Team New Zealand sparks questions over new partnership deal

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 8:48PM
Simon van Velthooven with the America's Cup trophy at the McDonald's in Feilding. Photo / YouTube/EmiratesTeamNZ
Simon van Velthooven with the America's Cup trophy at the McDonald's in Feilding. Photo / YouTube/EmiratesTeamNZ

Team New Zealand sparks questions over new partnership deal

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 8:48PM

Team New Zealand has announced McDonald's as their "official family partner" for the America's Cup – but some fans aren't happy with the sponsorship deal.

Team New Zealand announced the partnership with a visit from America's Cup sailor Simon van Velthooven, who brought the 'Auld Mug' to his home town of Feilding.

"It's pretty cool to be here today and see all of the locals turn up to see the America's Cup in Feilding," van Velthooven said.

"There are a few familiar faces that's for sure, but really this is a great example of why the team are partnering with McDonald's, because it brings so many families together, and gives us an opportunity for us to connect with regular Kiwis throughout the country."

However, some fans weren't too pleased with the deal.

"One of the biggest contributing companies to obesity in the world now sponsoring athletes at the top level," said one fan on Facebook in response to the announcement.

"No no no lost my respect," said another fan.

"Sad to see this," added another fan. "About as good as Coke sponsoring the All Blacks (I know it's Powerade - Coca-Cola is the parent company). I know it's money, but not the right message. Just as we no longer accept cigarette companies for funding, companies that rely on making money from selling nutritionally lacking food contributing to worsening health outcomes is a bad look for any sporting team in my opinion."

Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton said he hoped the partnership would bring the team to local communities and that he was proud to welcome McDonald's to the team.

"It is fair to say that I have been more than a casual 'shopper' at McDonald's over the years, so it was great to have recently had a group of franchisees come into the base.

"They were really genuine New Zealanders, who were just so excited about the role they will all play in bringing the team and the America's Cup to their local communities."