First Racing trials in San Francisco bay
A new look America's Cup website has opened as of 1 July 2011 for the 34th America's Cup and supporting events.
Under the terms of the current Protocol all teams are required to be hosted on a single America's Cup website, or really a web-portal, to aggregate traffic and make simpler fan and media navigation.
The new site can be seen at www.americascup.com
All teams have their own web-presence on the site. Some have already connected their existing URL's to the new site and fans will access it directly.
For others, such as Emirates Team New Zealand, the process is not quite so simple as the professional team is conducting a number of campaigns, some of which are relevant to the America's Cup, others - like their Volvo Ocean Race entry are not. In fact those campaigns involve separate sponsors, and in some eyes are competing for the same event sponsor dollar.
Emirates Team NZ’s other project, plus three catamaran campaigns
The requirement of the Protocol is a new one, and has not been used elsewhere in the sport. While the objective may be laudable for the America's Cup organisers, it does inhibit and cut across other sponsor obligations.
In the longer term the portal approach will inhibit the growth and expansion of professional racing teams - which like Groupama in the Volvo Ocean Race run multiple events to offer greater sponsor exposure and a diversified product.
It is not clear if the teams have full and complete editorial control over their section of the website, or if it will be subject to 'editorial oversight' of event organisers.