Even major sporting competitions such as the Olympic Games have had to search hard to locate capable and cash rich sponsors. There just never seems to be enough funders to satisfy the market. Even motor racing’s Formula 1 is battling with serious cost issues. Following eighteen months of extensive research and cold calling, the International Waterski Federation has created a novel and successful formula to overcome this widespread problem.

It all began with the objective of launching a truly international World Cup series for the very best Waterskiers and Wakeboarders. With over 30 million active participants and 52,000 competitors, the International Waterski Federation believed that the sport must be brought to the people. In other words, downtown venues were the target. This is where some lateral thinking produced the goods !

While successful branding is critical in the corporate world, it is also critical to both cities and countries in their battle to increase tourism, develop positive and healthy self images and motivate local organizations to focus on morale boosting activities. Armed with high quality glossy literature and action packed DVDs, the International Waterski Federation began an international trawl of likely cities which had these desires. It was a long journey.

Eighteen months later, the IWSF has successfully concluded negotiations to stage major Waterski and Wakeboard events this year in downtown city venues in France, Russia, Singapore, China and Qatar. MasterCraft have also come on board to provide high performance boats and technical support. Between 20,000 and 50,000 spectators are expected to attend at each location. In addition to this, major events will also be staged in the USA and Britain. Kuno Ritschard, the Switzerland based IWSF President, has confirmed that the total cash prize purse in this first year will exceed US$ 650,000 – and he has set an ambitious target of US$1,000,000 for 2005.

In convincing Cities rather than corporate sponsors to participate in the new Waterski and Wakeboard World Cup series, their full backing will bring large audiences to downtown locations – and this will create a large stage for exciting TV coverage. At a time when sponsorship is a scarce commodity, the International Waterski Federation has found a novel way to launch a major seven stop worldwide event. This should keep the 30 million active Waterskiers in the World glued to their TV sets this summer – and bring some novel excitement to the seven cities involved ! For full details, check out www.iwsf.com.

For more details contact:

IWSF – International Water Ski Federation

Desmond Burke-Kennedy
IWSF Marketing and Media Committee


+353 1 285 5205