Emirates remains on board with Team New Zealand for America’s Cup defence
Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, is to continue its title sponsorship of Team New Zealand for the team’s defence of sailing’s blue riband America’s Cup in 2021.
Although the airline unveiled plans to pull back from flying some routes out of New Zealand, Emirates president Tim Clark said it was a "no-brainer" to continue the America's Cup sponsorship, particularly in the wake of the team's 7-1 victory over Oracle Team USA in Bermuda in June.
Speaking in Sydney today, Clark said: "It's been a very successful sponsorship for us over many years. The notion that the team should continue to be sponsored by Emirates is a classic no-brainer - we will continue to do that."
He added: "We like it, we've been with it for a long time. It's a good story."
Emirates has been sponsoring Team New Zealand since 2004.
Meanwhile, Sweden's Artemis Racing has yet to take a decision on whether to compete in the next edition in 2021.
The team said in a statement: "The most important consideration for our team is the need for a cutting-edge boat design, one that results in speeds that are as fast or faster than in the last America's Cup held in Bermuda. The boat and race format must be seen as bringing the sport of sailing forward and inspiring young and future generations. Other aspects of importance include the cost, which should be justifiable to ensure the right number of participants, and the overall rules should guarantee fairness for all to compete effectively."
Emirates Team New Zealand released the protocol last month, which includes racing on 75 foot monohulls. A series of preliminary regattas will be raced internationally in 2019 and 2020.
Official challenger Luna Rossa of Italy and the New York Yacht Club have confirmed their involvement, while the UK's Land Rover BAR team is expected to sign up.
Last week, Prada, the Italian fashion house, was confirmed as the new title sponsor of the America's Cup.
Prada replaces French fashion rival Louis Vuitton as the title sponsor of the preliminary regattas and of the Challenger Selection Series, as well as presenting sponsor of the America's Cup Match.
The Challenger Selection Series title will be renamed the Prada Cup.