Prada, the Italian fashion giant, is set to replace French fashion house rival Louis Vuitton as the naming sponsor for the 2021 America’s Cup yacht race in Auckland, according to reports in the Italian media.
Prada has sponsored Italian outfit Luna Rossa, the challenger for the 36th edition of the Cup, since their founding in 1997. The team will compete against defenders Team New Zealand.
Louis Vuitton has been the naming rights sponsor of the challenger series since 1980, though there was contention surrounding this year’s Cup in Bermuda after the brand expressed frustration at the event format.
Italian media reported that Team New Zealand is working with Prada to lay down new rules and classes for yachts that will compete in the upcoming America’s Cup event, after the Kiwi team’s pedal-powered innovation played a key part in their 7-1 win over previous holders Oracle Team USA in Bermuda in June.
Some have questioned the use of the pedal-powered ‘cyclors’ and the hi-tech catamarans, claiming there is no room for more traditional sailing roles.
Full details of the 2021 event are set to be released next weekend, with design rules revealed on 30th November.