America’s Cup Brings High Profile Sponsors to San Francisco

July 15th, 2013 Written by

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America’s Cup is now officially underway. The more than 150 year-old boat race began Sunday, July 7th in the San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco was chosen to host by the previous winner of the America’s Cup, BMW Oracle Racing (USA). The team’s financial backer is Larry Ellison, CEO at Oracle Corporation and 5th richest man in the world. Ellison may have chosen San Francisco because it’s close to home; Oracle headquarters are in Redwood City, 30 miles south of San Francisco.

This year’s America’s Cup has attracted a good amount of media attention, which also means plenty of advertising opportunities. In the world of sports, one of the best ways to advertise is through sponsorship.

Here’s an overview of the four America’s Cup sailing teams and their main sponsors:

Defending Champion

  • Oracle Team USA

Representing: USA

Main Sponsor: Oracle


  • Artemis Racing Team

Representing: Sweden

Main Sponsor: Pelle P

  • Emirates Team

Representing: New Zealand

Main Sponsor: Emirates

  • Luna Rossa Team

Representing: Italy

Main Sponsor: Prada

So why is sponsorship a good investment for a Challenger Brand? Simply put, it is a great way to increase brand awareness and develop positive associations. You can reach a niche market (especially important for Challenger Brands) by showing support for something that people genuinely enjoy. The halo effect of this relationship aligns your company with the event, athlete, or team and builds your brand’s credibility.

This is how it works: Companies pay the sponsee for various branding opportunities. Sometimes that means naming rights, like the Oracle Team USA. Other times it means a logo is displayed on brochures and flyers. It all depends on how much the sponsor is willing to donate.

For Challenger Brands, we recommend picking one or two notable events each year to sponsor. These could include anything from a charity fundraiser to a popular sports team. Make sure you choose a sponsee that your company cares about and interests your target audience. And once you make a decision, go as big as you can afford. The larger your brand name is displayed, the more effective your sponsorship will be.


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