Having the America’s Cup back in the USA is a great commercial opportunity for the Californian economy, and if the teams ever getting around to funding themselves with sponsorship dollars, then there will be sponsors who find a good match between the 2013 cup and their market, but for Louis Vuitton, the cup’s only announced partner, the emerging markets of China and the Middle East are more important than the mature, and relatively slow growing western markets.
It’s important for the Cup’s title partner to be able to leverage the next America’s Cup to their fastest growing markets, and therefore it is little surprise that China will contest the next event. It would also not be surprising to see a round of the America’s Cup World Series staged in China.
Unlike some of the other campaigns that have been announced, with little or no funding, the China Team has the full support of the Chinese Government, and the announcement also came with photos of Bruno Trouble and quotes from Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton.
With a couple of years to run, and enormous resources, China Team could be a worthy challenger if they can find the right sailors.
Mr. Wang Chao Yong, chairman of China Team says:
“All boats need to be designed by the team, and built in country. We have been working with some of the best worldwide designers for hull and wings for a few months already, in partnership with top Chinese Universities. This is an opportunity to showcase China’s talents in the leading-edge hi-tech areas of both hydrodynamics and aeronautics. Our boat will then be built in China, and ready to sail by February 2012. China Team, a boat which will truly represent China, as most sailors will be Chinese.
The folks at ACEA trotted out the “Formula One cars of the seas” line again, ignoring that there is already several F1 of the seas (UIM Class One and there is also a UIM F1)
Thierry Barot, CEO of China Team has been busy recruiting champion sailors who will be responsible for training the sailing team.
“Our boat will be powered mainly by Chinese sailors, and we are very fortunate to have an elite team of international sailors to come to China and train our Chinese team”.
Richard Worth, Chairman of the America’s Cup Event Authority should be smiling. The China deal should sure up the commercial package a little. He said:
“We are very pleased to welcome our eighth challenger, China Team, to the 34th America’s Cup. China Team makes a wonderful addition, bringing another continent of athletes into our international field of strong competitors, as well as a very powerful market to add to the commercial strength of the 34th America’s Cup.”
Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton said:
“China has a 600-year-old tradition of sailing! They will have to win the Louis Vuitton Cup and beat all the challengers before getting a chance to compete against the American Defender, Oracle Racing. Just the kind of challenge the Chinese relish!”
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