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ACUP organizers need more confidence
Team McLube

 



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Nov 27, 2011, 11:11 AM

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Submitted by Lindsay Foster:

Last year, right around this time, I wrote an article about how the America’s Cup could actually succeed in engaging the Facebook generation - and judging from what I’ve seen, they are doing a great job. The boats are fast, the crashes spectacular. You can view the racing live on one of the most recognized video websites in the world, with easy accessibility to share links and feeds with friends via social media networks that increase the possibility of the content going viral.

They even have a 'magazine/reality' show uncovering the America’s Cup, and while the content is fairly mild when you consider the debaucheries that most major TV networks air to appeal to my generation, it’s a good start. There are, however, still some things I take issue with - mainly the pervasive lack of confidence the organization exudes in an overall sense about the success of the new format and product.

Whenever I go on the website and read new articles or press releases, or see the America’s Cup asking for viewer input, I get the feeling they do not believe yet that they have created an event that is the best thing to happen to extreme sports since the snowboard was invented.

They are constantly asking for opinions, advice, talking about test runs and trials, what worked, what didn’t. No one actually seems 100% sure that they know what they are doing. The videos titled “What is the America’s Cup?” and many of the other promotional videos give an aura of diffidence and completely lack assuredness.

I understand it’s in the beginning phases, and things like customer surveys are always helpful for any organization to know what changes to make to keep their audience or customers happy. However, the new America’s Cup has one goal in mind. It is designed to turn the AC from a participant sport into a spectator sport that will garner millions of new viewers and in turn make it viable and appealing for commercial sponsorship to increase revenue.

It doesn’t seem to be any secret that they are having trouble attaining the necessary funds to support the series, let alone turn a profit. And how could it be different if you can't walk into a board room and look a CEO square in the eye with the confidence that what you are offering is absolutely the best thing to reach that coveted 18-to-34-year-old age group.

The AC has designed a spectacular event, one that lends itself to television and spectator viewing. All the kinks may not have been worked out yet, but I would like to see that they recognize and begin believing in what they have created. They were brazen enough to restructure the entire AC into what we see now without regard to many naysayers’ opinions, so where is that confidence now? Harden up!


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