Vendee Globe: What if sailing professional Alex Thomson dies at sea?

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And when sailing professional Alex Thomson dies at sea?

Vendee Globe: What if sailing professional Alex Thomson dies at sea?-sailing

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The Briton Alex Thomson is taking part in the Vendee Globe for the third time. He had to give up on the first two starts

Source: AFP

Vendee Globe: What if sailing professional Alex Thomson dies at sea?-vendee He supports pro Alex Thomson. ">

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Hugo Boss boss Claus-Dietrich Lahrs. He supports pro Alex Thomson.

Source: picture alliance / HOCH ZWEI

Vendee Globe: What if sailing professional Alex Thomson dies at sea?-globe

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At the last Vendee Globe, the Briton had to give up after colliding with a fishing boat.

Source: AFP

Vendee Globe: What if sailing professional Alex Thomson dies at sea?-alex

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This time Thomson is promising in the race. At the beginning of December he finished fifth with his "Hugo Boss". At this point in time seven of the 20 participants had already startedhe retired.

Source: AFP

Hugo Boss boss Claus-Dietrich Lahrs explains why the fashion company is a sponsor of the Vendee Globe, the riskiest regatta for professional sailors.

D.he Vendee Globe is the toughest regatta in the world. Twenty sailors started four weeks ago in Les Sables d’Olonne on the French Atlantic coast. After only around a quarter of the route, there are already seven professionals given up. The main sponsor of the Englishman Alex Thomson is Hugo Boss. In an interview, CEO Claus-Dietrich Lahrs talks about the appeal and the risks of sailing.

World on Sunday: Mr Lahrs, your company is the main sponsor of the British Alex Thomson at the Vendee Globe. For whatever reason do you embark on this fascinating but also dangerous adventure?

Claus-Dietrich Lahrs: Dangerous is always relative, sailing is basically not a dangerous sport. At the Vendee Globe, of course, things are different: when a race leads around the world, a lot can happen. But Alex has a team behind him with which he has prepared extremely well.

World on Sunday: Why did you choose sailing as a sport in the first place??

Lahrs: We have simple criteria according to which we choose a sport. It has to be international, the sport has to be done by people who do it with enthusiasm and who have high demands on perfection, dynamism, elegance and sophistication. And we want to get together with athletes who represent our spirit. This is particularly true of Alex.

World on Sunday: What do you mean by that?

Lahrs: At Hugo Boss, we are extremely sporty. This is expressed through ambitious personalities who work for us. Everyone who visits our campus at the company headquarters in Metzingen can feel that. Sporty fighting spirit is what sets us apart. We’re not an active sportswear company, but what we do, we do it with great ambition. This also applies to the sports that we promote, whether that’s golf, sailing or Formula 1.

World on Sunday: When sailing, you focus solely on Alex Thomson. Does it stay that way or will you develop your commitment to sailing??

Lahrs: When we decide to sponsor, we as a company always want to be dominant. Alex‘s boat is a strong statement: it bears our name and our signature. We are very interested in getting a special gig. This is also the case in motor racing, in Formula 1. We have been involved there for 30 years and were the first fashion company in this sport.

World on Sunday: In sailing, you could have an easier time supporting one of the athletes who have had more success than Alex Thomson. What is it about this sailor that fascinates you??

Lahrs: It’s because of his personality and how he leads and represents his team. There are a lot of things that suit us. He was once eliminated due to material damage and was once rammed by a fishing boat. It was difficult for him to predict. But I think that he has all the qualities to be able to win.

World on Sunday: You form a unit with Alex Thomson. Don’t you worry that a race like the Vendee Globe can be life-threatening? It wouldn’t be the first fatal accident at the Vendee Globe. And if Alex Thomson dies at sea?

Lahrs: Of course we’re worried that he might not be able to finish the race. But we are also closely connected with him at sea. We have a direct connection to him via radio and the Internet. Of course there is risk, circumnavigating the world is something great and extraordinary, but we believe that it has a special way of keeping the risks under control.

World on Sunday: Do you have an influence on which sports Hugo Boss supports? It’s a matter for the boss?

Lahrs: Golf, sailing and Formula 1 were already being promoted when I came to Hugo Boss. We will continue to support these three sports intensively. But that has nothing to do with my personal preferences. I have never competed in car races myself, I have surfed but never sailed. I play golf, but that has nothing to do with our sponsorship. Other aspects move us when we decide to support something. Our brands naturally play a special role in this.

World on Sunday: See Hugo Boss as a German company?

Lahrs: Yes and no. In the eyes of our customers, our global presence means that we are not a typically German company and not a typically German fashion brand. In our industry there is little comparable in Germany. It’s different in the auto industry. We are known for having strong European roots and offering high quality at good value for money.

World on Sunday: How does your sponsorship affect your products??

Lahrs: For example, we keep taking elements from the sailing collection that we help design for Alex and his team in order to develop ideas for our sportswear collection. These are small elements that we are developing further. We will not bring an independent sail collection onto the market.

World on Sunday: Your customers apparently find the price-performance ratio to be appropriate. Is there a lower price limit for a current Boss suit that you can’t go below??

Lahrs: The Boss suit starts in Germany at a price around 450 euros. This is our starting price. In most other markets our goods are slightly more expensive due to a variety of factors. We will never leave our premium luxury positioning. We will rather support and expand this position because this market is the fastest growing in the long term.

World on Sunday: So there is a limit to the bottom?

Lahrs: We have them for every product, depending on the market and the brand’s price position in the market. We tend to go up rather than down.

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