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America's Cup: THoR announced as Emirates Team NZ new sponsor

by Emirates Team New Zealand 11 Feb 2021 15:48 PST 12 February 2021
Te Rehutai, Emirates Team New Zealand - January 25, 2021 - Waitemata Harbour - America's Cup 36 © Richard Gladwell / Sail-World.com

The Heart of Racing (THoR), an automotive racing programme that raises money for Starship Children’s Hospital, has just become sailing team Emirates Team New Zealand’s newest sponsor.

“We’re delighted to be supporting Emirates Team New Zealand in their defence of the America’s Cup,” said THoR team principal, Gabe Newell. “When we first got to know Emirates Team New Zealand, I was struck by the sophistication of their technology. Their research, design, and engineering would be perfectly at home in Silicon Valley or Formula 1.”

In addition to THoR’s sponsorship of Emirates Team New Zealand, they will match the $500,000 donation of Team Principal Matteo de Nora to the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association of New Zealand, the sail team’s charity of choice.

“The culture of the team really resonates with us,” said Teagan Klein, THoR’s programme manager. “Their focus on collaboration and innovation are the same core values that are essential to success in modern, technology-driven industries.”

“The sky-rocketing viewership of the America’s Cup shows how much Emirates Team New Zealand is changing the face of the series,” said Mr. Newell. “There is a growing potential for esports to broaden the base of high-tech sports like sailing. We hope to explore these opportunities with the team and, in turn, play a part in the coalition that will keep the team’s future within New Zealand.”

Working with the Starship Foundation, THoR will be bringing children who are patients of the hospital and their families out on the water to watch Emirates Team New Zealand practice and race.

Emirates Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said, “As a team, and a country for that matter, we are incredibly lucky to have someone like Gabe involved with us. He is a technological visionary with unparalleled generosity illustrated by the work he does with The Heart of Racing, Starship, and now MND New Zealand.”

“We are a group of friends who were locked down in New Zealand at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alex Riberas, driver for THoR in New Zealand. “Supporting the Starship Foundation and sponsoring Emirates Team New Zealand are ways we can show our appreciation to New Zealand for the hospitality we have received during our stay.”

THoR was started in Seattle, Washington, USA. The race team competes in the United States in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to support Seattle Children’s Hospital. In 2020, they began racing in New Zealand in the North and South Island Endurance Series to support the Starship Foundation.

To donate to The Heart of Racing, please go to www.theheartofracing.com and select either Starship Foundation or Seattle Children’s Hospital.

To donate to MND New Zealand, please go to mnd.org.nz

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