" (June 20), 3.3 million euros to sponsor of the America's Cup winner Alinghi boat in the Bay of Auckland. "It has re-signed for the new edition which has been significantly improved by Ernesto Bertarelli with prérégates taking place from 2004 until the final test in 2007, which gives us an unexpected media exposure", recognizes Jérôme Auzanneau, Director General of the French subsidiary. He admits that this partnership allows "to federate the distribution networks of the mark, a difficult task, on a sports project". Of course, Audemars Piguet makes series of watches "with the proceeds used to pay the partnership". Hublot watch company, who wants to "triple in eight years its turnover of 30 million euros", preferred to sign a contract of timekeeper of the race alone and "Figaro" with the Yacht Club of Monaco, while associating "in the Monaco Classic Week 2005 will take place from 13 to 18 September in Monaco Bay", announces his Director Yvan Arpa. This event was for originality to navigate all the ships of tradition more than 25 metres, time and the old motor boats motor-yachts. "These partnerships are a unique opportunity for our brand to strengthen our presence in the world of the sea, where there is a real credibility," he assured. Associated with the style and the sea
Panerai, the watch brand of the Richemont group, has given its name to the Royal Regatta trophy, which the 27th Edition, brings together about 200 traditional yachts, takes place from June to October off the coast of big resorts of the Mediterranean (the next in September in Porto Rotondo and Cannes, then in October at Saint-Tropez). "As the yachts, our watches are made to last." "It is passion: whether it's sailing or watches, those who produce and those who have are animated by a common passion", commented CEO, Angelo Bonati. He added: "the history of Panerai is associated to the style and the sea." Our goal is to make this race a reference circuit in this area. We think to expand the event in the United States and even in China.
For its part, Lancel (Richemont Group also) put on another regatta test, called the Classic Lancel, which brought together for the sixth consecutive year between La Baule and Noirmoutier from 28 July to 3 August old rigging, and a flotilla of keelboats of sports. "We have always manufactured products related to travel, it was therefore natural to combine the tradition and know-how with sailing," explains the Director General, Philippe Berlan. The brand is also present in F1 with a line of bags made for the Renault team, in tennis with another line for Roland Garros, and "we have just signed a contract to image with swimmer Laure Manaudou to the Beijing", reveals the head. As the famous Swiss House Chopard, it developed since 1988 on the most emblematic of the historical automobile races, the Mille Miglia (Brescia-Rome-Brescia) and "edits on that occasion a watch with the vintage of the race", said Director General France, Jean-François Aubert. Then, every two years, the famous jeweler is partner of the Grand Prix of Monaco historic, which brings together former models of formula 1 in the Principality.