It is ‘everyone’s welcome’ for the 2020 edition of the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna as the single manufacturer sponsor package is dropped in favour of a multi-brand approach.
This change in strategy sees the Knysna Speed Festival, as owners and organisers of the motor sport lifestyle event, are bringing on board a neutral non-vehicle brand to take up the title sponsorship, clearing the way for multiple vehicle brands’ participation and a higher profile role in the event going forward.
“We have enjoyed an incredible six-year journey with Jaguar as our title sponsor and we cannot thank the team at Jaguar enough for their support, enthusiasm and partnership over the years,” says Ian Shrosbree, managing director of Knysna Speed Festival.
“Jaguar has assisted us in lifting the standard across all levels of the event, and played a key role in helping us build it into the globally recognised Hillclimb that it is today. We will forever be grateful for this incredible support.
“Jaguar’s commitment was never more in evidence than when we went to them with our new vision, which will grow the event into the future to become one of the premier Hillclimbs on the global calendar and they immediately gave us their full support.
Pursuing this goal will demand a lot more resources and, to allow for this and make the event sustainable over the long term, the business model had to be adapted to be more inclusive of the other motor manufacturing brands.”
“Jaguar is proud its name has been associated with the premier motor racing event in South Africa as title sponsor for six years,” says Lisa Mallett, Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa. “Together we have elevated the status of the Simola Hillclimb, and the event has helped cement Jaguar as a leader in premium performance vehicles. We wish the organisers well in their mission to take an already world-class event to the next level.”
While the Simola Hillclimb will welcome all brands to the event from 2020, it has structured a top tier manufacturer partnership package that will be focused on five brands that will enjoy access to live stream branding, track branding, hospitality, track time, VIP runs, exhibition space and race entries.
“We are in discussions with a number of potential title sponsors and have already engaged with a many of the other vehicle brands, and their support for our strategy has been supportive and encouraging,” says Shrosbree. “Several indicated they had hoped this would materialise at some point as it allows them certain freedoms that have naturally not been possible with Jaguar as the exclusive motor brand title sponsor. We already have a number of commitments and anticipate that the top tier will be over-subscribed very soon.”
The 10th edition of the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb in 2019 saw just over 17 200 people from around the globe come through the gate. Drivers from the USA, UK and Germany participated and added to the international reach of the Hillclimb, while spectators from Australia, the DRC, Germany, Hong Kong, Namibia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and USA (in addition to SA) purchased tickets via the online system.
To date the YouTube video views number more than 7,3-million, while its live stream boasted more than 252 000 views delivering 1 373-million minutes of thrilling action. The average viewing time was 25 minutes, which is excellent by international standards. The event’s website attracted 46 559 users during May alone.
The 2020 Simola Hillclimb will take place from May 7-10 with the entry process and ticket sales opening in October 2019.