Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

America's Cup Event Authority CEO talks to Valencia Sailing

by ValenciaSailing.com on 29 Oct 2010
34th America’s Cup - - Craig Thompson, America’s Cup Event authority CEO ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/

Top European sailing website, ValenciaSailing.com continues a series of interviews with the people in charge of shaping the 34th America's Cup in line with the vision of the current Defender, its owner Larry Ellison and its CEO Russell Coutts. We spoke with Craig Thompson, CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority, the body in charge of everything related to the pinnacle event of the sport, except for the racing itself.

Valencia Sailing: Can you briefly take us through your background and how you ended up becoming CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority ?

Craig Thompson: Most recently I was with TEAM Marketing in Switzerland and we were the agency that UEFA chose to set up the European Champions League. Myself and a number of colleagues started the Champions League, together with UEFA, back in 1992. We created the marketing platform and the concept for the Championship League, which we then implemented. I was with the Champions League from 1992 until 2003 when I left to take a break. After that I was involved with the set up of the Champions Hockey League in Europe, a European hockey league similar in style to the Champions League in football, then in several other projects and I finally joined the America's Cup just recently as CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority.

Valencia Sailing: From what I see you have no sailing background or at least you haven't been involved with any major sailing event prior to joining the America's Cup. Is that correct?

Craig Thompson: I had some experience with the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia when I did some consulting work both for America's Cup Management (ACM) and Alinghi. So, I do have a little bit of sailing experience but I wouldn't say I have any extensive experience in that sport.

Valencia Sailing: Do you think this factor could be a problem or at least a disadvantage?

Craig Thompson: To the contrary, I think it's an advantage, assuming that I'm surrounded by top sailing people that have extensive knowledge of the sport like Russell Coutts, Tom Ehman or Iain Murray. As long as there is people like that in the team it's an advantage havifng someone like myself or Richard Worth, Chairman of ACEA, that don't have an insider, intimate knowledge of the sport because we can look at it from a more objective viewpoint as sports marketers. We can look at the sport in terms of what needs to be done to make it friendlier for fans, television and the sponsors and that was exactly the role I had in the Champions League in football. Being an American myself, I came to Europe knowing very little about football (soccer) and I was managing the Champions League project for many years. I actually think there is an advantage to be not so familiar with the sport as long as you are surrounded by people that are very familiar with it.

For the rest of this story http://valenciasailing.blogspot.com/2010/10/craig-thompson-ceo-of-americas-cup.html!click_here

Related Articles

Will NZ's most successful Olympic Sailing event cop the Selection axe?
New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain in September 2014. In two of those the RS:X Windsurfing event, New Zealand is unlikely to be represented in the Men's event, and in the Women's event, Natalia Kosinska would appear to be a borderline selection.
Posted on 2 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
Kosinska to hit out against the Hyeres heavy metal in 2016 Olympic bid
Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at Hyeres later this week. 2016 Olympic aspirant, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) will face a star-studded field in the Womens RS:X event at the third round of the Sailing World Cup Hyeres.
Posted on 26 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Rio2016 - Winther hits ball firmly into Olympic selectors' court
2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has made a strong bid for inclusion in the 2016 NZ Olympic Sailing Team finishing 11th in the 2016 Laser Radial World Championships in Mexico. Running a self-funded campaign which took in the Princesca Sofia Regatta in Palma, Spain followed by the World Championship on Banderas Bay, Mexico, Winther placed 11th overall and 10th country.
Posted on 21 Apr
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Kosinska flies out in RS-X Olympic bid
Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres Women's RS:X Windsurfer sailor, Natalia Kosinska (NZL) flew out of Auckland today for the Sailing World Cup Hyeres, in her final attempt to gain NZ Olympic selection. Kosinska has been training in her own program in New Zealand with the 2015 Women's World Champion, Chen Peina (CHN) in the RS:X Windsurfer, and Zhichao Zhang the Men's #4 at the 2015 Worlds in Oman
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther makes top three in final Qualifying race
2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds 2012 Olympic Representative, Sara Winther continues to improve at the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds and has moved up the leaderboard to be in 12th place at the end of the shortened Qualifying Round. She placed third in the only race sailed today and continues to improve as the regatta progresses, and her confidence builds.
Posted on 18 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther scores three single digit places - Day 3
New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table New Zealand 2012 Olympic representative, Sara Winther has advanced three places up the points table at the 2016 Laser radial Worlds being sailed in Mexico. She now lies in 15th place overall after three days of racing. She achieved single digit scores in the three races sailed today, despite hitting marks in two races and having to perform penalty turns.
Posted on 17 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Kiwis locked in Olympic selection fight - Day 2
The points gap has narrowed between the two elading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection The points gap has narrowed between the two lading New Zealand contenders for 2016 Olympic selection in the Womens Singlehanded Laser Radial class.
Posted on 16 Apr
Laser Radial Worlds - Winther off to a handy start in light airs
Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. Sara Winther has got away to a handy start to the 2016 Laser Radial Worlds, being sailed in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. She is best placed of the three New Zealand competitors in the regatta, lying in 22nd overall after two races were sailing the Qualifying Round.
Posted on 15 Apr
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesSailutions - SeldenSailT Clewring One Design