MILAN — Pirelli has inked a partnership with Luna Rossa Challenge for the development of a multiyear project leading to the Luna Rossa sailing team’s participation in the 36th edition of the America’s Cup, set in New Zealand in 2021.
As a result, Pirelli will be co-title sponsor of the Luna Rossa vessel along with Prada, which last January announced its 65 million euro sponsorship of the sailing team, 100 percent privately owned by the fashion company’s chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli.
Further details on both sponsors will be disclosed during an event to be held in the upcoming weeks.
“Pirelli is the ideal partner for this new America’s Cup challenge,” said Luna Rossa Challenge chairman Bertelli. “With over half a century’s experience at the highest levels of high technology world sports, it will be an important asset at the core of our project.”
“Pirelli chose to be a part of this project because it represents both a sporting and technological challenge, able to bring Italy and the Pirelli brand around the world,” echoed Pirelli’s executive vice president and ceo Marco Tronchetti Provera.
“The America’s Cup, as Formula 1 is to motorsport, is the most prestigious sailing competition, with a great history and tradition. It embodies values and [interests] a public of enthusiastic fans that perfectly match with Pirelli’s ones,” he added.
The project will entail, over the four-year period 2018-21, a series of regattas, events and activities with the Prada and Pirelli brands as protagonists. In 2019, the first two regattas of the America’s Cup World Series will take place in the Mediterranean while the following year another three World Series regattas will be held in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.
In January 2021, in Auckland, there will be the Prada Cup, Challenger selection regattas — which previously came under the moniker of Louis Vuitton Cup — followed by the 36th edition of the America’s Cup presented by Prada, scheduled for March 2021.
As reported, this is a return to the sea for Luna Rossa and its sixth challenge, but fifth race, as the team in 2015 withdrew from the competition in disagreement with the overturning of rules unanimously adopted throughout the previous year by the Oracle Team, owned by Larry Ellison. Team New Zealand swept the Oracle team in the 2017 America’s Cup and is now its holder.
Established in 1997 by Bertelli with the original name of “Prada Challenge for the America’s Cup 2000,” the Luna Rossa team won the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000, with a record of 38 victories out of 49 races. It also competed in 2003 and in 2007, when it reached the Louis Vuitton Cup final.