NEWPORT – Live satellite feeds, social media marketing, and more affordable boats in the Volvo Ocean Race are all part of what CEO Knut Frostad is expected to say Tuesday at a press conference leading up to a three-day host summit for port officials in the 2014-15 global sailing event.
Social media marketing involves everything from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, said Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport, the contracting authority for the North American stopover here in May 2015.
“For Rhode Island, it markets and packages the race coming here,” Read said. “You will be able to watch this live on your phone at any time of day. You know the players, you will be a fan, you will be able to follow this, and we will be marketing Newport all over North America as the North American stopover. [Fans] will be able to watch it around the world.”
Newport is the sailing event’s only North American stop.
The Volvo Ocean Race, known as the “Mt. Everest of sailing,” is a grueling circumnavigation of the globe that begins in October 2014 in Alicante, Spain, and finishes in Gothenburg, Sweden in June 2015.
The press conference is slated for 8 a.m., with the keynote address set for 8:30, at the Hyatt Regency Newport. Frostad’s address will kick off a three-day workshop that focuses on how the race will be managed and organized around the world. Officials also will tour the Sail Newport facility and Fort Adams State Park to review the site for the Newport stopover, according to a media advisory.
Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee is expected to be on hand to welcome international visitors, said Read.
Frostad also will announce changes in the affordability of the boats and the service commitment that Volvo and race organizers have set up to make the race less expensive, so there can be more entries, Read said. Frostad will present the latest overview of the race route as well, Read added, and announce participation of the first international all-women sailing team from Sweden since the 1990s.
The coming race, which covers approximately 40,000 nautical miles, will be the 12th running of the 40- year-old event, which started in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.
“Newport is a beautiful place to visit, and it’s the site of a future stopover so they chose Newport to gather everyone together,” said Kim Cooper, regatta and marketing director for Sail Newport.
Besides Newport, Gothenburg and Alicante, visitors here for the workshop will represent ports in Cape Town, South Africa; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirate; Sanya, China; Auckland, New Zealand; Itajai, Brazil; Lisbon, Portugal; and Lorient, France.