Race World Offshore (RWO), the premier offshore racing series, has announced that Cigarette Racing Team has signed on for a five-year partnership agreement, and will be the official presenting sponsor of the famed World Championship offshore powerboat races in Key West, FL, starting with this year’s Nov. 7-14 event.
Fans will get to see the newest official Cigarette Racing pace boats, stunning race ambassadors and world-renowned boats on display during the Friday night street party and much more. While the agreement extends well beyond just the sponsorship of the World Championships in Key West, both RWO and Cigarette Racing are excited about the new opportunities for racing going forward, said RWO founder and owner Larry Bleil.
“I’m excited to be working with Cigarette,” Bleil told Speedboat. “It opens up the door for them, and for us. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I have said many times over the years this is something our sport has needed and to have the most iconic brand involved, is even better. On behalf of myself, Rodrick Cox and the entire Race World team, we are looking forward to an exciting time.”
Billionaire John H. Ruiz, in partnership with Lionheart Capital (led by founder and CEO Ophir Sternberg) will bring the iconic Cigarette Racing brand back to offshore racing in a big way. The new co-owners of Cigarette Racing Team—while hugely successful in their own right—see the opportunities and excitement with their involvement of this great American brand in offshore powerboat racing.
“For Cigarette Racing and our entire team, we are looking forward to the World Championships in Key West, and more importantly the new events and opportunities in the coming years. Offshore powerboat racing brings excitement from around the world and as a global brand we look forward to expanding those relationships and cultivating new ones. The history of Cigarette and offshore racing goes back so many decades and to now have the opportunity to be a part of the nostalgia, and at the same time amplify our goals for Cigarette is very exciting,” Ruiz said.
Bleil said he’s stoked about the new five-year agreement and what it means to the sport of offshore powerboat racing. “There is no question that when you say powerboat racing, it is historically synonymous with the famed brand Cigarette,” he said. “When John and I recently met, we both seemed equally excited about the fast approaching World Championships and how we could work together in coming years. It’s very exciting to see where this sport can go in the future and how this vast community of performance boating and offshore racing will be influenced by the great people at Cigarette Racing.”