IWC Schaffhausen return

Swiss watch manufacturer back on board with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

Wednesday September 18th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Arab Emirates

Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has announced its agreement with Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) to become the first major sponsor of its new-look Volvo Ocean Race 2014–15 team, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - which returns to the gruelling round-the-world sailing odyssey for a second shot at glory.

The partnership, which also sees IWC Schaffhausen reignite its Official Timekeeper status for the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race, came at the newly opened IWC boutique at The Galleria at Sowwah Square on Al Maryah Island – Abu Dhabi’s largest high-end shopping destination.

The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing partnership, which continues from the 2011–12 edition when the team became the first Arab-flagged entry in the race, opens up considerable marketing and engagement opportunities globally as the race calls at 10 cities across four continents, starting in Alicante, Spain, in October next year.

“Abu Dhabi and IWC Schaffhausen have forged a deep-rooted spirit based on the fundamentals of tradition, a desire for perfection and winning mentality. We saw these core values come to the fore during the last campaign, and they are the building blocks of our future cooperation that will see both brands ride high on another wave of success across the globe,” said Faisal Al Sheikh, Director – Events Bureau, TCA Abu Dhabi, which is also behind the UAE capital hosting the third stopover of the 2014-15 race over Christmas and New Year.

IWC and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing made a number of headline-grabbing initiatives in the last race, including hosting two of the world’s most pre-eminent footballers of their generations: Luís Figo and Zinédine Zidane, on board the team’s state-of-the-art yacht, Azzam (determination).

Karoline Huber, Regional Brand Director of IWC Middle East & India, said that fans can expect much more from the next campaign in Abu Dhabi.

“The Volvo Ocean Race is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular round-the-world sailing events. We are proud to be part of this exceptional test of sailing prowess, which attracts the very best teams on the planet,” said Huber.

“Through Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing we continue to grow the synergies between our two brands: precision, technology, engineering and innovation. With our unabated commitment to the emirate, the launch of our new boutique at The Galleria and plans for the UAE capital’s hosting of next year’s race stopover, we fully expect to make big waves across the region and the world together.”

Abu Dhabi city will host the third 2014–15 Volvo Ocean Race stopover from mid-December 2014 until 3 January 2015.

The UAE capital will welcome the fleet from Cape Town (South Africa). The Abu Dhabi Etihad Airways In-Port Race, which was won by home favourites Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the last edition, will take place on 2 January 2015, with the fleet departing for Sanya (China) the following day.

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