Nespresso Sponsorship Helps Get Team NZ to the America’s Cup.

Nespresso back in the America's Cup

If there really is to be a ‘New Deal’ America’s Cup, where sailing teams can exist as sporting franchises through time without being bailed out by wealthy owners, then it is still a way off. If Emirates Team New Zealand struggles to find sponsorship, then the Cup is not quite the shiny, commercial beacon that the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) wants it to be. Team NZ have consistently performed at the top of the sport and it seems to be forgotten by many that the team finished well ahead of BMW ORACLE in 2007, before quirks of the America’s Cup system installed BMW ORACLE as the challenger of record for the last disastrous edition in 2010.

However – with the help of new sponsors and the honoring of a government contract, Team New Zealand now have enough money to contest the next edition. Team boss Grant Dalton says there is another spot on the boat, and that he backs himself to sell it – but he also says that the job of raising money to keep the team competitive is a never-ending task.

Team New Zealand have benefited from a continuation of involvement in the America’s Cup by Nespresso. While a savvy brand marketing company like Nestle understands the hard commercials of such a deal, the black and white branding looks great with the Team NZ livery and the concept drawing for the new boat are pretty stunning.

Richard Girardot, CEO Nestlé Nespresso S.A. said:

‘We are pleased to continue our involvement in the world of sailing and extremely proud to be part of Emirates Team New Zealand as they challenge for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013. As the longest-standing America’s Cup team, their experience, expertise and innovative mindset, driven by a fighting team spirit is an inspiration for Nespresso and our employees. We wish Grant Dalton and the Team much success in the quest for the ultimate cup.’

Dalton said:

“Today we welcome Nespresso, a premium Swiss-based international coffee brand, as a team sponsor for the 34th America’s Cup. Nespresso is well-known in sailing circles, a long-time supporter of the sport. Emirates Team New Zealand values its association with premium international brands like Nespresso, where continuous innovation and commitment to success are a core part of the culture.

“Today our long-term sponsors, Emirates Airline, Omega and Toyota New Zealand, who announced their continuing support previously, wished the team well in its quest.”

Richard Vaughan, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations – Worldwide said:

“We are delighted Emirates Team New Zealand has been able to take the next major step on the America’s Cup journey to San Francisco,” said “When we renewed our commitment to the team last month we were confident in Grant Dalton lodging a successful entry for the challenger series. His resourcefulness and the team’s record of achievement have shone through once again and we very much look forward to watching Emirates Team New Zealand compete at the very highest level of world yachting.”

Team NZ will also benefit from long term partnerships with OMEGA and Toyota New Zealand.

With Emirates Team New Zealand now officially entered in the next America’s Cup, Grant Dalton is starting to sound like a Challenger of Record. The official holder of that position is Mascaloze Latino, but rarely does the team or the yacht club it represents make public statements. Dalton on the other hand, doesn’t seem to mind being quoted as criticising the way things are going. In an interview in recent days he said that one of the reasons that the team is competing in the Extreme Sailing Series, as well as being a great platform to come up to speed on how to sail a multihull, was because the team were disappointed in how light the AC45 program is and the lack of competing teams.

Dalton also warns that the switch to a 72 foot version of the America’s Cup catamarans will challenge the logistics capabilities of teams. He said that the AC45 was giving people a false sense of security. He said:

It’s ridiculous that you need a full size building crane to get a boat in the water to go for a sail – it’s just silly. But it’s a given and you have to accept it.

Dalton also scoffed at the PR line that the boats would lead to younger crews.

Look at the crew sailing on ORACLE – they’re all old – which is ironic when you think about the original statement.

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