A Scottish-themed superyacht venture to help promote luxury brands to the world’s wealthiest sports fans has been launched by the founders of a private air charter company.
Edinburgh-based Ecosse Elite, set up by the backers of Jetlogic, will take a 40-metre luxury yacht to Formula 1 events starting with next year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Sports fans will be able to book one of five cabins aboard the vessel and to attend events including dinners and drinks receptions throughout the Grand Prix weekend next spring.
Ecosse Elite said the yacht will provide a platform for Scottish companies to showcase their products and will be decorated and furnished by brands including Arran Aromatics.
Suppliers will include Rock Rose Scottish gin with menus prepared using Scottish beef and lamb, fish and seafood.
Leigh Mellis, owner of Jetlogic and one of the team behind Ecosse Elite, said the idea for the new company followed a series of conversations about high net worth individuals and the high level of demand being seen globally for high quality Scottish products and services.
Mellis said: “Scotland has a reputation globally for excellent quality. People who want and can afford the best, trust brands that have Scottish provenance.
“Having been to several grands prix, what’s noticeable is the uniformity of the hospitality that’s available. We’re confident there’s a demand for something different and that something with a tasteful, high quality Scottish theme will be extremely popular.”
Supporting Ecosse Elite in Monaco will be Highland-based marketing and networking company Kilt Ads and Louise Marshall, piper to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh who was chosen as the official World Fair Trade Tartan piper at the annual Tartan Day parade in New York this year.
Inverness-based Kilt Ads sends ambassadors to grands prix all over the world who wear Highland dress as a marketing tool for a range of Scottish brands.
Owner Colin Stuart, who is also a director of Ecosse Elite, said: “Traditional Highland dress is the most effective calling card in the world at these events. It’s amazing how many doors are opened simply by wearing a kilt.
“We get invited into team garages, to parties and all manner of other events simply because of our dress and, over the course of a grand prix weekend, we can be stopped and asked to be photographed up to 300 times.”
Stuart added: “Scotland the brand is astonishingly successful as a marketing and networking tool and we’re confident Ecosse Elite can take advantage of that.”
Jetlogic, which was launched in 2009 by Mellis following a career in the aviation and superyacht industries, is a private jet operator based out of Scotland. Clients include businesses, football clubs and touring musicians. The firm already works with a number of Formula 1 teams.
In September Jetlogic announced plans to roll out a European prepaid card for frequent fliers with a US version planned before the end of the year. The card provides customers with round-the-clock access to private jets across the continent.