Barbados recently scored some major visibility in the European market by signing on as the sole destination sponsor for the world’s biggest windsurfing event – the Mercedes-Benz Windsurfing World Cup in Sylt, Germany.
The two-week event attracted over 300,000 spectators and went out to an additional 200,000 plus international fans via the Mercedes-sponsored live streaming component. Barbados attained excellent brand exposure throughout the facility and stood out as the only partner running a digital campaign. The online sweepstakes saw patrons taking photos with sports tourism ambassador, Brian Talma and wearing branded sun hats for a chance to win a trip to the island.
BTMI Director, Europe, Anita Nightingale, expressed her satisfaction with the promotion, as she works to increase the island’s market share within this important travel market.
She stated, “Sylt is the ‘Hamptons’ of Germany, so the audience was a great fit for Barbados. We hope to continue making these types of key partnerships for future events and additional traction within the European market.”
Meanwhile, during his week at the event, Talma was acknowledged by the locals as one of the founders of the now globally popular freestyle windsurfing format. His was the honour of several media interviews during which he took the time to promote Barbados as a multifaceted sporting destination.
Out of the many eligible entries in the BTMI’s #halloBarbados social media contest, luck was on the side of Katrin Kenawy, who was declared the eventual winner. She will receive a trip for two to Barbados via airline partner, Condor, with seven nights stay at the Ocean Two resort. The prize also included an activities package from the Boatyard and a personal action sports lesson from ‘De Action Man’ himself.
Director Nightingale added, “Social media is a major priority for Barbados, especially in Europe, where we are keen to position the island as an immersive, engaging and culturally intriguing travel option for the Dual Income, No Kids (DINKS) affluent European market. This promotion increased our online presence and awareness of our brand in a real, measurable way.”
Event organizer and head of the ACT marketing agency Matthias Neumann confessed that the partnership with Barbados was not without some personal feelings involved, sharing that he viewed Barbados as almost a second home. He gave the insight that persons visiting Sylt fell into the ideal demographic of visitor that Barbados is looking for. He commented, “We were very glad that Barbados was our partner country this year. It fits perfectly because lifestyle sports such as windsurfing, kite surfing, paddle boarding and surfing are core interests in Germany. The same persons coming to Sylt are the same who would be interested in visiting Barbados and it is good that the island has been so well represented here at the event.”