Professional services firm KPMG has been named as a presenting partner of the Australian leg of international sailing competition SailGP, which will be hosted in Sydney in mid-December.
In the build-up to one of the first major international events to be hosted in Sydney since the city’s emergence from lock-down, professional services firm KPMG has been named a presenting partner of the Australia Sail Grand Prix. The event will take place in Sydney Harbour over the 17th and 18th of December as part of the SailGP international circuit, with the Australian crew currently sitting atop of the leaderboard.
“Sponsoring the world class SailGP, a climate positive sport, brings together our commitment to economic recovery, and the wellbeing of our planet and our people,” said Amanda Hicks, KPMG National Managing Partner for Client Experience & Brand. “The joy of being out of lockdown and once again being able to participate in sport and society is an added bonus, especially one that aligns closely to our purpose of reducing our impact on the environment.”
The SailGP concept sees teams from a number of nations compete in identical ‘F50’ catamarans which are capable of clocking up speeds of above 100 kilometres per hour, with race data collected by partner Oracle shared among the teams to ensure a more even competition and avoid the technological arms’ race which undermines the America’s Cup. Australia took out the inaugural season in 2019, before Covid-19-disruptions hit.
“SailGP is thrilled to bring SailGP back to Sydney Harbour,” said CEO and legendary NZ skipper Russell Coutts. “We are grateful to the Australian government for working with us to allow this event to proceed, especially with the defending champions hosting their home event in Sydney. It’s going to be a fantastic two days of racing and we are looking forward to seeing thousands of fans come out for the most exciting racing on water.”
The first season of SailGP attracted a television audience of 1.8 billion across its five international race meets, with an economic impact of US$115 million claimed for the host cities. In the lead up to the second season kicking off in Bermuda earlier this year, ICT professional services firm Cognizant was tapped to further grow the sport’s audience through digital media innovations, as well as enhance the IoT capacities on each of the boats.
A thrilling previous round in windy conditions in Spain, attended by thousands of spectators, saw the Tom Slingsby-helmed Australian team emerge victorious, and reclaim the top spot on a congested leadedboard by just one point over the US heading into the penultimate round. The final round in San Francisco will be contested among the top three qualifying teams alone, with $1 million in prize money up for grabs.
The Australian team is hoping that KPMG can help deliver them an edge. “We’re thrilled to welcome such a respected organisation to the SailGP family,” said Slingsby.
“We’re excited to experience their excellence firsthand, and apply their expertise to elements of what we do, as we continue to represent the sport and our country with pride. Securing KPMG as Presenting Partner reinforces the prominence of how our sport is growing.”