Slow, long burn

Mark Lloyd /
Keith Gapp, Head of Strategic Marketing & Communications for EFG Bank, discusses their sailing sponsorships
They haven’t jumped in with an America’s Cup or a Volvo Ocean Race campaign, but a company that is registered slowly on the radar of yacht racers internationally is Zurich-based EFG Bank. The Swiss bank is relatively new, founded in 1995, but now has around 80 billion Swiss Francs under management with bases now in around 30 countries around the world. Recently they were title sponsor of Sailing Arabia – The Tour [SATT], while the Monaco-based arm of the bank backed Sidney Gavignet’s entry in that event. On the opposite side of the globe they are ‘presenting sponsor’ of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (the event that once upon a time was purely the ‘Bacardi Cup’ for the Star class.) They also back the other Bacardi Sailing Week event in Newport in July, plus the EFG Bank Viper Pan-American Championships for the Viper 6.40 sportsboat. Alongside SATT their latest sponsorship is that of the newly created ‘Star Winter Series’ based out of Florida that this year was won by Augie Diaz after five events culminating in the Walker Cup in mid-February. EFG Bank is also supporting Antigua Classics this year. In the Far East it supports Nick Burns and Fred Kinmouth’s Mills 40 Mandrake, who’s EFG Bank Mandrake was part of the Hong Kong team in last year’s Brewin Dolphin Commodores’ Cup. However their original sailing sponsorship was when they backed the Swiss-based EFG Bank Sailing Team campaigns on the Melges 24 circuit, the team run since last year by Chris Rast. So spreading themselves too thin or is this a deliberate ploy? “One of our key, underlying principles of everything we do is diversity,” explains Keith Gapp, Head of Strategic Marketing & Communications, a Brit working out of the EFG Bank head office in Zurich. “Unlike a lot of organisations, probably most, we don’t latch on to one