Small Businesses the Future of America’s Cup Sponsorship?

Recently, Team New Zealand turned down a $99m joint-offer from the government and Auckland Council, meaning they would have to start talking to other possible host nations.

To keep America’s Cup in New Zealand, the idea to get small businesses to collaborate and sponsor the event arose.

Kyria Warren, founder of Luxury LAS knows all too well the importance of hosting the Cup in NZ, with her business being formed around the Cup.

“I went from having one charter boat to having twenty out on the water over the cup. I was then able to expand and offer my clientele luxury accommodation options, private jets and helicopters” mentioned Warren.

At the recent Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron meeting, Warren spoke on the importance of hosting America’s Cup in New Zealand and touched on the possible economic implications of not hosting the Cup.

“My concern is with New Zealand’s economy, it’s the ports, the hotels, the accommodation venues, Air B&B owners, taxi and uber drivers, chefs, all of these businesses win if the Cup is held here in Aotearoa”.

“It also has a flow-on effect for our tourism industry, people travel to New Zealand to watch the Cup and end up travelling all over our beautiful country, they go back and tell their friends and family how beautiful our country is, so it truly is a domino effect. Hosting the Cup in New Zealand creates energy, hope, hype, and excitement, it puts us on the map and provides us a unique opportunity to showcase our technology against the best in the world and within our extraordinary landscape,” Warren continued.

The idea of Fan Club was presented at the meeting. Companies would band together to become the Cup’s ‘biggest fans’ and sponsor the team. Businesses that were ‘winners’ around America’s Cup could pledge a percentage of their sales back to sponsor the Cup.

For Warren, it’s a no-brainer, however, being one of the richest sports in the world, it would take a lot of companies coming together to make any difference.

After four Covid lockdowns in 2020, Warren knows all too well how hard the tourism industry is, how hard winter is going to be, and having the Cup to look forward to would make all the difference.

With these tough times in tourism, Warren and her company have had to pivot to stay afloat by offering corporate incentives, event management services and content creation.

Despite these tough times, Warren is hopeful.

“I still feel positive about the idea, I always have the attitude that it is not over until it’s over. If we all stop thinking small and start thinking big, we could quite possibly put NZ on the map.”