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The America’s Cup is just another spinoff

Written By: - Date published: 7:18 am, June 17th, 2021 - 36 comments
Categories: capitalism, Deep stuff, sport, uncategorized - Tags:

The America’s Cup competition now looks likely to head offshore.

The Minister of Economic Development Stuart Nash was remarkably sanguine:

At the end of the day the America’s Cup is a global commercial operation. It is an international business as much as a sporting contest. The team is now free to look to commercial sponsors, private supporters, or other avenues to bankroll the operation.”

This framing puts the government’s proposed investment on a par with any other invitation by a local corporate to build their business like RocketLab or Xero. New Zealand will retain here only what it can afford. As astute local fund manager Sam Stubbs noted in his recent column, we could have been able to afford it and much more, but from historical decisions we can’t.

The government’s recent large partnership with Australia to host the Women’s Football World Cup is but one of the many events that MBIE seeks to contest with bids. There are always benefits, and costs, to hosting a major international event to put to Cabinet – available public funding available being not limitless.

When the strange new AC36 design was announced, the SailGP series was set up with Oracle and Rolex backing it, in direct competition.

This series does pretty much what the America’s Cup used to do: have a single stable design, national-origin crews, and single nation flags on their sails.

That illustrates that the competitions are in themselves competing as businesses, with the locations also in competition – like film productions playing off country locations for tax benefits.

We need to disabuse ourselves of any notion that paying into the team for previous host rights gives them further contest host rights. Or any stupid ideas like loyalty, honour, and patriotism, when there’s so much keen competition for its hosting.

The America’s Cup is not called New Zealand Cup. Nor does it have the relationship that the All Blacks have to New Zealand stadia such as Eden Park. The state gains only as much purchase over the team as it is prepared to pay for.

As Minister Nash says in his statement: “Regardless, we wish the team all the best for the future. New Zealand is a world-class team. I know they will fly the flag for their home nation in the 37th America’s Cup, whether it is held in Auckland, or taken offshore.”

We need less presumed hold over them, and more encouragement of more spinoff businesses that make their way in the world.

36 comments on “The America’s Cup is just another spinoff ”

  1. Peter Don Wilson 1

    All this rubbish about the rich boys toys. Why when seeking support for this outfit we only hear team nz quoted, not the full name – Emirates team nz?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      Have Emirates re-signed for the next campaign ?

      Best news all year is that this expensive circus is moving its tent out of town

      • Jimmy 1.1.1

        I believe Emirates like most airlines, did not have a good financial year, and are reviewing their sponsorship deals, so team NZ may lose them as sponsors.

  2. GreenBus 2

    Meh. No big deal just another professional sport going about it's business. NZ has fronted a heap of dosh for Rugby, Olympics and others. If there is lots of fluffy feel good to be had along with some benefit to local business and there communities then fronting up some of the cost is worthwhile IMO. Compared to Rugby which also needs mega dollars but joe average can't watch unless you pay which I refuse too, it's better value, more interesting and free to air with fantastic on screen tech which we will get anyway wherever it is held. The viaduct area was developed for this and has remained for the benefit of NZ and tourists. If it has some nice benefits I reckon we should back it. 100 mill is peanuts, 200? Meh. Look what Covid has cost.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      $100 mill was turned down, they are said to want twice that…and then theres the other costs.

      What real world do you live in when its a health emergency of this scale and yet you say AC has a place in the queue too. Theres plenty of contortions over talking about the 'benefits' to NZ using nonsensical spreadsheet accounting, when the benefits entirely flow to the all conquering 'hospitality sector' – on another tack the harms from the hospitality sector are not minor , with migrant exploitation, and explosion of violence related to bars

      • GreenBus 2.1.1

        Are you the grim reaper? There must be play money in all budgets, not for the bottomless pits of Health and Education. Not one cent for them. The Health system will get what the Govt gives it irrespective of other priorities. Flag referendum money well spent? No, along with a big hunk of each budget. How many BILLION did we hand out to businesses during our lockdown that didn't need it, was that money that should have gone to fix the crippled health sector? We don't have a health emergency do we? Covid isn't here trev.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.1

          AC did get its 'share' during Covid ..that was last year or is your memory too short.

          Anyway a new cup is 4 years away , and a $200 mill event for a small part of the Waitemata isnt a priority anymore.

          It happens !

          • GreenBus 2.1.1.1.1

            It matters not what us peasants think, you will not be consulted, nor I. They will waste away our hard earned all the same. A Billion to cycle across the harbour is ridiculous and I bet they'll do it. Didn't you know that we are made of money?

          • RobbieWgtn 2.1.1.1.2

            $685M for a bridge cycleway or 3 Americas Cup challenges @$200M ea. ?

            Investment in the America’s Cup brings massive tax take and ongoing benefit to our country.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.1.2.1

              AC rules on country of origin will still apply no matter where the races are sailed.

              But you are joking about 'tax returns' there no evidence other than paid for reports to back that up., as for the hospitality its just spent here on other similar things

  3. Obtrectator 3

    One thing's unlikely to change: whether the thing is held here or overseas, we'll still get the relentless media barrage about the "Shutduffer" Cup.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    IMHO Grant Dalton has mis-read the public mood with this gambit. I like the America’s Cup as a showcase for a different, high tech NZ that presents a different face to the tired and frankly condescending one of a beautiful country full of pleasant hobbits.

    BUT

    The last America's Cup Regatta was a bit of a damp squib, with COVID and just four teams competing I don’t think the taxpayer got value for money. As a catalyst for the redevelopment of the east-west corridor from Britomart to Wynyard quarter it was ideal, but that is largely done now. Public perception can turn on a dime on this sort of thing and 200+ million is far, far to much to secure the rights to a regatta with such mickey mouse rules as the America's Cup.

