Category Archives: New York Americas Cup World Series

Marketing around Louis Vuitton World Series America’s Cup event

The 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event held October 17-18 in Bermuda generated an estimated $8.6 million.
The 2015 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event held October 17-18 in Bermuda generated an estimated $8.6 million.

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event took place along the Hudson River this past weekend in New York City, featuring six high performance catamarans from Japan, France, England, New Zealand, Sweden and the USA vying for points to win the coveted America’s Cup which will take place next year in Bermuda.

The victors were Emirates Team New Zealand, the youngest of the seven teams racing whose primary sponsor is Emirates Airline from the Middle East. Other competitors included four-time Olympic medalist Sir Ben Ainslie of Great Britain whose team Land Rover BAR placed fifth. Ainslie is hoping to be the first British team to bring the America’s Cup back to England since 1857.

The two-day event in New York City marked the first time in nearly 100 years that America’s Cup racing occurred in New York. Additionally, the last time a British sailor was competing for the coveted America’s Cup trophy in New York City was in 1920.

“The last British person to sail here was Sir Thomas Lipton so I feel quite honored to be here competing for the America’s Cup,” said Sir Ben Ainslie. “New York has such a massive legacy when it comes to the America’s Cup and we are just in awe of the crowds who came out to watch us race here.”

Boats in Hamilton Harbour for Bermuda America's Cup.
Boats in Hamilton Harbour for Bermuda America’s Cup.

Although Sir Ben Ainslie did not win this past weekend, this is just the beginning to the build up of the actual America’s Cup that will be fought for in Bermuda next year. Each race does count, however, and currently the youngest team, Emirates Team New Zealand skippered by Glenn Ashby, has the most points on the scoreboard going into the next event in Chicago in June. Team Oracle is currently in second place and Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team is in third.

The New York event is not only a competition but is also an opportunity to engage with the team sponsors who witnessed firsthand the crowds of nearly 75,000 New Yorkers lined up against the shores of Battery Park to watch the sailing in action close at hand. The racing was televised globally by the BBC, NBC, major Asian, Australian, French, and Middle Eastern media outlets taking part.

Part of the idea of bringing America’s Cup sailing to the shores of cities like New York – where it once was held far offshore and could only be viewed by boat – is to essentially become ‘big billboards ripping around’ joked Nathan Outteridge, the skipper for the Swedish Team Artemis Racing. In other words, sailing sponsorship has to deliver a return on investment in order to survive.

The current defender of the America’s Cup is Team Oracle, whose syndicate head is Larry Ellison. Most of Oracle’s sponsorship money goes to fund research and development on the boats, and the salaries to pay for a fairly small team. Because Mr. Ellison won the cup in 2013, he chose to make the 165-year old competition more accessible to the public while pushing the envelope of high-tech boat design. The idea is to make it more affordable for other teams as well.

According to Americas Cup event authority spokesman Will Chignell, average global sponsors see every dollar they spend return $7 worth of quantifiable brand exposure in their key territories. The sponsors put their brands on the sail, the boat, their gear and during events like the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Series in NYC, they are taken to the starting line on VIP boats, or feted in the America’s Cup Club put together for their exclusive use. They are treated to an intimate knowledge of the America’s Cup history, lore and its current personalities, meeting influential Europeans, financiers, moguls like Ellison and others like sponsor heads from Softbank, the Japanese telecommunications and technology company. “Softbank feels they have seen an exceptionally good return on what money they are putting in,” said Dean Barker in an earlier report, the New Zealand America’s Cup skipper who is now the head of the Japan challenge.

This summer, the World Series event will take place in Chicago in June, then move to Portsmouth, England in July then on to Japan in September. The actual America’s Cup happens in 2017 in Bermuda. For the country of Bermuda, which will spend roughly $40m dollars to bring the event to the island nation, the build-up has already created jobs and a higher profile for the country among the international community and a great upswing in tourism and visitors to the country.

“We are an island in the middle of the ocean but sailing is in our DNA,” said Bermuda Premier Michael Dunkley. “We also have the best sailing conditions in the world. The sailors have moved to our island to prepare for the 2017 event and have gone out of their way to get involved in the community. There was an immense amount of organization that needed to take place but we are eagerly looking forward to hosting it in 2017.”

Louis Vuitton has been working with Snapchat to amplify promotion of the event in recent weeks.


Maritime Aquarium’s Research Vessel Available to Rent to Watch America’s Cup

The boat holds as many as 50 people and, for a cost, is available on May 7 and 8.

