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February 14, 2007

Car giant turns heads with America's Cup experience

BMW used its presence at the London Boat Show, held at London's ExCeL last month, to show its commitment to event sponsorship. The company also extended the campaign beyond the walls of London’s ExCeL by transporting a full-size replica of the BMW ORACLE Racing yacht that will be competing in this year’s America’s Cup through the Capital’s streets.


BMW's ORACLE Racing yacht on its way to the London Boat Show

The final leg of the route took the yacht, USA-61, through Park Lane, Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch and Parliament Square before finishing its journey in the Docklands.

Marketing communications agency TRO designed and built the BMW environment at the London Boat Show and helped BMW bring the 24-metre vessel over from Germany. “Moving such a valuable exhibit across London required careful planning, including discussions with the transport police to prepare the route. A 24-metre yacht ‘sailing’ through the streets of London was quite a head-turner,” explained TRO’s project director Tania Pamplin.


Main attraction 

This was the first time an America’s Cup yacht had been exhibited at the London Boat Show, making the BMW stand one of the show’s leading attractions.

The exhibition environment was prefabricated at TRO’s East Anglia workshop and completed on site. It included a viewing platform that enabled visitors to see inside the champion race yacht, as well as featuring the two cars most closely associated with BMW Yachtsport – the M6 Coupé and the X3.  

The stand was designed to give the viewing public a greater insight into BMW’s commitment to yachtsport, and also to outline the technology transfer between the BMW ORACLE Racing yacht and BMW cars.


Interactive elements 

In addition to the main exhibits, the stand also featured yacht-racing simulators, giving visitors the chance to experience what it is like to be at the helm of these incredible vessels.  

There was even a theatre area, which featured guest speakers who talked about the America’s Cup, and the technology underpinning the USA-61 design. Meanwhile, laptops linked to key websites gave visitors more insights into BMW ORACLE Racing and BMW’s association with yachtsport.

“The America’s Cup is the world’s premier sailing event and BMW ORACLE racing is the Challenger of Record, so the stand had enormous significance for us," said BMW’s Emma Rosling. "We wanted to bring BMW Yachtsport activities closer to the UK public and  to give people a greater insight into why BMW is involved with sailing. Obviously the Boat Show provided us with the perfect opportunity to do this, and TRO created exactly the right environment to make our presence one of the highlights of the show.”

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