I read with interest your Diary piece (MW October 30) regarding the recent sponsorship deal between Schroders and myself. I would have expected Marketing Week to be a little more encouraging of the decision by a blue-chip company such as Schroders to sponsor an up-and-coming sportsperson in a minority sport such as windsurfing.
As you said, mainstream sports such as football are emerging as less-than-attractive options to major companies, so I am surprised that you report Schroders’ venture in such a tongue-in-cheek manner. I would hope that this is just the first of many such deals, and that we see an increasing number of companies beginning to look beyond the traditional sponsorship opportunities and invest in more unusual properties.
The UK Indoor Windsurfing Championships, which will be staged at the Schroders London Boatshow in January, represent a multi-million pound investment, which will be supported by UK terrestrial TV. I hope that the public will welcome the chance to see such an exciting sport on home (albeit artificial!) waters and I am grateful to Schroders for giving my sport and my fellow competitors the chance to raise the profile of windsurfing on the domestic scene. Without support such as this, many people, myself included, would be unable to compete.