NORWALK, CT – The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will rent its research vessel, R/V Spirit of the Sound™, for private parties to watch the America’s Cup yacht race in New York Harbor on May 7 and 8.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will rent its research vessel, R/V Spirit of the Sound
Cost for each eight-hour day is $8,000, and the boat holds as many as 50 people.

Cost for each eight-hour day is $8,000, and the boat holds as many as 50 people.

The boat will depart from Newport Marina in Jersey City, NJ (across from lower Manhattan), close to the yachts as they race between the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center. Each chartering party can self-cater their day, according to the aquarium. Transportation to the Newport Marina in New Jersey, and associated costs, are not included.

Maritime Aquarium’s Research Vessel Available to Rent to Watch America’s Cup

“The New York Harbor and waterfront parks on both sides of the Hudson River are sailing’s version of nature’s perfectly created stadium,” said Harvey Schiller, commercial commissioner of the America’s Cup, in a statement. “The harbor’s ability to bring fans so close to the action is what made New York the mecca of sailing 100 years ago and an ideal home for the America’s Cup more than a century ago.”

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series races feature six international teams – including the United States and New Zealand – vying for points that will count toward the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda next year. The multi-million-dollar, high-tech catamarans can sail across the water at more than 50 knots (60 mph).

The $2.7 million 64-foot all-aluminum R/V Spirit of the Sound™ catamaran runs on hybrid-electric propulsion and has seating on two outdoor levels and in an interior cabin.

To charter the boat for the America’s Cup New York event or for more information, call 203-852-0700, ext. 2262.

For more information about public study cruises aboard the research vessel, which departs regularly from The Maritime Aquarium, visit

Photo: R/V Spirit of the Sound™. Photo credit: Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk


America’s Cup racing returns to New York Harbor for the first time in nearly 100 years

America’s Cup racing will return to New York Harbor for the first time in almost a century this May.
America’s Cup racing will return to New York Harbor for the first time in almost a century this May. photo: America’s Cup

America’s Cup sailing is coming back to New York Harbor for the first time in nearly a century — but don’t expect your great, great grandfather’s yacht race.

Six sailing teams will hit the harbor on May 7 and 8, but the ships and the sport have come a long way since 1920, the last time an America’s Cup race was held in New York City.

Gone are the days of old-fashioned wooden boats and calm sailing. This is “NASCAR on water” with high tech boats flying by at speeds up to 60 mph, Team USA Skipper Jimmy Spithill told the Daily News.

“When you see these boats, they stop you in your tracks,” he said of the large carbon-fiber catamarans. “These races are a quantum leap from where we started.”

Races for America’s Cup, the oldest international sporting trophy, were held off of New York from 1870 until 1920 before being moved to New Port, R.I., where it remained until 1983, when the U.S. finally lost the cup — ending a 132-year winning streak that dated back to 1851. Since then America’s Cup has taken place in waters off of California, Spain and Australia.

This year, the boaters will converge on lower Manhattan for two days of Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series races.

The points earned during the matches will count toward the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in 2017, which will bit reigning champ Oracle Team USA against the winner of the multi-city lead up series.

More than 20,000 people are expected to watch the races — which are free to watch and will run from the Statue of Liberty to the World Trade Center — at any given moment, event organizers said.

Six international teams — from the United States, New Zealand, Great Britain, Sweden, Japan and France — will square off in as many as six races over the two days. Weather will determine the exact race course and the number of races.

Team USA is already guaranteed a spot in the 2017 finals — but they’re still counting on plenty of fans to pack the shoreline and root for the home team.

“We can hear the fans cheering. It’s like having a home game. It gives us a big advantage,” Spithill said.

Viewers can watch the action from Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza and the Hudson River waterfront between Battery Park City and Pier 25, as well as in New Jersey from Liberty State Park and the Jersey City waterfront.

Spithill said racing in the New York Harbor poses some unique challenges: Currents are strong in the area and the city’s skyscrapers can affect wind flow and direction. But the competition would be tough in any waters, since all six teams are some of the most elite in the world.

“There can be crashes. Boats get extremely close. It’s very exciting racing that’s right in front of you,” he said.

A month after the races in New York Harbor, the teams will square off again in Chicago. At least three more races are planned for the year, leading up to the final next summer. Great Britain already won the first race of the year, held in Oman last month.

And if the two-day New York race gets you hooked on the sport?

“Bermuda is just a two hour flight away,” Spithill joked.