Team Sponsor, Host Port


The city participated in the 2013-14 Race to; shine an international spotlight on its identity as a leading cultural destination; promote its strong maritime history; and to attract wider overseas tourism, investment and trade.


The highlight and focus of the Derry City Council activation was its host port stopover; the 2014 LegenDerry Maritime Festival.

In conjunction with the race arrival, Derry City Council launched a widespread, fully integrated advertising campaign throughout the region. Components included extensive poster and billboard advertising; an engaging social media schedule; and creative mass media (Radio and TV) adverts, all developed in collaboration with Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), the Loughs Agency and the City of Culture Company.

Foyle Marina, which was specially developed for the Clipper 2011-12 Race, hosted the festival which spanned over 2km along the river and featured a diverse range of local food and trade stalls, a live-stage for musical entertainment, and water-based activities which included stunt displays, free Clipper Race yacht tours, kayaking, sailing and paddleboarding.

Highlights included a dazzling on the water firework display, a crowd pulling live concert by the world famous Beach Boys, and a spectacular Red Arrows air display to mark the race fleet’s departure.

As well as the LegenDerry Maritime Festival, a nine month international trade and investment tour was built around the race schedule by regional campaign partner, Invest Northern Ireland. International activation highlights included; Singapore, where Northern Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Investment Arlene Foster hosted a lunch with the Mayor of Derry to discuss transport and infrastructure investment; In San Francisco, the world’s technology capital, an investors lunch was organised to showcase the potential of Digital Derry, featuring key note speaker Pat O’Malley, CFO of Seagate, the global leader in hard disk drives which has a plant in Springtown, Derry-Londonderry; Finally in New York, Invest Northern Ireland focused on innovation, with an Ulster University professor speaking at the prestigious New York Yacht Club about brain mapping for stock brokers.

The value of the Clipper Race partnership is on many levels for Derry City Council; it helps to share the city's 'New Story' showcasing how the city has regenerated from the Troubles to being voted in the Top 10 Cities To Visit by the world’s largest travel guide book, the Lonely Planet.

It provides a context for conversations in the overseas stopover ports about potential investment into the city and its businesses, which is facilitated by regional partners Invest Northern Ireland. It also has huge benefits to the commercial life of the city in terms of tourism and hospitality; 250,000 visitors is a massive contribution to the life and prosperity of a city.

Sharon O’Connor, CEO Derry City Council

The 2014 LegenDerry Maritime Festival attracted over a quarter of a million people over the duration of the festival, exceeding all expectations.

Derry City Council has created a return of £5 for every £1 invested into the local economy from the festival alone.

Media coverage of the Derry-Londonderry-Doire team and Host Port sponsorship has created a PR value in excess of £14m globally.

Derry City Council credits its participation in the race for allowing it not only to promote Derry~Londonderry but also Northern Ireland and the North West region as a whole, re-engage with the Derry diaspora, and for the opportunity to be a part of high quality business engagement opportunities across the world.

The nine month trade tour that accompanied the 2013-14 race has already been successful in building trade and investment relationships and business engagement globally with conversations ongoing between multiple parties. Derry-Londonderry’s successfully partnership with the Clipper Race is set to build further as the city will continue as a Team Sponsor and Host Port for the Clipper 2015-16 Race, for its third consecutive race.