Many companies these days sponsor various initiatives to improve their standing as corporate citizens. Very few, however, have the opportunity to sponsor a staff member and watch proudly as he breaks records and raises the local profile of an international sport.
For the past three years, MIP has sponsored Mark Teasdale in his prize-winning sailing endeavours, providing the support that has allowed him to place among the top entrants of some of the world’s toughest regattas. A developer at MIP for many years, Teasdale’s amateur sailing provided a good opportunity for the company to get involved in a green initiative, as well as support a valued employee in his pursuit of sailing excellence.
Teasdale explains that sailing was a family pursuit, and that he picked up a love of the sport as a boy sailing with his dad. Today, he has represented South Africa in various sailing classes in world championships, earned his provincial and national colours for sailing, and counts first-prize wins of prestigious competitions among his achievements.
“Sailing has no carbon footprint, so it was a great fit for sponsorship in terms of MIP’s focus on green initiatives. MIP provides the funding to enter and compete in events, as well as promote a fantastic sport that is not only physical, but extremely tactical as well, and we proudly display the MIP branding on the boat – even more so when we win,” says Teasdale.
Recent wins include:
* Lake Malawi International Yachting Marathon – first place on handicap 58-minute lead over 500km
* Hobie 16 Provincial Championships – 1st place
* Hobie 16 National Championships – 7th place; 1st in North Region
* Hobie GP series 2012 – 1st place
As a result of this fantastic track record, as well as the MIP team’s fourth-place achievement in the biggest inland yachting race in Africa, the “Around the Island” regatta, Team MIP was invited to compete in the Formula 18 World Championships, taking place in July in Travemünde, Germany. This will see MIP’s Green Team, comprising Teasdale and teammate Charles Girard, competing against the world’s best, many of whom participate in the sport professionally.
Team MIP trains on the Vaal, using weekends to put in the hours necessary to prepare for the championship. The 2013 Multi-Hobie Cat World Championships will feature four different sailing disciplines, consisting of the Hobie 14 single-handed class; the Hobie Dragoon youth double-handed class; the Hobie Tiger class; and the first Hobie Wildcat class World Championships. For years, the Tiger class has been the premier Formula 18 catamaran class worldwide. The Wildcat is the latest hi-tech Formula 18 design from Hobie Cat, which will replace the Hobie Tiger in the future. This event will be hosting the first ever Wildcat class World Championships. There will be competitors stretching from as far afield as the USA, Australia, Hong-Kong and from all over Europe.
“This is the second-largest sailing event in the world. Every year, hundreds of thousands of water sport fans from all over the world descend on the city to experience the unique combination of international sailing and maritime festivals. Founded in 1889, the Travemünde Woche is being held for the 124th time. We are thrilled to be able to represent MIP and South Africa on the world stage, and couldn't have done it without the MIP sponsorship,” says Teasdale.
Richard Firth, CEO and Chairman of MIP Holdings, says MIP is proud to have been able to contribute to Teasdale’s success. “We find it a real team sport, and the sponsorship has given reason for all our employees to get behind the racing team and support a common winning goal. The MIP sponsorships have really driven positive success within our business, with our Motorite Racing team winning the 2012 Offroad Championship in South Africa, a long and gruelling race. It is great to work for a company that has a culture of ‘winning’!”