SAP Joins Team New Zealand in Defence of America’s Cup

Auckland, New ZealandSAP the world’s leading provider of e-business solutions today announced sponsorship of Team New Zealand for the defence of the America’s Cup – the world’s oldest and most prestigious sailing trophy – in Auckland, New Zealand in 2003.

SAP joins Team New Zealand’s established ‘Family-of-Five’ sponsors for the 31st regatta in the Cup’s 150-year history but there will be a different overall appearance for the sailing team that has dominated the last two regattas.

Staying with the team’s distinctive presentation style, SAP will be featured alongside Steinlager, Telecom, Lotto and Toyota; sharing sponsorship signage on the hull and mainsail of Team New Zealand’s black boats.

However, for the first time in Team New Zealand’s history a single sponsor will feature on all of it’s racing spinnakers. The SAP logo will be displayed exclusively on the Team New Zealand spinnakers during all of the down wind legs of the 31st America’s Cup Match.

“Speed, precision and results are words that describe both America’s Cup racing, and the SAP e-business solutions being used by thousands of companies around the globe,” said Martin Homlish, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer of SAP.

“The America’s Cup provides SAP with another unique and powerful marketing vehicle to expose our brand to millions of people around the world who will follow the progress of this first class sporting event. We are confident in the potential for great success with Team New Zealand, and justifiably proud to have SAP play a role in this great sporting tradition,” said Homlish.

The partnership with Team New Zealand is the latest in a series of sports marketing sponsorship projects undertaken by SAP. The world’s third largest software company is a key corporate participant in Formula One Grand Prix racing around the globe, serving as the title sponsor of the SAP United States Grand Prix, held each year at the Indianapolis Motorspeedway in September – the only US visit by the Formula One series each year.

SAP is a corporate partner of the McLaren Formula One team. The SAP logo also adorns the nosecone and drivers’ helmets of both entries of the. team at each of the 16 Formula One events this season. SAP is also a co-title sponsor of the Deutsche Bank – SAP Open, the European championship of the golf professionals held in Germany each May.

SAP is the world’s leading provider of e-business software solutions. Through the mySAP.com e-business platform, people in businesses around the globe are improving relationships with customers and partners, streamlining operations, and achieving significant efficiencies throughout their supply chains.

Today, more than 13,000 companies in over 100 countries run more than 30,000 installations of SAP software. With subsidiaries in over 50 countries, the company is listed on several exchanges including the Frankfurt stock exchange and NYSE under the symbol “SAP.”

Team New Zealand’s Chief Executive, Ross Blackman described the new SAP sponsorship as an endorsement of the team’s previous results and an acknowledgement of the ongoing strength of Team New Zealand.

“It is a measure of the success of Team New Zealand that a global brand like SAP has been attracted to the marketing opportunities presented by both this team and the America’s Cup event in Auckland.”

“Our team can feel proud that its achievements and reputation are being recognised by another international team sponsor. Tom Schnackenberg and our designers look forward to working alongside SAP, particularly in advancing our technology,” said Mr Blackman.

Bob Field, the Managing Director of Toyota New Zealand said SAP would be embraced by the other Family-of-Five sponsors, particularly those focussed on international exposure.

“We are a loyal team of sponsors and we share opportunities and benefits in a way that is unique to Team New Zealand. It is satisfying to see the value of exposure through Team New Zealand being recognised by a leading multi-national company.

“An enthusiastic involvement by SAP will reinforce the successful funding and performance record established by Team New Zealand over the last three America’s Cup regattas,” said Mr Field.

The New Zealand Government’s Minister for the America’s Cup, the Hon. Trevor Mallard, has also welcomed the SAP announcement.

“All New Zealanders should be delighted that a major sporting event we support with such enthusiasm and passion is attracting significant investment from global brands like SAP. To have an international software company the size of SAP with a regular presence in New Zealand can only have positive spin offs for us,” Trevor Mallard said.

Team New Zealand won the America’s Cup for the first time in San Diego in 1995, beating Young America 5-0 in a best of nine race series. Back home in Auckland in early 2000, Team New Zealand successfully defended the America’s Cup by again winning 5-0; this time against Prada of Italy. It was the first time the Cup had been successfully defended outside the United States.

To date, ten international syndicates have issued challenges for the 31st America’s Cup regatta in Auckland in 2002/2003. They comprise three American syndicates, two from Italy and others from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland and Sweden.