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AMERICA'S CUP PROVING TO BE A TOUGH SELL TO SPONSORS
Published September 15, 1997
American teams preparing for the 2000 America's Cup are in need of funding, according to CNBC's Susan Lisovicz. Experts predict that should all six U.S. teams competing for the Cup make it to the qualifying round, it will cost "at least" $100M. However, "not one U.S. corporation has yet to come aboard with a major sponsorship," with one reason for sponsor reluctance being that TV rights "have yet to be awarded." One of the U.S. teams, Young America, estimates that it needs to raise $40M to reclaim the Cup from New Zealand. While some companies previously associated with the event say they are "currently in talks," only Norwegian outdoor apparel maker Helly Hansen has committed to a sponsorship deal. Jim Reilly, Marketing Director for Young America, says he is talking to a "who's who" of the Fortune 500. Reilly: "The theme of our marketing program is forget all of your romantic notions about sailing. This is about business; it's about branding" ("Business Insiders," 9/12).