Commercialization of the America’s Cup

Published on October 14th, 2015

With Bermuda shorts being such iconic fashion on the island, designer Rebecca Hanson is hoping the event will be a bonanza for her clothing company. As an official licensee of the America’s Cup, she can now embellish her product range with the event logo.

Men’s shorts without logo – $98
Men’s shorts with logo – $129

But Hanson’s rights to sell items displaying the coveted logo become a lot less valuable unless guarded. As The Royal Gazette reports, a protective order issued by economic development minister Grant Gibbons seeks to restrict unlicensed advertising that would unfairly exploit the America’s Cup.

“The order is tailored and necessary to prevent unauthorised commercial exploitation of the Louis Vuitton World Series event and the 35th America’s Cup,” Gibbons said, “particularly since the event village and certain on-the-water areas around the race course will be open to the public.”

The minister said restrictions are required in order to protect the commercial interests of the America’s Cup Event Authority and any of its designated commercial partners from “ambush marketing” — an issue that has arisen in previous America’s Cup events and other international sporting events.

An example of ambush marketing would include actively promoting brands that are not official sponsors of the event.

He continued: “The order is also necessary to protect the interest of the 59 local individuals and small businesses who have paid to exhibit their goods and/or provide goods and services in connection with the staging of the event.“

The special order prohibits the exhibition or distribution of any advertisement in any public place within a defined area along the waterfront, unless authorised in writing by the America’s Cup Event Authority.

The Order also covers business proprietors and operators working from a permanent structure within the restricted area, who will be prohibited from exhibiting, on or attached to the permanent structure, any advertisement that is clearly visible from anywhere within the restricted area or the race course area — and which is outside the scope of that person’s normal course of business; or appears to be an attempt to associate with the event, unless authorised in writing by the America’s Cup Event Authority.

The Order also covers advertisements on watercraft that are clearly visible from the restricted area or race course area unless authorised in writing by the America’s Cup Event Authority.

Editor’s note: Ah yes, it brings back lovely memories from the 2007 America’s Cup when Alinghi’s legal counsel would send me nasty-grams for ridiculous perceived intrusions on their rights. Felt more like bullying at the time. Ana, are you out there? Are we good?


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