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Telecom Italia: Welcome On board

03/15/2005 - 12:00 PM

America’s Cup 2007

Just a few months before competition starts for the 32nd America’s Cup, Telecom Italia Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera, partners Patrizio Bertelli and Carlo Croce (Chairmen of the Prada Group and of the challenging Yacht Club, the YCI, respectively) and team skipper Francesco de Angelis illustrate their strategies to promote and support Luna Rossa through 2007

Milan, March 15, 2005 – Luna Rossa expresses the values of sailing, passion, national pride and technology.
Marco Tronchetti Provera, partners Patrizio Bertelli and Carlo Croce (Chairman of the Prada Group and Chairman of the challenging Yacht Club, the YCI) and team skipper Francesco de Angelis map out the course Telecom Italia is plotting to support Luna Rossa’s 2007 America’s Cup challenge.

Telecom Italia’s commitment

The Group has set itself two goals: to bring the America’s Cup back to Italy, and to attract more fans to yacht racing. Progetto Italia’s cultural and sporting initiatives are the ideal showcase for this challenge, alongside TIM and Alice, two brand names that have become synonymous with high-tech and innovation. All three of these trademarks will be emblazoned on Luna Rossa’s sails.
Telecom Italia’s commitment does not end there. The “La7” channel has purchased exclusive TV and new media rights to the 2007 America’s Cup and will be beaming this spectacular event to people’s homes, telephones and computers.

What’s happening

The America’s Cup is a thrilling one-off challenge for every yachtsman. Two years ago this unique competition kept millions of Italians glued to their televisions in the middle of the night, despite the time difference, to watch the races in New Zealand. The America’s Cup is capable of galvanizing a nation of sports fans who usually only get worked up over major football matches. This national interest has prompted Telecom Italia to promote sailing among the people of Italy, especially the young. Many young people will be learning the secrets of wind and sea at Luna Rossa Sailing Schools, on board vessels decked out in the same livery as the America’s Cup challenger, and under the tutelage of expert trainers from the Luna Rossa crew.
Luna Rossa Sailing Schools are opening in May 2005 at four yacht clubs selected by Telecom Italia and the Italian Sailing Federation: the Genoa Italian Yacht Club, the Trieste Adriaco Yacht Club, the Rimini Club Nautico, and the Naples Italian CRV. Aspiring young students will experience all the thrills and emotions of a professional crew. Special teaching kits based on Team Luna Rossa suggestions will be used to teach theory, and the students will be wearing the exact same outfits as their sporting mentors.
By 2007, the year when the America’s Cup proper begins, Telecom Italia is planning to have 12 sailing schools up and running across Italy.

The America’s Cup goes to college

There are also plans to take sailing into universities for design students. Yacht Design graduate students at the Milan Politecnico (on the Masters course run by Silvia Piardi) will be studying Luna Rossa’s progress. Students will have the opportunity to get to grips with the cutting edge technologies used in the sport and attend special courses organized as part of the Luna Rossa Challenge effort.

A special graduate yacht management course is also being developed at the Istituto Universitario Scienze Motorie (IUSM) in Rome for people who want to become sports administrators.

Internet and mobile phones

Websurfers and mobile phone users will have a ringside seat for the America’s Cup, and an opportunity to chat with their sporting heroes through leading-edge multimedia technology that Telecom Italia is about to roll out.
Telecom Italia’s broadband portal Rosso Alice will be streaming live video of all the most crucial yacht races during the America’s Cup final phase. Highlights from eliminator races will also be shown on request over the next few months.
TIM customers will be able to access race highlights, interviews, thrilling moments and news via SMS; they will also be able to follow races live via “Mobile TV” on La7.

Yachts in town
To raise Luna Rossa’s profile ITA 45 (the yacht that won the 2000 Louis Vuitton Cup) will be on display at Rome’s Piazza del Popolo in September, to coincide with the Trapani yacht races (September 28 to October 9). An announcement will be made in the papers about the route the 23 metre boat is taking through the streets of Rome; the Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni will be making a presentation at the Capitol.
Luna Rossa will also be visiting the Salone di Genova fair between October 9 and October 17, 2005. In 2006 and 2007 the tour moves on to Milan, Naples and other seaside locations on the Sailing School initiative. TV specials broadcast during the year will be rescreened to enable people to find out all about the competition, Luna Rossa’s adversaries and the crew competing in the America’s Cup. 

Luna Rossa: the film

A film about Luna Rossa is currently in production. Directed by Giovanni Bedeschi, the film conveys the thrills of sailing in the run-up to the America’s Cup and the preliminary heats. The film will premiere at a special screening attended by Mayor Veltroni of Rome, while ITA 45 is on show in Piazza del Popolo.

Let’s meet the Sailing Team

Special display areas at Telecom Italian and TIM flagship stores will be ready in May, stocked with videos and information on the history of the America’s Cup, the current competition and the defending champions, which customers can pick up as free gifts. The Telecom – Luna Rossa areas will also be hosting a series of conference calls between members of the public and the crew, generating the warmth and familiarity that only comes from direct contact.


The Sailing Team

Skipper Francesco de Angelis is putting the finishing touches to his team. Many of the 30 yachtsmen crewed Luna Rossa in previous years or have Cup experience with other teams, while a number of young crew members are making their Cup debut.
During the winter break the ITA 74 and ITA 80 vessels were adapted to the latest Cup specifications and underwent a redesign. The Luna Rossa sailing team is now back on the seas in preparation for Acts 4 and 5 in Valencia this June. Over the next few days ITA 80 will undergo marine testing. ITA 74 will be in the water soon, so that the crews can continue working on the yachts’ technical development plan and special match race preparation. The team undertook work to comply with version 5 of the category regulations at the Luna Rossa Operations Headquarters in Valencia.

Cutting-edge technology to enhance yacht performance

For that extra competitive advantage, Luna Rossa will be using a cutting-edge communications platform designed by Telecom Italia at its research facilities in Turin. Luna Rossa’s communications solutions are based on broadband wireless technologies. Multimedia applications for data, image and voice are carried over innovative Internet protocols. The broadband platform’s service quality gives the crew and the whole team even greater access to real-time information, monitoring and performance data.

2005 Race Programme

Six preliminary races are scheduled for the America’s Cup this year:

Act 4     Match Race           Spain, Valencia           June 15-22
Act 5     Fleet Race             Spain, Valencia           June 24-26
Act 6     Match Race           Sweden, Malmo          August 24 - September 1
Act 7     Fleet Race             Sweden, Malmo          September  2-4
Act 8     Match Race           Italy, Trapani              September 28 - October 6
Act 9     Fleet Race             Italy, Trapani              October 7-9