British performance eyewear brand SunGod and the Great Britain SailGP Team are changing the game
With high-octane action, an unrivalled sustainability agenda, and no shortage of drama on and off the water, SailGP is shaping a new future for sailing competition – and its partnerships are no different.
British performance eyewear brand SunGod and their partner, the Great Britain SailGP Team, are forging a partnership model that sets a new standard for sports sponsorship.
SunGod creates high-performance, carbon-neutral eyewear for the world’s best athletes – from McLaren F1 Team, to England Rugby and Liv Racing Xstra cycling – and in 2022 added the Great Britain SailGP Team to their roster. The brand has built its reputation on its See Better mission, seeing a better future through better products that are better for the planet, which aligns perfectly with SailGP’s mission of ‘Racing for a Better Future’.
SunGod and Great Britain SailGP are now working hand-in-hand to promote a new model of purpose-led partnership, that strives for a better future for the industry – one with faster racing, fairer access, and sustainability front and centre.
So, how are SunGod and the Great Britain SailGP Team doing things differently?
1 Creating ultra-durable, carbon-neutral eyewear products that perform
The product team at SunGod have worked closely with the Great Britain SailGP Team including their co-owner & driver Sir Ben Ainslie to refine their eyewear, giving the team a new advantage on the water.
Hydrophobic, triple-layer scratch-resistant lenses, and ultra-flexible 100% Infinite™ recycled frames, which have a seven times lower carbon footprint than virgin plastic, create an incredibly durable and high-performing series of sunglasses and goggles, to stand up to the test of adrenaline-fuelled inshore racing. Plus, SunGod has created the Limited Edition Great Britain SailGP Team collection for onshore and cruising. Tested by Ben Ainslie himself, fans can grab a pair to support the team, safe in the knowledge they’re helping fund the team’s journey to success.
‘It makes the world of difference when you can rely on great quality eyewear out on the water’ – Sir Ben Ainslie, four times Olympic champion and SailGP GBR CEO & co-owner
Every pair of SunGods is certified carbon neutral through ClimatePartner, backed by an unrivalled Lifetime Guarantee (if you break them, SunGod repair them free of charge, keeping damaged products in circulation and out of landfill), and features recycled and recyclable materials and low-impact packaging.
By choosing a sustainable eyewear partner like SunGod, the British SailGP team gain all-important points in the SailGP Impact League. This world-first initiative from SailGP tracks each team’s (and partner’s) actions and rewards the teams with the smallest carbon impact, meaning your carbon footprint can make or break your overall success in SailGP.
2 Competing through collaboration
Collaboration is the name of the game in these new partnerships. COLAB is the Great Britain SailGP Team’s partner programme, where partner brands from different industries share ideas and experiences to drive positive environmental change.
From an unrivalled Lifetime Guarantee to carbon-neutral status across products, operations and history to using recycled materials throughout the product journey and to donating 1%+ of annual revenue to sustainable non-profit organisations, SunGod’s sustainability practices are second to none.
And these sustainable practices don’t go unnoticed. SunGod has seen triple-figure growth in recent years, with more and more consumers choosing to support brands that care about the same issues they do.
As part of COLAB, SunGod can share their experiences with other businesses, and help them level up their sustainability work too.
As Ben Ainslie says: “No one person or company has the answers to the global issues we are facing. Collaboration is key”.
And by establishing COLAB and giving sustainable brands like SunGod a platform, the Great Britain SailGP Team is making a genuine difference to businesses who are able to inspire change on a global scale.
3 Inspiring the next generation with the 1851 Trust
SunGod and the Great Britain SailGP Team define themselves as partners with purpose, and charity lies at the heart of that. Beyond royalties from SunGod which helps the British team fund its SailGP journey, 10% of the sale of each pair of Limited Edition Great Britain SailGP Team SunGods goes directly to the 1851 Trust.
‘From the outset we wanted to work with SunGod to create stylish eyewear for sailors of all types; that is better for our planet, combats our throwaway culture and supports the fantastic work of the 1851 Trust’ – Hannah Mills, two times Olympic champion and Great Britain SailGP team strategist
The 1851 Trust empowers young people with science-based knowledge to combat climate change, through the Great Britain SailGP Team’s Protect Our Future education programme. The 1851 Trust’s teaching resources have already had a huge impact, being used in half of UK classrooms already.
Together, SunGod and the GBR team might not be able to tackle the world’s climate issues single-handedly, but they can help secure a future where young people in the UK are equipped to tackle the issues ahead of them.
4 Championing gender equality in sport
For years, female sailors have been denied opportunities to progress in foiling – and high-level sailing as a whole – but big players in the industry are finally starting to sit up and listen.
Great Britain SailGP Team athletes Ben Ainslie and Hannah Mills recently launched the Athena Pathway for female and youth athletes fast-track development in professional sailing, on and off the water – including into SailGP and the America’s Cup.
This summer SunGod is supporting gender equality in sport through its own campaign, MOMENTUM. This celebrates the progress being made in women’s sport, and highlights the work that’s still to come.
From a road mural on Box Hill to raise awareness for the first ever women’s Tour de France, to Limited Edition MOMENTUM sunglasses at the Women’s Euros, SunGod’s campaign is all about taking a stand for women in sport – be that cycling, football, sailing, or anything else – and aligns perfectly with the GBR Team’s work.
By backing each other on issues they care about, SunGod and SailGP GBR are working together to double their impact, and shape a better future for the sport.
‘It has been really exciting for us to collaborate with an eyewear brand that shares the same passion, goals and commitment to performance and sustainability’ – Hannah Mills, two times Olympic champion and Great Britain SailGP team strategist
“SunGod’s award-winning eyewear is already worn by the world’s top athletes, from F1 drivers, to World Champion snowsports athletes, to World Tour cyclists, and now the world’s best sailors…” says Ali Watkiss, co-founder and CEO of SunGod.
“SailGP’s mission of ‘Racing for a Better Future’ and SunGod’s mission to ‘See Better’ are so aligned and we’re excited to see how sailors around the world respond to our newest eyewear.”
By taking action on what really matters, from gender equality to sustainability-led business decisions, to supporting the next generation, SunGod and the Great Britain SailGP Team aim to inspire teams and partners to recognise the power of their partnerships, and use them as a force for good.
They’re showing just how much of a difference purpose-led partnerships can make.
Find out more about the SunGod and Great Britain SailGP Team partnership here.