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Cambridge rowing coach lectures on value of brand

For immediate release, Monday 5 September 2005

Cambridge rowing coach to lecture on the value of a brand

Duncan Holland, head coach of the prestigious Cambridge University rowing team, is visiting Christchurch on September 8 to talk to Lincoln University students about the marketing of international sporting events.

From branding to sponsorship, Duncan will be talking the students through the whole gambit of organising international sporting events. The Oxford Cambridge boat race – the high point of Duncan’s calendar these days – is highly unusual in that the teams have no corporate sponsorship.

The boat race – held annually since 1829 on the Thames with the only disruptions being the two World Wars – has one of the largest television audiences in Europe. Six million people watch the race live in the UK, while 400 million viewers watch the event worldwide.

The race is highly unusual in that it is not national teams competing, and those rowing are amateurs. Members of both teams change most years due to the levels of commitment required.

Duncan is visiting New Zealand to discuss a research proposal with Lincoln University’s Senior Lecturer of Marketing Dr Charley Lamb. The research is driven by the need to understand people’s perceptions of the race from a cross-cultural perspective. They hope to find what it is that makes the race so appealing globally and measure the value of the brand.

Duncan’s eight-year stint rowing for New Zealand – before he moved on to coaching the Swiss, Dutch and New Zealand national teams – gives him a strong foundation from which to begin his lecture.

The fact that he was headhunted by Cambridge University for his current job suggests the esteem in which Duncan is held in international rowing circles.

“All the rowers involved in this event are of an international level,” says Duncan Holland.


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