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SBD/20/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
SPONSORS CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY AMERICA3 CREW CHANGE
Published March 20, 1995
Bill Koch, founder of the all-female America's Cup racing team America3, added a male crew member to the team. Dave Dellenbaugh, a rules expert and starting helmsman for Koch's victorious men's team in the '92 Cup, came aboard as of Saturday. According to Barbara Lloyd of the N.Y. TIMES NEWS SERVICE, Lifetime Television, which has committed nearly $1M to the team, did not know of the change until this weekend. Lifetime President Doug McCormack: "I was having breakfast and drinking my coffee when I got a phone call from Bill Koch. What he had to say hit me like a ton of bricks. I'd by lying if I said we weren't disappointed." McCormack agreed to the new plan, "but there was no doubt his vision for this competition had been altered. The concept of backing the first all-women team in the 144 years of America's Cup history had given way to a women's team with a male strategist -- still unusual, but without the cache of going it on their own." McCormack: "We're operating under the assumption that this is something the women brought on themselves. ... I'm not going to come in here with an Armani suit and tell them how to run this thing." Other America3 sponsors include: L'Oreal, Yoplait, Chevrolet, Citizen and Glamour Magazine. None knew of the change until this weekend, yet talks within America3's camp began more than a week ago. New Team Captain Dawn Riley: "It's nice to say, well, all-women was the only way to go. But you get tired of it when you're always in women's programs, and they say, 'You didn't win, but that's OK.' We'd rather say, 'We won'" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/20).