The perfect partnership
To be a part of a team like this is no easy feat. It's a uniquely demanding sport and evolving at break-neck speed. From the sailors to commercial sponsors, it’s all about connecting with people on the same kaupapa, Shoebridge says.
Kiwibank has been supporting that journey as Emirates Team New Zealand’s official banking partner of the 36th America’s Cup since 2019. Two independent, local teams constantly punching above their weight.
World-class tech innovation
Emirates Team New Zealand has a long-standing history of pushing technological parameters. From its historic use of fibreglass in 1987 to its revolutionary boat design of 2017, it’s a team that’s built a legacy of flying ahead of the technological curve.
Shoebridge draws parallels between Kiwibank’s technological evolutions over the years with Emirates Team New Zealand’s pursuit of perfection of craft. Particularly off the back of trying times, but even in the good ones too, he speaks to the importance of staying motivated: “complacency is the enemy. Even after a win, we’re looking at ways to improve — there’s always an opportunity to do something new, to be better.”
During the more challenging periods, bouncing back has demanded a resolve he describes as something that the whole team holds deeply. Following their devastating America’s Cup loss in San Francisco in 2013, he talks about returning home to New Zealand quietly to work under the radar, reset and get ready to go again.
A team like no other
Today, Emirates Team New Zealand has over 150 permanent staff and when they leave home to compete internationally this grows to a team of over 300, including families. So how do you keep such a big team together?
“One thing we’re particularly strong on in our team is culture. To have a team that keeps developing and learning every year has been one of the things that separates us from our competitors. We retain a lot of talent and build on that season after season. We feel a really deep connection to New Zealand and are really proud to be from this country,” says Shoebridge.
This is pulling together
Teamwork seems to sit at the heart of everything Emirates Team New Zealand does. So much so, it’s almost something Shoebridge finds challenging to capture, or fully explain.