Emirates remain on board with Team New Zealand
Team New Zealand have received a welcome boost with Emirates confirming their continued sponsorship.
President of Emirates, Tim Clark, said on Tuesday the airline's decision was recognition of the success of the team in helping build the Emirates brand globally, as well as signalling further commitment to New Zealand.
"Emirates started its New Zealand services in 2003 and has been naming rights sponsor of Team New Zealand since 2004," he said. "Our re-commitment for the next America's Cup challenge, lodged by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in August last year, is testament to the spirit, skill and strengths the team has shown."
The announcement ended weeks of bad publicity for the team who are in danger of losing government funding because America's Cup officials pulled a qualifying regatta from Auckland. Earlier this year, Dean Barker was forced out as skipper and left the syndicate.
Competition in the next America's Cup begins in July, with the first event of the America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth, England, with racing on July 25-26. There will be America's Cup World Series events in 2015-16 with AC45 catamarans. America's Cup qualifiers, playoffs and finals in new AC Class catamarans will be held in 2017 with the final races in Bermuda.
Team New Zealand chief executive Grant Dalton paid tribute to the many sponsors and suppliers – including Emirates - who have stood by the team in the hard times since their defeat in the 34th America's Cup to Oracle in 2013.