Dubai-based international airline Emirates today signed a lead sponsorship and naming rights agreement with America's Cup challenger Team New Zealand. The team will be known as Emirates Team New Zealand.
Emirates Airline president Tim CLARK, announcing the sponsorship at a function in Auckland, said: "We believe our involvement with Emirates Team New Zealand represents an excellent promotional opportunity on a global stage and underscores our commitment to New Zealand.
"The company is expanding rapidly into new markets. The America's Cup regatta, with its history and prestige, and Team New Zealand, with its focus and drive, are a perfect fit for Emirates."
Mr Clark said Team New Zealand, holder of the America's Cup from 1995 to 2003, embodied many of the values held by Emirates.
"It is truly professional, seeks quality in all aspects of its operation and it is highly competitive."
He said that Emirates' presence and awareness in New Zealand had rapidly grown since Auckland services started last August and would further expand with the addition of services to Christchurch from 2 July.
"This sponsorship, in addition to our sponsorship of the New Zealand Golf Open, will undoubtedly raise our New Zealand profile and further cement our support of the New Zealand market."
The chairman of Toyota New Zealand, Mr Bob FIELD, announced that Toyota was continuing to support the team as one of two elite sponsors.
This will be Toyota's fifth successive America's Cup campaign spanning 15 years. Mr Field said that the thought of giving up on recapturing the America's Cup was simply unacceptable to his company. He also believed that it was not in the national interest for the failure of the 2003 Defence to be the last chapter in New Zealand's long and distinguished participation in a great event.
"We have strong confidence that Grant Dalton and his new team will learn from the mistakes of 2003 and be a much stronger performer in the role of challenger,"
said Mr. Field. "In fact Toyota would not have become involved again if we didn't believe the Team could go all the way and bring the Cup back to Auckland."
Mr. Field commended and acknowledged the New Zealand Government and Emirates for their strong expression of confidence in the Team which has made the challenge possible. While the higher sponsorship costs of the 2007 campaign required Mr. Field to seek additional support from Toyota International, he had no doubt that the high profile arrangements for hosting the Cup in Europe would provide all Team New Zealand stakeholders with greater levels of global exposure and excellent sponsorship value.
Minister for the America's Cup Trevor MALLARD congratulated Team New Zealand for its determination to fight back with style and announced that with the commercial sponsorships secured, the government's previously announced trade and tourism investment was now confirmed. "Research has shown that our investment of $33.75 million will be more than recouped as we leverage tourism and trade spinoffs from the European regattas. Increased economic activity from the Auckland-based build-up is estimated at a minimum of $85.5 million, tax revenue at $25.5 million. Significant global media exposure for New Zealand trade and tourism is also expected.
"Clearly there will also be potential spin-offs for New Zealand in the Middle Eastern market. We now wish Emirates Team New Zealand well in the three years ahead and look forward to a competitive challenge that does New Zealand proud."
Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant DALTON welcomed the airline to the Team.
"Over the past few months we have come to know the Emirates people well. They share with us a vision for success, a passion for excellence and a no-nonsense, practical approach to the business of winning. The Team could not wish for a better lead and naming rights sponsor.
"We welcome back Toyota New Zealand, a supporter for five America's Cup campaigns. Toyota has made a massive contribution to Team New Zealand and the New Zealand Challenge before that. I worked with Toyota previously when they were a sponsor of New Zealand Endeavour in the 1993-94 Whitbread. "The loyalty of the company and the people involved and their continued support is an inspiration to the Team after the disappointments of last year."
Grant Dalton said: "Emirates Team New Zealand is on the way back thanks to the magnificent support of the New Zealand Government, our commercial partners, private individuals, our directors and the yachtsmen, designers, craftsmen and support people who have signed with us. Everyone concerned has taken a great leap of faith; we thank them all for that.
"With the support we have secured to date, Emirates Team New Zealand can now announce that it will lodge a challenge for the 2007 America's Cup. "We have not yet found all the sponsorship that the Team needs but we are now robust enough to launch a very competitive challenge."