SailGP Partners with Whisper Films in New Three-Year Deal
SailGP today announced Whisper Films as the new global league’s broadcast and production partner, on a three-year deal that will bring the thrill of high-performance sailboat racing to more fans than ever before via patented, leading-edge immersive media technologies.
SailGP, which launched in London last week, has set out to make sailing entertaining and accessible for sports fans all over the world. Whisper Films will play a central role in growing global viewership and broadening the fanbase by delivering an electrifying multi-platform broadcast experience as national team crews race identical, supercharged F50 catamarans in iconic waterfront locations.
Whisper Films brings exceptional broadcast and production pedigree to SailGP’s new global endeavor. The British firm is headed by former Formula One driver and television presenter David Coulthard, BBC and BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey, and BAFTA Film Award-winning producer Sunil Patel. Whisper Films’ bespoke branded content portfolio includes work with sports rights holders such as the NFL, Premier League, Formula One and Formula-E, and blue-chip global brands such as UBS, Ferrari and Hugo Boss.
“SailGP aims to put exceptional athletes center-stage, and put fans in control. Whisper Films is the ideal partner to deliver our intense, interactive, heart-of-the-action racing experience,” said SailGP CEO Russell Coutts. “Whisper Films will help translate SailGP’s dramatic live spectacle into a broadcast product that out-performs for both seasoned sailing aficionados and new fans around the world.”
“I’ve driven some amazing machines in my time, but SailGP’s F50 catamarans are just an incredible feat of engineering. They’re like spaceships out on the water at these astonishing speeds,” said David Coulthard, director of Whisper Films. “There are more trained astronauts in the world than there are people who can sail these boats, but I would love to get behind the wheel of an F50 at some stage. I’m excited to be part of this ride because the speed and pure adrenaline reminds me so much of F1.”
A core component of the SailGP broadcast will be proprietary LiveLineFx ‘increased reality graphics’ technology that will revolutionize the way fans watch sail racing. LiveLineFx will enhance the viewing experience by integrating information and graphics with the live action feed, and enable an interactive second-screen experience utilizing real-time athlete performance data and race information. Combined with the use of drones and cutting-edge 360° cameras, SailGP and Whisper Films will make racing more vivid and easier for new fans to understand. LiveLineFx will also increase the commercial inventory available, with sponsor branding superimposed on the water for broadcast viewers.
“At Whisper Films, we have made it our business to produce impactful, creative content for sports brands that break the mold,” said Sunil Patel, Whisper Films’ managing director. “We are proud to partner with SailGP as it redefines sailing with this bold new vision. SailGP shares our philosophy of disruptive, high- tech innovation and uninhibited creativity. Together, we believe we will fundamentally change the way sailing is broadcast, and the way fans connect with the athletes.”
SailGP will distribute Whisper Films’ programming to broadcasters around the world, with a focus on comprehensive live coverage complemented by centrally produced highlight programs. Whisper Films’ personality-drive content will include live event racing and highlights packages, in-venue live feeds, information packages and pre-produced vignettes, extensive athlete-focused features, and enhanced pre- and post-race analysis.