The Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice is a relatively risky undertaking, even with the backing of the long time America’s Cup luxury goods sponsor (sorry – partner) and Bruno Troublé. The event was hastily arranged and the Nice was not the first choice for the November date.
Troublé has spoken about how the new event came to be on the Côte d’Azur and where we might see the Louis Vuitton Trophy next.
“We were supposed to go to Hong Kong in November but because there was only one place to go in Hong Kong, and the pier there was not finished, we had to cancel Hong Kong in June. We were willing to have an event in November, so we managed to convince Nice very very quickly.”
“At the end of the season there are not many places in Europe where you can sail: Marseilles, for example, is a great venue, but the wind is blowing 40 knots every day. Nice is also a very dynamic city. The Mayor is also the Minister of Industry, so he has a lot of power and he managed to make a decision in a week, whereas normally with public support like that takes months. So he is so powerful he has no problem to make a decision and then make it happen.”
The Louis Vuitton Trophy has improved upon the mecahnisms available to teams to promote their sponsors. One of the reasons for the event was to try and salvage some media value for partners who have been denied an America’s Cup appearance thanks to the squabbling between Alinghi and BMW ORACLE.
Troublé is proud of the technique they have introduced allowing teams to show their own branding on board. Each team purchases their own genniker from the organisers, while at the beginning of each day team a large patch with the team branding and logo is velcroed on to the mainsail in reverse order that the teams will be sailing a particular boat. When teams swap boats the outgoing team simply peels off their mainsail branding cleverly revealing the branding of the incoming team.
Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas in 2010 are planned for – Auckland in March, La Maddelena, Sardinia in May-June, Newport, RI in August and Hong Kong in November.