As competitors in this year's Volvo Ocean Race prepare for the second leg, which starts from Cape Town on Saturday, telecoms giant Ericsson is reaping the benefits of its two yachts' first-place and third-place finishes in the first leg in more ways than just positioning.
Johan Bergendahl, Ericsson's chief marketing officer, says the first-leg finishes by the Ericsson yachts obviously boost the company's profile, but that there are other beneficial spin-offs too.
"This time we're coming in as number one and, as Ericsson, we like this – not only from a race point of view, but also from a business perspective," he says.
Bergendahl says that Ericsson, which has had a long association with the race, uses it for three main dimensions.
"Firstly, it helps us brand as a company that we are a prime driver in an all-communicating world," he says. "Being on that boat, that piece of carbon fibre, the team not only tansmits from anywhere in the world, but competing highlights what the race is all about. It is all around professionalism, respect and perseverance.
"The team is on the boat seven days a week and the quality has to be there because their lives are literally at stake," he adds.
Bergendahl says the second dimension is around marketing.
"Around this all-communicating world and our role in it," he says. "Most people know we're number one in mobility, but it is not just about being able to move around – it is about being able to connect around the world at any time and anywhere. Not only in terms of telephone calls, but any content on any screen.
"The third benefit lies in the fact that we get the chance to meet with customers and spend some time with them when the boats are in port," he says. "This gives us a chance to discuss issues that are important in the various regions – and our interaction doesn't stop when we leave port.
"It allows Ericsson to take its global experience into local environments and we use it not only to develop our own business, but also the business of our customers."