Hosting the 2015 and 2018 Volvo Ocean Races was an opportunity Auckland could not afford to miss out on. If this event could be secured, not only would it provide a significant injection to the economy, but also help to get Auckland recognised – both on the sailing circuit as well as in the tourism industry domestically and internationally.
There were two major difficulties facing Auckland in its desire to be accepted as host city for the these prestigious yacht races:
• There were 33 other cities competing for the chance - some of the most desirable locations in the world - Alicante, Spain; Cape town, South Africa; Melbourne, Australia
• Auckland didn’t have the 2 million euros the organisers wanted as a fee to host it
Because of these factors, its case needed to be pleaded as special and an exception to this rule. Apart from the small matter of the fee, there was a perception that Auckland possibly wasn’t quite as magnificent as some of the other 33 competing ports.
Auckland needed to be kept top of mind through emphasising its yachting heritage while the committee members reviewed the cities before making their decision. This was done by presenting them with a beautifully crafted book. But, impressive as it might be, a book was unlikely to be a unique offering. How could it be made to stand out against 33 other beautifully crafted books?
The solution? Send the book in an envelope which no one else could replicate.
Made out of an actual sail ‘borrowed’ from Team New Zealand Camper, who stitched them together and put the book inside, such novel packaging would surely make a real impression.
Clearly, it worked! The Volvo Ocean Race will be held back in its ‘spiritual home’, Auckland - all secured without the unaffordable $2million euro hosting fee and for the submission cost of just 0.0004% of the projected injected spend in the NZ economy.
The 2015 Auckland stopover is expected to generate approximately 18,000 new visitor nights for the region and significant international media coverage to which a dollar value cannot even be put against it.