New Zealand launches company led by Symmans to organise America's Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand, the defender of the America’s Cup, has established a dedicated company to organise the next edition of sailing’s blue riband event on home waters in 2021.
America’s Cup Event Ltd will be responsible for attracting broadcasters and sponsors for the contest, and also oversee entertainment, the America’s Cup Village, race management and security in Auckland.
It will be chaired by Tina Symmans (pictured), who has been director of the New Zealand team, with Greg Horton, another member of the team’s board, also joining the board of ACE.
The pair are giving up their team-related directorships in order to focus on the organisation of the first America’s Cup to be held in New Zealand since 2003. Grant Dalton, who led Team New Zealand's victorious campaign in Bermuda in 2017, will be the chief executive of both the team and ACE, albeit management of the two organisations is to be handled separately.
Last month, Auckland was confirmed as the host of the 2021 edition, with the concluding America’s Cup match to take place from 6 to 21 March, and the New Zealand government has pledged NZ$40 million ($26.4 million) towards the organisation of the event.
ACE, which will have a staff of around 120, has appointed Auckland-based Mayo and Calder as event directors, calling on the firm’s experience in organising events such as the last two Auckland stopovers in the Volvo Ocean Race, plus those in Melbourne and Hong Kong.
Symmans, who has over 25 years of experience advising companies, notably in strategic communications and corporate and government relations, said: “Already there has been a huge amount of work done behind the scenes. We have finalised the event location, worked out how we work with Government and Auckland City as partners as well as putting stringent governance structures and operational protocols in place.
“This has all set a very solid foundation to launch into the enormous amount of work still to be done by ACE and all associated stakeholders. Everyone knows what position they are playing and the excitement is building. We have huge challenges ahead as any event of this size will always have but as a team we will work through them.
“Some extraordinary work is being done by the teams across government and council who are planning, designing and building the infrastructure as well as looking to maximise the economic benefits from the Event for both the City and the country as a whole, which is a driving factor for everyone involved.”
Symmans was a member of the Team New Zealand board for three years running up to the team's triumph in 2017, helping to attract funding for the campaign.
In New Zealand, ACE is expected to seek wide television exposure for the 2021 America's Cup through a free-to-air deal with public-service broadcaster TVNZ after the last edition was shown by pay-TV’s Sky.
This will encourage sponsors such as Spark, the domestic telecoms company, which this month signed up as a partner of both the team and the event.
ACE and Team New Zealand will be working with Italy’s Luna Rossa, the privileged ‘challenger of record’ on the organisation of the America’s Cup, including the Prada Cup challenger series that will determine which team goes up against the defender in the deciding match.
Other confirmed entrants include Ineos Team UK of Great Britain, American Magic of USA, and a second Italian entry, Sardinia Challenge.
It is reported that a second entry from USA and a Norwegian syndicate are also a possibility.