Team New Zealand adds Spark to sponsorship portfolio

The defending America’s Cup team, Emirates Team New Zealand, has signed up a trio of sponsors, led by the telco brand Spark, in preparation for the 2021 America’s Cup.

Under the Spark deal, the New Zealand telco will provide the team with telecom and digital connectivity, both on and off the water, as well as exclusive rights to provide services within areas controlled by the organising company, America’s Cup Event Limited.

The deal comes as Spark gets set to launch 5G, the latest generation of wireless technology.

The team has also signed up New Zealand wine brand Brancott Estate as the Official Wine Supplier and marine industry materials company Gurit as an Official Supplier.

The America’s Cup is set to take place from March 6-21 in 2021, where it will be the best of 13 series between Team New Zealand and the winner of the Prada Cup challenger series. Currently there are three confirmed challengers – Luna Rossa, American Magic, and INEOS Team UK.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.