Local sponsorship can work
For every major sailing regatta today sponsorship is a necessity and the 2011 Melges 24 World Championship, to be hosted by Corpus Christi Yacht Club, Texas, from 11-21 May, is no exception. 2011 Melges 24 World Championship Regatta Chair Teri Ficken tells of the efforts she and her team have been making to ensure the event has the financial support it needs:
"Whoever said the local businesses don't step up to the plate when it comes to sailing events didn't live in Corpus Christi, Texas. Due to the lagging economy and the lack of funding out there, we did what we've always done when it comes to sponsorship, we turned to our neighbors and friends and boy did they come through. Twelve of the, so far, 23 sponsors for the 2011 Melges 24 Worlds are local or regional businesses.
"Corpus Christi Electric, formed in 1931, is the oldest electrical supplies distributor in Corpus Christi. It is a privately owned company, whose owners happen to be CCYC members and love to participate in our regattas. While they can't always donate their time, they are ever so generous with their money. This year they've donated over 400' of aluminum conduit for us to redo our RC flags, and for the Worlds they are covering the cost of the crane rentals for the launching and weighing of the boats.
"OGI is another locally owned company, also another CCYC member, which does mapping for oil & gas/pipeline, real estate, utilities, right of way, etc. Not exactly sailing oriented, but the owner is an avid boater who likes to stay involved with Yacht Club activities and is covering the cost of the Official Regatta Brochure.
"The Corpus Christi/Upper Padre Island Convention & Visitor's Bureau and the CC Downtown Management District have both jumped on board as active sponsors, as has the Corpus Christi Marina and the City of Corpus Christi. Rugged Cycles is offering an off site boat storage area, both indoor and outdoor space is available. Valls Group and Ainsworth Trucking have both come on board to aid in shipping logistics where feasible. The Yachting Center at Harrison's Landing located on People's St. T-head will be providing water taxi service for the mid-week party at the Texas St. Aquarium, which Water Street Seafood Company is catering.
"Whataburger, a locally owned hamburger franchise since 1950, is sponsoring After Racing one night, as is one of our own, Greg Turman, who's also the Chief Equipment Inspector (a man of many talents).
"Our biggest home grown sponsor of all is the State of Texas who qualified us for monies from the Texas Tourism Grant Fund.
"So, you can see that a lot of our backing is coming from local sources that are eager to see this event succeed.
"However, in addition, we have some wonderful national sponsors such as North Sails One Design to thank for the bow numbers and Velocitek for hosting a Speed Challenge on Friday and also the Friday night After Racing Social. Harken donated all the document bags for the Skipper's and Judges, and Weather Routing, Inc. is providing weather forecasting for the event. And we can't forget Pusser's Rum "The Official Rum of the 2011 Melges 24 Worlds" whose presence will be felt, both literally & figuratively, throughout the week.
"Sail 22 is bringing their trailer down and is also hosting a tune-up Regatta, April 30 - May 1st. Andy Burdick with Melges USA is also bringing their trailer down. Dave Whelan, Gulf Coast Composite in Houston, is bringing his van down in case we have any mishaps that should require his services. This is one sponsor that would prefer his services not be needed (fiberglass). However, we would have been in trouble at our last Worlds event when two boats collided on the course had Dave not been in attendance.
"Special thanks go out to USSailing/Regatta Network for managing our web site and to Ken Taylor in particular for putting up with the Regatta Chair. Another special mention goes to our long time merchandise partner, Coral Reef Sailing Apparel. Having them on board is just tremendous as it takes that whole element of merchandising off of our plates. Everyone is encouraged to go to our web site and order their Official Regatta Merchandise. You don't need to be a participant to have some official Regatta gear.
"And last but certainly not least, we have OMNI Hotels who've given us some great rates at the OMNI Marina Hotel for the event and it's only 4 blocks from CCYC; and SEATOW who's providing a fuel truck for the refueling of the RC and support boats.
"So as you can see, we have a real mixture of sponsors. Some directly related to sailing or boating, and some who just like to be involved in fun community events. Thanks to all these people, and many more local in-kind sponsors, we are planning one kick ass event. The 2011 Melges 24 Worlds is an event you don't want to miss, because believe me you'll be regretting it for years to come if you do."