Black and white about Open 60s

Till Pohlmann, Hugo Boss’ Head of Sports Sponsorship, tells us why they are into sailing
A lesson to everyone involved at the sharp end of sports sponsorship is that while Alex Thomson may not have the best track record in terms of finishing races, nonetheless he does have one highly content sponsor. And his backer is not small fry, but the German fashion giant, Hugo Boss, which in its fiscal year over 2008-9 saw sales of 1.868 billion Euros. Based from their headquarters in Metzingen, some 30km south of Stuttgart, the company now has 300 of their own stores around the world (set to increase to 400) and more than 1000 franchise stores. Within the sports sponsorship arena, Hugo Boss are best known for their backing of the McLaren F1 team. Having started in 1981, this is believed to be one of the longest running sponsorships in sport. With McLaren, Hugo Boss have their logos on the drivers helmets, on the car but they also dress the team all the way down to the employees working at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking. According to Till Pohlmann, Hugo Boss’ Head of Sports Sponsorship, there are three main pillars to their backing of sport: F1, yachting and golf. He won’t put a figure on their annual spend, but estimates just over 40% of this goes on F1, and around 30% on yachting, their second biggest sports sponsorship spend. In addition to F1 with its huge global reach, they also strongly support their own domestic market in Germany, which still accounts for around 20% of their total sales by among other activities, sponsoring the DTM, the German Touring Car Series. In golf they back individuals playing on the three tours in Europe, the USA and Asia, the best known being Swede Henrik Stenson, as well as three golf competitions: the BMW Open in Munich, the BMW championship