Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone in Cape yacht sponsorship

Oct 03, 2014

Bridgestone South Africa, well known for its tyres, was in the news for different reasons with the announcement that it has taken full naming rights on a Cape Town yacht, the 40-foot catamaran, Bridgestone Ameera. The sponsorship will run for three years and will see the Bridgestone logo prominently featured on the Ameera's sail. The announcement was made during a glossy event hosted on Friday 26 September by Bridgestone staff at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront, with the guests including some of Cape Town's top swimsuit models and other VIPs including Esa Yacoob from Yacoob Yachts, which owns the vessel.

Speaking at the launch, Bridgestone PR Manager, Desirée van Niekerk, said Bridgestone had long wanted to establish a higher-profile presence in the Mother City. "Bridgestone has a large satellite office in Montague Gardens to the North of Cape Town, as well as an extensive dealer network serving Cape Town and the surrounds," she commented. "With our new yacht based in the Cape Town harbor, Bridgestone will have a prominent presence in the vibrant V&A Waterfront tourist hotspot.

With Yacoob Yachts being situated at the Waterfront, the Bridgestone sponsorship will not only benefit the tyre manufacturer, but also members of the public who will be able to book short cruises in the Table Bay vicinity. The yacht is crewed by experienced sailors with many years' seagoing experience.

Apart from offering daytime cruises and a sunset cruise, the Bridgestone Ameera will also assist in increasing the profile of South African tourism by providing access to Robben Island for visitors. The well known difficulties surrounding access to the island were one of the key factors behind Bridgestone's decision.

"We feel strongly that the heritage value of Robben Island needs to be more easily accessible to the public, and we are sure that our sponsorship of the Ameera will make a big difference to this," van Niekerk said.

The Ameera was built by Escape Marine, in Gordon's Bay in 2006 to a Yacoob Yachts commission. She was constructed in 12 parts for easy export instead of the usual single-unit construction method. She weighs just on 25 tons and is powered by a Yanmar engine when not under sail. Her double hull has a beam (width) of six meters (18 feet), and is ideally suited to the kind of coastal and bay cruising for which she is used.

Crew of two or three looks after a maximum passenger complement of 38 and the Ameera's launch skipper in 2006 was a black woman, a first at the time.

As part of the sponsorship, Bridgestone picked up the tab for an end-to-end overhaul of the Ameera to ensure she complies with the highest standards of seaworthiness and passenger comfort. The cabin came in for particular attention, with new seating arrangements and upholstery, all with the Bridgestone logo discreetly embossed into the material.

"We're very pleased to be able to announce this sponsorship, and we look forward to welcoming our clients and friends on board," concluded van Niekerk.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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