i don’t get it
I am currently in San Francisco working about three weeks per month. So you can imagine how excited I was to learn that Oracle Racing’s two week practice session coincided with my visit. Moreover, my son Gavin, an Opti sailor, was going to be in town on the weekend that the two catamarans would be ripping across the bay in 20 knots of breeze. I was sure that, in the face of disappointing spectator interest and almost no outside sponsorship , Oracle Racing would be pulling out the stops with a major PR campaign. Even though it was only a practice session, of course there would be official spectator boats, tons of local exposure, an experiential village for the public, rides on the catamarans for VIPs, insane social media execution, and an all-out effort to build community around the event.
Boy was I wrong. Neither the Oracle Racing website nor a Google search could produce any information at all about the practice session. Not one mention! I only discovered the whereabouts of the Oracle Racing compound because I happened to meet a couple of the crew on the train to work. Otherwise the boats are completely hidden from public view in a nondescript location well South of the City. There is absolutely zero buzz or excitement in San Francisco (as far as I can tell) about the America’s Cup. While my son and I did happen to see the boats sail by near St Francis Yacht Club one afternoon, we got no information at all from Oracle Racing or the local press. You get the feeling that the whole event will pass by San Francisco without anyone noticing.
I’m just a sports marketing guy and sailing fan. When I first heard about Larry Ellison bringing the America’s Cup to San Francisco, I naively believed the event had the potential to bring the sport to hundreds of thousands of new fans. I now see that the America’s Cup in 2013 will go down as a huge missed opportunity. Our sport will continue to speak to a small and insular group of people, and we’ll just write off any hope of building a larger fan base with our marquee event. –