Italian fashion group Prada looks set to participate in the 34th America’s Cup, after Luna Rossa, the yacht team controlled by Prada’s chief executive Patrizio Bertelli, asked the family business for €40 million in sponsorship.
If approved, the sponsorship will cover the cost of new yachts – the 34th Cup, which will be staged in San Francisco in 2013, requires the latest state-of-the-art C72 class catamaran - and the team’s base in San Francisco.
Luna Rossa participated in the 2000, 2003 and 2007 America’s Cups, the most high-profile sailing events in the world. In 2000, the team scored its best performance, when it challenged the holder Team New Zealand. However, after the disappointing performance in 2007, Bertelli said Luna Rossa would not enter future America's Cups.
Prada traces its roots back to 1913 when Mario Prada and his brother Martino opened a small leather goods shop – Fratelli Prada – in Milan. Miuccia Prada, granddaughter of Mario, joined the group in 1970 and currently controls the business with her husband Bertelli.