Are you aware that sailing enthusiasts earn annually almost double the income compared to amateur golfers in the US? That was news to me when I chatted with the co-founder of sailingregister.com (later abbreviated as SR), Vesa Lindqvist. They have tackled a tightly defined, but potentially lucrative, niche of sailing races.
SR offers something for all parties that include spectators, sailors and race officials. SR’s key service is a secure sign-up system for sailors and race organizers. Sailing event organizers also lack proper services for providing race coverage for sailing spectators ashore and home. SR proposes to provide a reliable, secure and feature-rich alternative.
Their initial business model is to charge a premium from fees collected from race participants. However, the founders have a strong background of mobile business and we can expect the service to offer a range of premium rate mobile services for spectators in the future. Furthermore, they plan to offer social network driven marketing services to advertisers targeting this high-networth customer segment.
With many vertical social networks currently popping up this space is also contested with players such as Regatta Network and Compete-at-sailing. However, I believe SR is on the right track as they target enterprise customers as well with their marketing services. One has to bear in mind that according to Mr. Lindqvist, the total size of the sports industry internet spending in the US alone is circa $239 million.
SR is currently self-funded. They continue their negotiations with lead customers so that they will be ready for sailing season 2008.
I wish the SR guys all the best and good sailing.