Whitbread 10m race up for grabs

Whitbread is reviewing its 10m sponsorship of the Round the World Yacht Race and is already hunting for potential sponsors to underwrite the 1997 race.

The company, whose name has been synonymous with the nine-month race for 23 years, will still fund the event if a sponsor is not found.

“What has happened is that the race has grown out of all proportion in terms of the sort of event it is,” says a spokeswoman for Whitbread.

Alan Pascoe’s sponsorship firm, API Sponsorship, has been approached to seek alternative sponsors – with the possibility of Whitbread retaining ownership of the event. Part of the review could mean that Whitbread sells the title rights.

API Sponsorship spokesman Alun James says one reason behind Whitbread’s decision to review its sponsorship of the ocean race is that Whitbread is not an international brand.

The event, which has its starting and finishing point in Southampton, has become much larger and would be more suited to a multinational company, says James. A sponsorship offer made by a tobacco company has been turned down.

However, it is understood that API Sponsorship is in negotiations with a communications company and an airline.

Whitbread spends about 5m annually on sports sponsorship, including the Stella Artois Queen’s Tennis Tournament.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here