The America’s Cup PR Disaster

By Noah Davis 

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If we were in charge of a major international sporting event, we’re not sure exactly when we’d announce the host city. But you know when we wouldn’t? At 5 p.m. on a Friday that just happened to be New Year’s Eve. And yet, that’s exactly when the organizers of the America’s Cup announced that the 34th running of the event will be held in San Francisco.

It’s just the latest in a series of PR mistakes.San Francisco, home to Larry Ellison’s BNW Oracle Racing Team, was the favorite to host the Cup. Newport, Rhode Island dropped out of the running in July after realizing they had no chance. Expect then they did.

America’s Cup officials were unhappy with San Francisco’s proposal and asked the New England city to submit a bid just two weeks ago. Some in the sailing community thought it was a ploy to generate interest in the race that’s lost much of its cache in the past 30 years. As the choice of SF shows, those insiders were correct. Newport never stood a chance. Not that anyone was paying attention, anyway. You were probably sipping champagne, instead.