America’s Cup Organisers Rehearse How to Deliver a Top Event.

America's Cup Marketing and Media

The new America’s Cup organisations have a big challenge. ACRM and ACEA are creating a world class sporting series from a standing start to flawless execution in a matter of months. While spectators are still in the dark as to where the events will take place around the globe, regatta personnel are using Auckland to test how the America’s Cup World Series will work from a logistical and media point of view.

The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), who are responsible for the commercial, marketing and brand aspects of the America’s Cup and the people responsible for the media success of the event, will test what they call “next-generation broadcast images and graphics that change the way people will watch sailing on television.”

Following on from a long tradition of sailing innovating the way in which sports have been shown on television – from 18 foot skiffs in the 80’s on Sydney Harbour with on-board sound and cameras sailed on tight courses with massive terrestrial television audiences to the introduction of translating telemetry into 3D images in real-time during several versions of the America’s Cup – ACEA will introduce a new audience to how exciting televised sailing can be.

Richard Worth, Chairman of ACEA says:

“At each event, we want the viewer to not just see the action, but to really be part of it. Through our new on-board cameras and microphones, you will get to see the quick decisions being made, the athleticism of the sailors, the raw power of these boats – you will be right there with the teams as they fly over the water. Our new graphics overlay goes beyond being a viewing aid. This system will connect viewers to the racing in a way that has not been possible before.”

And for the anoraks, America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) will use the test days to experiment with race course configurations aimed at delivering tight, tactical racing. There will be testing of umpiring and race management.

Iain Murray, CEO of America’s Cup Race Management said:

“We are launching a new racing product in July. We have developed new rules and now we need to test those rules on the water. We learned a lot of things about the performance of the AC45 during sea trials in New Zealand, but now we need to see them in simulated race mode. We will also test new race course configurations to make the racing more engaging for competitors and fans alike.”

The America’s Cup Event Authority continue to focus on the what rather than the who. Maybe it’s the influence of ORACLE that makes the America’s Cup World Series sound like a technology sell. It seems that fans should be wowed by the techniques used to bring the action to screens rather than the athletes who are competing in what is supposed to be sport at the end of the day.

We still haven’t seen how Mark Bullingham is going to turn the sailors into stars, but perhaps that’s going to be tested too.

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