It looks like Prada’s Luna Rossa yacht could be back in the game for the 2013 America’s Cup after all.
This story first appeared in the October 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Prada SpA filed a voluntary notice at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, where it has been publicly traded since June, on the pending sponsorship of the Luna Rossa yacht for the America’s Cup in 2013, slated to be held in San Francisco.
In the announcement, the company stated that its subsidiary Prada SA “has been invited to sponsor the participation of Luna Rossa in the XXXIII edition of the America’s Cup.”
And who is it in negotiations with about the sponsorship? Maestrale Holding Srl, which is indirectly controlled by none other than Miuccia Prada Bianchi and her husband Patrizio Bertelli — who are president and chief executive officer of Prada SpA. So the duo are negotiating with themselves — or the company they head and its board — to sponsor the boat.
The total cost of sponsoring the yacht would amount to about 40 million euros, or $55.1 million at current exchange rates, which the company said would be paid in installments between this December and September 2013.
The company made no further comment.
This wouldn’t be the first go-round for Luna Rossa in the America’s Cup. Bertelli first entered the famed yacht race in 1997 with the boat, and competed in it in 2000, 2002 and 2007. Although the Luna Rossa never brought home the cup, the investments have helped boost the brand’s visibility and retail sales, with Luna Rossa-branded accessories and apparel collections, featuring high-tech fabrics tested by the sailing team.