Inmarsat, the global mobile satellite communications giant, is to provide live streaming video images from the seven yachts competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, the round-the-world race that is due to start from Valencia, Spain, in November.
Inmarsat and the race’s organisers say that the live footage should provide sponsors with a massive boost in exposure. Inmarsat estimates that its branding on the yachts will be worth an estimated &£7m alone.
Each of the seven yachts will be equipped with ten digital video cameras. In addition to footage that will be streamed over the internet, the race organisers are planning a television documentary series and additional documentaries for broadcast around the world during the race, which will run from November 2005 to June 2006.
The TV shows are being developed by Television Corporation, the US company behind American reality TV hits Paradise Island and Forever Eden.
Inmarsat will also provide voice and e-mail communications which crews will use to access online navigational and weather updates, send live video footage and webcam images, conduct press and radio interviews, and talk to family and friends.
Press advertising for the race is being handled by Zenith Optimedia.