Sir Keith Mills signs Jaguar as first sailing team sponsor

Jaguar: sailing team sponsor
Jaguar: sailing team sponsor

Luxury car band Jaguar has been unveiled as the first sponsor of Sir Keith Mill's Team Origin America's Cup sailing team.

The deal has been announced ahead of next week's inaugural 1851 Cup at Cowes Week, a race around the Isle of Wight between the US America Cup-winning team and the British team set up by Mills, the founder of Air Miles and Nectar Card, in 2007.

British-run Team Origin and the current America's Cup winners, BMW Oracle Racing, will convene for the first race between the two teams. The annual 1851 Cup will see Team Origin take on other international sides on an invitational basis.

Jaguar has been signed up for an unknown fee as presenting partner, with the team being known as "Team Origin racing with Jaguar". The deal is a part of the car manufacturer's wider commitment to sport sponsorship through its Jaguar Academy of Sport venture, which is already involved in cricket and cycling.

Speaking exclusively to Marketing, Mills said Jaguar was the "perfect fit" for Team Origin. He said: "Jaguar is an iconic British brand which is reinventing itself, and its commitment to create fuel-efficient cars also fits with our partnership with The Carbon Trust."

Mills said he hopes to attract "three to four" further partners, and was in talks with a number of brands, including companies in the technology and luxury sectors.

Geoff Cousins, managing director at Jaguar UK, said: "This is a serious British endeavour, which fits perfectly with the recently launched Jaguar Academy of Sport, which is all about investing in the future of British Sporting talent."

The last America's Cup took place in Valencia, Spain, in 2007. However, a legal dispute between the US and Swiss teams caused the subsequent race to be postponed. The next competition is likely to take place in 2013.

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