SailGP is a global professional sailing competition that launched in 2019. Teams from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and USA compete in iconic destinations across the globe. SailGP’s mission is to make sailing as exhilarating and exciting as possible and engage a new generation of fans and participants, by using cutting-edge technology, high-performance boats and close to shore racing that is not otherwise seen at other on-water racing events. Over two action-packed days, teams race at high speeds in identical high-performance F50 catamarans with the Season’s winning team receiving prize money of US$1,000,000. The KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix has been held annually in Sydney since its inception in 2019. This year’s event was held on 18-19 February 2023 – event 10 of Season 4 of the Championship. Being Milestone’s fourth campaign for the Sydney event, meant that we were able to draw and apply insights from previous campaigns.
SailGP was seeking a local marketing agency to develop the Sydney events marketing strategy as well as the campaign implementation and delivery. In 2019 & 2020, the key campaign objectives were to create brand awareness and build loyalty and fans through acquisition campaigns and mass brand strategies. In 2021, due to COVID, a shorter campaign focused on performance-driven marketing to deliver national ticket sales was implemented. This year, the campaign reverted back to a full 18 week campaign including micro campaigns for fan acquisition, brand awareness, and performance marketing for ticket conversion. A large objective for this year’s campaign was to drive visitation to Sydney and increase ticket sales.
Milestone’s responsibilities included development and execution of a comprehensive,
full integrated and multi-faceted event marketing campaign, including:
The KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix Sydney marketing campaign delivered strong results, including a total marketing reach of 135 million eyeballs and an increase in ticket sales by 109% compared to the 2020 event.
With the Australian borders fully open since the 2020/2021 COVID lockdowns, a concerted effort was made to drive international, interstate and NSW regional visitation, with a total of 52.1% of ticket holders being ex-Sydney. Milestone identified top performing audiences and targeted these through a multi-channel approach, across owned channels, out-of-home, paid digital, radio, TVC, print and distribution. A four-phased ticketing approach was implemented this year with a pre-sale, early bird, second release and final release. We saw a significant increase in sales compared to the 2021 campaign with a 67% increase in pre-sale sales, 1% increase during early bird, 32% increase in the second release and overall an amazing result of a 109% increase. Volume of tickets to sell also increased by 72% compared to the previous campaign. Overall 91.6% of total tickets were sold. This year’s campaign saw amazing results across all touchpoints and exceeded campaign KPIs. We look forward to working with SailGP on future campaign!