Before starting to think of concepts we (MENSES, SIC, SAILMON, TU-DELFT)  first made an analysis of why it is so difficult to engage with sailing as a sport. Together with former sailors and sail experts we came with the following reasons:


“I can’t see, it’s too far away: can’t see faces, obstacles, actions or invisible nature (wind)”

“I can’t see: it’s often just too wet, can’t reach sailors as a spectator or with my technology”

“It is boring: I takes too long before the winner is made clear (many protests, counting)”

“It is boring: Duration of a competition is sometimes impossible to endure, too long”

“It is boring: It takes too long before something happens that I can see as audience”

“I can’t plan a match. It is unclear when they finish, start or how long it takes”

“It is not fair: not equal about humans; the best materials, money and boat wins.

“It is not fair: because of unexpected nature, the most lucky one wins”

“It is too difficult: so many competitions. Who is the best sailor?”

“It is too difficult: don’t know who is winning or why”

“It is too difficult: too many rules”

“It is too difficult: terms used””


When creating new media enriched sail concepts based on solving one or more of the aforementioned topics. We first needed to decide what can we change? In short we can enrich the following: (1) we can change the sport (new), (2) we can enrich the sport (change), (3) we can enrich live event consumption and (4) we can enrich the mediated consumption.

Within these 4 domains we can use several building stones to provide facts or tell stories about: (1) the sport itself, talking about the history of the game and the sport. Also (2) the athletes / the sailors have their history and stories that can be tapped into. However, not only persons can be created into hero’s, also (3) the boat itself can be turned into a character and carry information that ranges from facts to stories. The same goes for (4) the brand and (5) the competition (challenge). Finally information, facts and stories, can be created around the (6) community (the audience / each other)

We also thought about what is good about the sport. What makes is so great (compared to other sports?). What can we utilize in the concepts we create? The following was mentioned by sailors and experts:

Nature: “Almost no other sport has our scenery … the outside environment is unique and we are environmental friendly”. “It’s not like darts inside. There are more surprise elements, as nature plays a role”. “Unlike basketball, nature plays a role, that’s exciting, from storm to changing currents to day and night”

Different skills: “Unlike weighting lifts, many types of people can win: it’s not only the strongest muscle”. “A lot going on from strategy to endurance: it’s like playing chess on water”. “There are competitions within competitions, not only one winner”

Dynamic: “There is no rest like in tennis, always in motion, always fighting”. “It is a physical fight: humans get tired and emotional, things go wrong, break”. “Not like boxing about individual. Its individuals and teams, story and dynamics”


Based on this analysis, several ideas were formulated:

Enrich and engage dead moments: add obstacles. Moments to overtake and competitions (like intermediate sprints)

We need to simplify the sport, educate the audience or make experiences more visible

We need to inform audiences sooner: like virtual jersey or predictive winner

We need to get the audience closer: live (inflatable seats) or digital (stories)

Engage the audience closer: more stories, more sounds, more emotions

Enrich the athletes: we need hero’s, stories, enemies, events

We need more winners: best overtake, best strategy, fastest lap

We need to activate the audience: from spectator to player like e-sport


However, only these three concepts made it to the finals.  Click on the concepts to know more.