The 2010-11 edition of VELUX 5 OCEANS marks the second time the race has stopped in the USA with the VELUX Group as title sponsor.
Also this time, when it landed in Charleston, South Carolina, the event was a major success for the sales companies both in the USA and Canada.
The North American sales companies are making use of the sponsorship to raise awareness about the VELUX Group and help build the VELUX brand on the continent. Although the VELUX Group is a market leading brand here, customers and clients do not necessarily know the global scope of the company and the sustainability aspect of its business.
“We are able to bring our customers to Charleston, as we did in Norfolk four years ago, and we are able to explain them that VELUX is a global company, tell them what we are doing with sustainability and get to know them much better. We are using it as a great social venue but also as an invaluable brand-building opportunity,” says President of VELUX USA, Tim Miller.
This time, preparations have been going on for over two years. More than 320 guests were invited to take part in a multitude of activities leading up to race start last Saturday. Although sailing does not have a huge profile in USA and Canada, the sales companies can still give their guests a unique experience and lasting memory of the event.
Apart from reinforcing relations with customers, the sales companies have benefited from the close relationships with their respective national skippers in the race, Brad Van Liew from the USA and Derek Hatfield from Canada. The relationship has spurred business for both the skipper and the sales companies.
“Brad has helped putting us in contact with the right people he knew and thereby helped us putting 160 skylights on the city market. So we have developed a very close relationship over the last three years,” says Tim Miller.
Derek Hatfield is proudly flying the flag of Active House, an alliance of like-minded companies and experts, including the VELUX Group, who have joined forces to promote sustainable building. Hatfield and VELUX Canada have known each other for seven years. President of VELUX Canada Nels Moxness says:
“I am very impressed with his work and his dedication to environment. We are working with him as a motivational speaker and he is quite a characteristic speaker and you can imagine racing around the world takes a lot of talent in terms of planning and tenacity. He is a very good spokesperson for Active House and expels the idea of honest hard working effort,” he says.
Sustainability is the overall theme of VELUX 5 OCEANS – it is also a core belief and philoso-phy of the VELUX Group. By using the sun as a free and renewable energy source, the Group has been promoting daylight and fresh air for 70 years. Daylight through the roof can provide all the light needed during daytime instead of electricity. Sunlight also offers passive solar heat, which reduces a building’s reliance on fossil fuels and minimises CO2 emissions.
“I think whether you are out racing in VELUX 5 OCEANS or you are running a market leading skylight company you are always keeping an open eye on competition. In my opinion the skippers and VELUX expel the idea of commitment, innovation and constant self im-provement. If you know your competitors behind you, you know that you always have to improve things going forward,” says Nels Moxness.
The VELUX 5 OCEANS round-the-world yacht race started in October 2010 from the French Atlantic city of La Rochelle. Last Saturday, the skippers were sent off from Charleston on their final sprint back to the starting point. They are expected to race fast and reach their final destination within two weeks.
About the VELUX Group
The VELUX Group holds the title sponsorship of VELUX 5 OCEANS for the second time. The spirit, values and nature of the race and its skippers are similar to those of the VELUX Group. As a manufacturer of roof windows, the VELUX Group employs creativity and an in-novative approach to the development of new products and business strategies. In its mis-sion to create better living environments with daylight and fresh air through the roof the Group has earned the reputation of being one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector. The VELUX Group has manufacturing companies in 11 countries and sales companies in just under 40 countries, it has about 10,000 employees and is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by foundations and family. For more details, visit www.velux.com.
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