Quick. Without using the Google or scrolling further down this page, what company uses this logo and what do they make?
Don't worry. 93.6% of Zen masters don't know the answer to this question.
But as this is a sailing blog, and a Laser sailing blog to boot, some of you may be familiar with the logo. Haven't you seen it somewhere? Think.
OK. Time up.
Perhaps you remembered it as the logo on the sails at the Heavy Weather Laser Slalom in San Francisco last year? If so, you would be right.
Oh yes. Now you remember. What does it say on their sail? MACLAREN. Hmmm.
Aren't they the people that sponsor Anna Tunnicliffe and her match racing team? Yes they are. Maclaren have been making quite a splash in the sailing world in the last year. I hear they had some involvement with the Sunfish Worlds and also that they have been sponsoring Rob Crane, the US Laser sailor selected to go to the 2012 Olympics.
So what does Maclaren make? Something that might appeal to sailors perhaps?
Rum? No. That's Mount Gay.
Cars? No. Volvo do that.
German sneakers? Now you're being silly. That's Puma.
What? Baby strollers?
Yes. Or to use their own words, "Maclaren is a premier British parenting lifestyle company that produces the worlds most safe, durable, innovative, and stylish baby buggies, strollers, carriers, ..."
Hmmm. So why are they sponsoring sailing events? I thought that people tended to give up sailing during their "parenting" years. What's the connection?
Well, the principal connection seems to be that Maclaren (the
More news on Maclaren's present and future involvement in sailing has filtered out over the past few weeks.
I first spotted something in the minutes of the North American Laser Class Executive Committee meetings. For many months now these minutes have recorded that LaserPerformance have been delaying making a commitment to provide sponsorship money to the Laser Class (which they had been doing in the past, I believe.) Then, in the January minutes there was a brief item saying that the class was going to submit a "sponsorship packet" to Maclaren.
Hmmm. Why would the class think that the
It all became somewhat clearer this week. The World Laser 4.7 Youth Championships are scheduled to be held in Argentina next month, but there is a notice on the international Laser class website saying, "We are still urgently trying to secure the provision of charter boats for the championships in Argentina." Traditionally the manufacturer of Lasers for the region in which such major championships are held (LaserPerformance in this case) has provided brand new charter boats for the championship, made some money from the charter fees, and then sold the boats (through dealers) at a discount.
Someone complained about this problem affecting the Laser 4.7 Worlds on the Laser Forum and a reply from one of the class officers revealed that...
LaserPerformance have decided they no longer want to participate in the boat charter business for major events like this...
Going forward LaserPerformance says it will focus entirely on boat building. All previous "support" functions once performed by LP will be transferred to their sister company Maclaren which will handle sports marketing. Organizations once receiving "support" from LP can now apply for sponsorship to Maclaren.
It's not clear to me that this means that Maclaren will provide the same kind of charter boat arrangements at major events that LaserPerformance previously did. If they don't, then the kind of Masters Worlds that I have attended with 400+ sailors competing may be a thing of the past.
But it does seem clear that if you want some sponsorship money for sailing, don't bother to write to LaserPerformance, send your pitch to Maclaren.
I have no idea what the reason for this change is. What are Maclaren getting out of being involved in sailing sponsorship? Is it about selling more baby buggies to Laser sailors? Or is there something else going on here that I am missing?
Please feel free to speculate in the comments. Normal rules apply. Any relation of your comments to reality is entirely optional. Points will be awarded for creativity and use of marketing buzzwords that real people don't understand. Resorting to use of logic and reason will be penalized.