The America’s Cup brand extension, the World Series competition that appeared from nowhere to try and create a long term, predictable commercial platform for America’s Cup teams has – because of its lower entry price and Larry Ellison subsidies – attracted more teams than the actual America’s Cup, but it hasn’t yet managed to shake off its circus sideshow positioning.
There is a slim chance that if a team other than Oracle won the America’s Cup, the World Series could be dismantled, unless it can actually be a commercial success. Like an Internet start-up, the ACWS is burning cash in a bid to create an audience big enough to find a business model later.
As San Francisco ramps up for the main event, the guys who have led the project from a commercial and marketing point of view have left or are moving on. This includes the Chairman and CEO of The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) – Richard Worth.
According to a press release, Worth will move sideways (?) to become head of world series development.
In the statement, Worth is quoted as saying:
“I am excited about the opportunity to focus my efforts and help America’s Cup sailing to reach new audiences and advertisers. The 34th America’s Cup and the Louis Vuitton Cup are established sporting properties but occur only every three or four years. Our challenge is to develop the World Series into a fantastic asset and this is the key to future growth of the sport internationally.”
There are other changes too. Gary Lovejoy (Director of Media Production) will revert to a consultancy role before leaving the Event Authority in September. Denis Harvey will take on more responsibility in his role as Production Executive of America’s Cup Television.