Louis Vuitton Strikes Another Major Deal in Sports

Louis Vuitton’s takeover of the sporting world continues apace: Next August, shortly after the LVMH-sponsored Summer Olympic Games end in Paris, the Louis Vuitton-sponsored America’s Cup will begin in Barcelona.

America’s Cup, the world’s most prestigious sailing yacht competition, was last sponsored by Louis Vuitton in 2017. Since 1983, the fashion brand had also sponsored the Louis Vuitton Cup, a competition that determines who competes in America’s Cup. (There are only two racing teams in America’s Cup: the defending champions and the challenger who wins the Louis Vuitton Cup.)

After 2017, though, the Italian fashion house Prada became the race’s main sponsor — and the Louis Vuitton Cup became the Prada Cup.

Louis Vuitton did not comment on why it made the decision to come back or, seven years ago, to leave the competitive sailing world. In a news release, Pietro Beccari, the chairman and chief executive of the company, referred only to an “immense sense of pride” in returning to the competition as title partner.

Grant Dalton, the chief executive of America’s Cup, pointed to the endurance of each organization: The America’s Cup began in 1851; Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854. “It just feels completely natural that they’re back in the game,” he said.

Mr. Dalton hopes that reuniting with Louis Vuitton will bring more recognition to the niche sport, particularly among younger consumers. “They instantly make it easier for us to attract more sponsors,” said Mr. Dalton, who referred to the alliance as a “very, very easy marriage.” The Barcelona contest will take place between August and October in 2024.

For Louis Vuitton, the partnership is part of a much wider initiative in the world of sports. In recent years the company has created trunks to enclose the trophies of several major sporting events, including the World Cup, the NBA Finals, the Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco and the Rugby World Cup. As part of its sponsorship of the America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton Cup, it will provide trophy trunks, too.

Emirates Team New Zealand as it wins the America’s Cup in June 2017.Credit…Clive Mason/Getty Images

In July, the parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton announced its sponsorship deal with the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics, which will support a number of individual athletes, including the French swimmer Léon Marchand, the gymnast Mélanie de Jesus dos Santos and the fencer Enzo Lefort.

“The partnership will help promote France throughout the world,” Bernard Arnault, the head of the conglomerate, said.

But the group’s affinity for sports stretches far beyond France. Louis Vuitton’s star ambassadors include Carlos Alcaraz, the Spanish tennis player who modeled in a men’s formal wear campaign for Louis Vuitton in August, and Eileen Gu, a Chinese American skier who walked in the brand’s 2023 cruise runway show.

Mr. Dalton, a New Zealand sailor who will be overseeing the competition in Barcelona — the Emirates Team New Zealand team is the reigning America’s Cup champion — said that “the cup is the top of the food chain in our sport. And Louis Vuitton is on top of the fashion industry in the same way. There’s no doubt about that.”

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