    We'd be far better off spending a fraction of that for a SailGP regatta.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Dalton will be right now working on his communications blitz and getting the usual 'stale pale male' voices to ramp up the rhetoric about changing the governments mind. Im sure the Koru Club set will be 'outraged' and 'gutted' and the other cliches used as headlines these days.

      • woodart 4.1.1

        you forgot "shambles" "stabbed in the back""pandering to cyclists"(current favourite for dorktalk radio)

        • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1.1

          I wouldnt say Im fan of the 'cycle bridge' but wasnt a small but hyper expensive motorway serving the factories of Penrose even more expensive and promoted by National….but was canned by Labour as they were about to tender.

          It was never in the Roads of 'national' significance , but crept into the system once Bridges became Transport minister ( he also cancelled a road bypass they were ready to do detail design which was promised for Rotorua)

    • Ad 4.2

      SailGP are now holding a round in Christchurch's Lyttleton Harbour, in January next year.

      https://www.christchurchnz.com/news/otautahi-christchurch-confirmed-to-host-sailgp

      It's excellent to see competition amongst competitions, and amongst our own cities. It helps everyone sharpen their competing public budgets and concepts, and puts a bit of reality to the proposed regional and national benefits through a direct comparison.

  5. AB 5

    "Or any stupid ideas like loyalty, honour, and patriotism"

    Agreed. The effort by Team NZ (and the media hangers on) to arouse these emotions in us is entirely cynical – and it goes completely unreciprocated by them when the dollars get counted. Like an abusive relationship characterised by an asymmetry of power – it's a small sign of the generalised depravity of our business culture.

    • alwyn 5.1

      Our New Zealand businesses, by and large, kept well clear of this latest America's Cup.

      The "generalised depravity, as you call it, was all by the National and Local Government in New Zealand. Take a bow Phil and Jacinda. What a pair of idiots to throw so much ratepayer and taxpayer money at the circus.

      I see now why Key had gone so very cold on the whole affair and why he cut back so hard on the financing of the event.

  6. gsays 6

    Kinda matters not where the regatta takes place (excusing time of broadcast), it will be watched by most of us on tele/web.

    Just a few Hoorah Henry's and the self important Viaduct bars that may be miffed.

    • alwyn 6.1

      Are you going to pay to watch it on TV? You may be absolutely sure that if the organiser of the bun-fight can find anyone willing to pay for the rights to show the event it will only be on pay-to-view channels.

      The thing I would love to know is who was the Lawyer who reviewed the contract the Government signed up to last time. What imbecile agreed to a contract that did not have a cast iron clause that if the Team Dalton won it the next event HAD to be held in Auckland.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1

        Seems that they only had to make their offer to NZ first and if it was rejected look elsewhere. No one would commit to a future contract on either side without knowing the $$$ to make it work. The news good news is the outcome is fairly muted response and I think people are over it and dont get sucked into the ' we need more tourists more of the time ' ideology

        • alwyn 6.1.1.1

          I lost interest in the America's Cup back when Fay Richwhite got involved back in, I think, 1987. They got all the publicity, the BNZ paid out all the money.

          That was the good part. After that our involvement went rapidly downhill.

          And my comments are from someone who was actually involved in yachting when I was young and was keen on the sport, as a sport. We are better out of it. It was never worth the ridiculous expenditure of taxpayer's, and ratepayer's money.

          I think John Key had decided that by the latter part of his time as PM. Unfortunately our current Government were just like the Clark lot. They seemed to be in total awe of all the people involved and spent even more.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1.1.1

            The Key government funded all the 'out of NZ ' challenges right up to the 2017 Bermuda race – being Jan 2017 the new government had no time to change existing funding.

            Clearly the home challenge in 2021 was worthwhile to many – not me-.

            Bizarre that you think Key wasnt 'interested in the end' in AC when the actions right up to the Jan 2017 races which would have been decided after the San Francisco event in 2013, would suggest different

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Keep the Ducatis and naming rights coming…it’s the kiwi way…yeah–Nah.

    Hopefully a critical mass of taxpayers will have worked out by now that such commercial enterprises masquerading as sports are corporate money trenches no longer worthy of their support?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1

      PRADA Americas Cup !

      It was abased on the 'trickle down' theory of economics, where the insanely rich pee all over us …best I leave it there

  8. Adrian Thornton 8

    I loved the way Dalton said the NZ offer was "completely reasonable" but not enough, so one is only left to assume that the amount they imagine that they require must be therefore completely unreasonable.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/americas-cup/125457113/americas-cup-government-confirms-no-hosting-deal-for-auckland

  9. RosieLee 9

    How much is Grant Dalton worth and what is he making out of all this?

  10. No Billionaires 10

    There is absolutely nothing lost for New Zealand with regards to the America’s Cup. The people behind it are completely horrible scam artists and gun running mercenaries. Not putting public funds into their pockets is a very good thing.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20210310231938/https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/americas-cup-billionaire-team-owners-arrive-in-auckland-for-prada-cup/3EQ5PTVC3ZBJEEZBQH2BEOFO2M/

    https://web.archive.org/web/20210226145704/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.politico.com%2Fmagazine%2Fstory%2F2017%2F01%2Fbetsy-dick-devos-family-amway-michigan-politics-religion-214631%2F

  11. Gosman 11

    What does this mean exactly?

    "We need less presumed hold over them, and more encouragement of more spinoff businesses that make their way in the world."

    • Incognito 11.1

      I presume it means we should enable and encourage more start-up companies to rise and flourish without this notion that they owe us anything if/when they become successful and want or need to expand beyond NZ borders. You don’t stop your children from leaving the nest, study overseas and make a life for themselves, do you?

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