Today’s guest post is by Peppercommer (and Repman editor-in-chief) Dandy Stevenson.
The America’s Cup is the oldest sporting match in the world, and thus the most coveted prize in the sailing world. For those unaware, the US and New Zealand are currently battling it out in San Francisco Bay. (BTW, 9 races takes the Cup, and NZ is up 7-1.) NZ is the current defender of the Cup, and the US is the challenger.
Or is it?
Larry Ellison’s Team USA has 23 crew members, and eight are from New Zealand. Only two are from the US. (Seven are from Australia and six are from farther corners of the globe.)
Of the 15 crew members on Team NZ, all are New Zealanders, save one (from Australia.)
Ellison, self-made billionaire and founder of software giant Oracle, is as known for his ginormous ego as his bottomless pockets. He doesn’t like to lose, and thus left America’s shores to put together Team “USA.” (Why there are not more world class sailors from the US, is another post, another day.)
Clearly, the world’s finest sailors are from New Zealand, and the best of the best are sailing for their homeland. And here in the US, Larry Ellison got the best his money could buy, including eight who didn’t make Team New Zealand.
Thus, all the folks who are cheering for Team USA, are not really cheering on America. New Zealand won it last time, and will effectively win no matter the outcome this year. Make no mistake, I truly want to see New Zealand keep the Cup in Auckland, but it’s obvious who the real winners are regardless of who makes the 9 race win.
Were I talking about PR and not yachting, I might suggest this comparison: Suppose Exxon sends a RFP to Peppercomm and Edelman. Peppercomm assembles its team and gets working on the pitch. Edelman calls Steve and says “We’d like to hire Peppercomm to pitch Exxon, but under our name.” So we assemble another team, and then go head to head with… ourselves? Yes, there are two teams competing for the business. But if the team Edelman hired wins the business did Edelman really win? No. The Peppercommers win regardless of who Exxon selects.
So who is Ellison fooling with this bait and switch… you? Do you feel less loyal to team “USA” knowing that there are only two Yanks aboard?