ac biz


From our bro Aaron Kuriloff at Bloomberg…

Billionaires Larry Ellison and
Ernesto Bertarelli have turned an America’s Cup boom into bust.
A 30-month wrangle over rules canceled a 19-team qualifying
event, scared off sponsors like Banco Santander SA, UBS AG and
Nestle SA and shrank the organizing budget to 8 million euros
($11.1 million) from a record 230 million euros in 2007,
organizers said.
The wait continued today. The start of the best-of-three
sailing regatta in Valencia, Spain, was postponed for two days
because of a lack of regular wind speed today, race officials
said. The event is sandwiched between the Super Bowl and the
Winter Olympics in Vancouver. International interest has
declined so much that organizers gave away the television
rights, officials of Bertarelli’s Alinghi team said.“This is not going to be a windfall for anyone,” Gary
Jobson, the president of U.S. Sailing and the cup-winning
navigator in 1977, said in an interview. “It’s going to cost
them both a lot of money.”

The economic impact of the 159-year-old event, sailing’s
oldest competition, is less than 10 percent of the $7 billion
last time, according to Tom Cannon, a sports business professor
at the U.K.’s Liverpool University. There are no infrastructure
benefits and most of the about-$500 million spent will be on the
two competing boats, Cannon said.
Switzerland’s Bertarelli, 44, said his team has struggled
to get sponsors to replace UBS and Nestle, which used the last
event to promote its Nespresso brand. The 65-year-old Ellison’s
BMW-Oracle retained Bayerische Motoren Werke AG while losing
backers including insurer Allianz AG. Read the rest here.