America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ launches vibrant social media package

Emirates Team New Zealand sail against Team Korea in the finals of the match racing stage of the America’s Cup World Series in Plymouth.

Emirates Team New Zealand, the world's most successful professional sailing team, has joined the social media age with the launch of its new blog .... www.etnzblog.com. The team has worked on the project with Dell Computers and Dallas, Texas, based RD2 Inc, an acknowledged international leader in social media development.

The new site, is positioned as social media and therefore not covered by the draconian provisions of the Protocol governing the 34th America's Cup, which require all entered teams to redirect all their traffic to the americascup.com website.

etnzblog.com covers all aspects of Emirates Team NZ racing operations, including the current Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup and the Extreme Sailing Series.

Other sections cover the history of the team, Sir Peter Blake plus a fan engagement area.

Lisa Edser, Emirates Team NZ's marketing manager explains the new move into social networking



Previously the team had been in dispute with the America's Cup Event Authority, who lodged a complaint with the International Jury when Emirates Team NZ did not cut over their current URL www.emiratesteamnz.com to the americascup.com website - as required to be done by 31 July 2011 under the Protocol. That move would have required Emirates Team NZ to use the ACEA site as its sole web presence - which would have included non-America's Cup activities.

The dispute was taken to mediation by the parties and has not reached a resolution. etnzblog.com gazumps that mediation process as it is a social media presence which not covered by the tentacles of the America's Cup Protocol.

Chris Ronan, president of RD2, said: 'Working with Grant Dalton and the team with its invigorating spirit of adventure is a remarkable experience. We were intrigued that a little country in the South Pacific has a proud history of domination on the water.

'Emirates Team New Zealand has always been at the cutting edge on the water; we welcomed the opportunity to put the team on the cutting edge of social media.'

Dean Barker, skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand, takes the helm of an Extreme 40 for the first time on day 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ Almeria.
Paul Wyeth / OC Events

RD2 has an impressive client list including Southwest Airlines, international real estate company CB Richard Ellis, Dell Computers, and Wide Open West a US cable tv, internet and telephone company. The Southwest blog has been rated best corporate blog for four straight years.

He said: 'Like Southwest and Dell, Emirates Team New Zealand is using best practices to leverage key social media tools, from the blog, to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

'Furthermore, RD2 is working with Emirates Team New Zealand to create a social media presence that is as visually stunning online as the team is on the water.

'It’s important to build an online community that lives up to the brand expectations the team has created. That’s a tall order.'

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand arrives in to Palma, Spain, ahead of the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.
Nico Martinez

Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton says the headlong leap into social media would have been impossible without Dell and RD2.

'We had made tentative steps into social media over the past two years with Facebook and Twitter. We knew we needed a first-rate blog and we knew we needed to integrate Face book, Twitter and YouTube into that blog. We wanted to be right in the forefront with our adoption of social media and we have an expatriate Kiwi Andy Lark, who was then working for Dell, to thank for much of what we have today.

'Andy is an articulate advocate of harnessing the power of social media; he got RD2 involved in the design and implementation and Dell provided the platform, funding and support.'