Last week, we reported that the Team New Zealand Americas Cup Team would have their own TP52 in the Audi Med Cup. Now Emirates, the Dubai-based global airline, has confirmed its continued support for New Zealand and the sport of sailing by renewing its successful partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand.
The news is a firm signal that big companies who understand sponsorship see sailing as being able to provide the benefits of other sports like football and Cricket. Last week, Emirates added Worldwide Partner for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, to their portfolio of sports sponsorships joining their well known backing of the Arsenal Premier League Club.
In signing the sponsorship agreement in Auckland on behalf of Emirates, Gary Chapman, President Group Services, Emirates Group, said they were as inspired by the great challenge of the last Americas Cup campaign and delighted to once more get behind Emirates Team New Zealand with this TP52 initiative, and beyond to 2011.
“Emirates Team New Zealand has proved its worth on the water as a real competitor, and, it is fair to say, it surpassed our international expectations promotionally on the global stage as a brand builder.
“When we first backed the team in 2004 we saw in it many features that we could relate to, including its drive, focus and competitiveness. The team continues to also seek excellence in all aspects of its operation and in all these respects we feel there a strong compatibility with Emirates Airline as an award-winning international airline.”
The Audi Med Cup has thrived in the vacuum created by Americas Cup uncertainly.
Many of the 2007 America’s Cup teams are involved as teams or with crewing on the boats.
Skipper Dean Barker said: “The TP52 will give us the opportunity to continue to develop and test the sailing team in preparation for the next multi-challenge America’s Cup.”
“With a crew of 15 we will be able to work on combinations and communications that we use on the Cup boats. These boats at 52ft long are like big, high-performance dinghies, something like the new AC 90 class and they definitely reward good crew work.
Grant Dalton said he appreciated the continued support from the team’s naming sponsor, Emirates. “This project and continuing support gives us a team-wide focus while we wait for final resolution to the Oracle/Alinghi legal action.”