After Camel Trophy 1998, Land Rover, a major sponsor, felt that Camel Trophy was moving away from adventure and exploration and didn't offer the showcase they had hoped for their vehicles. A news release was issued in February 1999 which indicated they would not sponsor future events. The 1999 edition, the final location of which was rumored to be Zambia, was cancelled.
18 YEAR SPONSORSHIP COMES TO AN END
Over the last 18 years, Land Rover and Worldwide Brands Inc., sponsors of Camel Trophy have worked together to build an unrivalled international event. This reputation has mutually benefited both parties providing the ultimate showcase for Land Rover vehicles and Camel Trophy Adventure Products. As lifestyles change, Camel Trophy has successfully evolved into a multi-disciplined event. This shift in direction is targeted primarily at broadening the appeal to an even wider audience. Land Rover and WBI as a direct result of this shift in strategy have decided to dissolve the co-sponsorship agreement of the world's foremost international adventure challenge, Camel Trophy.
Driving will still play a part in the event, but the emphasis has moved away from a 4x4 focus, and as such, no longer maximizes Land Rover's sponsorship objectives. The partnership, has ended on a high after last years' ground-breaking event in Chile and Argentina, which offered an ideal showcase to demonstrate the world-beating off-road capabilities of the Freelander, Land Rover's newest lifestyle 4x4.
"There are few sponsorship relationships that have withstood the test of time as successfully as Camel Trophy and Land Rover. This has been as excellent association for us and over the years Land Rover has given the event an outstanding level of support. However, as the event now includes so many other sporting activities, the emphasis can no longer remain solely on 4x4," commented Nick Horne, WBI Special Events Director.
Speaking about the decision, Rover Group Marketing Director Martin Runnacles said: "We have enjoyed a unique relationship with the Camel Trophy event over almost two decades and it has played a major role in sustaining the image of Land Rover as the manufacturer of the best 4x4's in the world. However, with the changing character of the event it will no longer provide us with an active demonstration of Land Rover's brand essence - limitless capability. We wish Camel Trophy every success with their new format. As for Land Rover, future activities will concentrate on our customer base with the emphasis very much on rugged off-road adventure."
As Land Rover focuses on new sponsorships, the Camel Trophy event will continue to push the parameters of adventure for the year 2000.
Jardine Wesson International PR Consultants
25 February 1999