The Volvo Ocean Race is a 31,250-mile, nine-leg sea race around the globe. This year, the US entry into the Race is being sponsored by Disney, at an estimated 15-18 million dollars. Why, you ask? Well, because Disney is turning the 70+ foot yacht into a floating billboard for their upcoming Pirates of the Caribbeansequels. That’s right, the yacht that will be sailing around the world representing the United States will be named The Black Pearl and decked out with the skull and crossbones. The Pearl will be scheduled to arrive in port after the race roughly three weeks before the second flick (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) hits theatres. Donald Evans, vice president of marketing and promotions for Buena Vista International, Disney's international distribution arm, says that race officials dreamed up the idea and approached the studio, which quickly signed on.
I, like most of America, enjoyed the Pirates flick. It wasn’t groundbreaking cinema or anything, but it certainly was fun. I even think that the boat thing is a reasonably unique and clever promotional stunt- I’m just not convinced that it’s worth the amount of money being spent. Of course, I’ve long had my suspicions that Disney is in the practice of burning large piles of money just to see the shiny flames, so I suppose this is a step in the right direction.