Sports is a vital part of the sponsoring strategy
"ispo gives us as much inspiration as exposure," says Johan Bexell, head of Sponsorship at Volvo Car Corporation.
He is referring to the opportunity Volvo designers have to follow close at hand the trends in the fast moving sports world at the same time as Volvo is able to exhibit its cars to an important and growing customer group.
ispo and Volvo Cars have been working together since 2003, starting modestly with exhibits at winter ispo and summer ispo only. During 2008 this cooperation includes Volvo SportsDesign Forum also. Volvo SportsDesign Forum, January 29, 2008 has the theme EcoDesign, at which
a number of the most influential names in design and sport - manufacturers, visionaries and environmental experts - will speak on how to include the environment in the equation on the drawing board. Volvo SportsDesign Forum 2008 is expected to attract over a thousand visitors.
Volvo has worked together with the sports world for many years. This cooperation began at
the end of the 1970s through sponsoring tennis and equestrian events. At present Volvo's
sports sponsorship focuses on sailing and golf.
As a corporation, Volvo does not sponsor individuals or teams, but whole competitions.
The world's premier offshore yacht race, the Volvo Ocean Race, next crosses the starting line
in Alicante, Spain in October 2008 to cross the finishing line in St Petersburg, Russia seven
months later. This is extreme sport placing the heaviest of demands on both man and material.
The Volvo Masters golf tournament in Valderrama, Spain is the 20th, and interest has never been greater. This is the most prestigious golf tournament on the Volvo agenda, being the final for the European Tour in which the 60 best ranked players do battle for the title. The world final of the Volvo Masters Amateur Golf tournament is held in connection with the Volvo Masters, attracting 80,000 golfers from 26 countries.
The Volvo China Open has been included in the PGA European Tour since 1995, and the youth tournament, the Volvo China Junior Championship, is becoming ever more popular. Golf is a rapidly expanding sport in Asia. In 2005 there were 220 golf courses in China; today there are 350 with another 100 due to open within the next few years.
"Tournaments are the perfect way for us to expose our brand and meet our potential customers
in Asia," says Johan Bexell, Sponsorship Manager at Volvo Cars. It gives us an opportunity to get close to them and understand what is important to them. Moreover we are able to show all the models in our Chinese market selection to a public with purchasing power.
Russia and China are Volvo Cars' fastest growing markets. Sales in Russia increased by
91.5 percent in 2006 and in China by 50.3 percent.
"There are many good reasons for Volvo to be engaged actively in sports," says Johan Bexell. We meet up with old and new customers under exciting circumstances. We increase awareness
of our trademark. And, naturally, we sell more cars.
When it comes to motor racing, Volvo was the first off the grid, during the 2007 season, to introduce an ethanol powered car in the World Touring Car Championship.
Volvo Cars' sponsorship portfolio, 2007
Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo ISAF Youth Championship
Volvo City Sailing (pilot 2008)
Volvo Masters Andalucia
Volvo China Open
Volvo Masters of Asia
Volvo Masters Amateur
The Nobel Foundation
The Göteborg Opera
Göteborgs Symfoniker (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra)
The Swedish East Indiaman Götheborg
Team at Swedish Touring Car Championship
The Official Car of the Sports Community (ispo Germany)
Volvo SportsDesign Forum (ispo)
Volvo SportsDesign Award (ispo)
Gothenburg Horse Show