Emirates Team New Zealand

ETNZ’s leadership throughout the America’s Cup has inspired us, and we couldn’t be more proud to have been their official banking partner since 2018.

Teamwork and innovation

Constant innovation is essential to Emirates Team New Zealand and Kiwibank. With their name inscribed on the America’s Cup once again, Emirates Team New Zealand’s world-class teamwork and dedication to constantly evolve is world famous. It’s a story that’s distinctly Kiwi. And it’s why it felt so natural for Kiwibank to be Emirates Team New Zealand’s official banking partner of the 36th America’s Cup.

It’s one shared by the people who make up the team. From starting out as an eight-year-old kid sailing on Devonport harbour to leading Emirates Team New Zealand, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Shoebridge has ridden some serious waves of success and resets with the team during his time. Transfixed by the ocean at a young age, Shoebridge took his love for boats to work as a sailmaker before getting his big break – being recruited to sail with Sir Peter Blake at just 20 years old.

“From there, the world just kind of opened up for me.”

He’s since spent the last four decades spearheading Emirates Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup campaigns, wearing the black t-shirt with what he describes as “an immense sense of pride.” It’s that Kiwi spirit both teams know well.

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.

To have a major supporter and collaborator like Kiwibank on the journey with us is a really important piece of the puzzle. Like us, Kiwibank is another iconic New Zealand brand using high-end technology and always looking to the future to always be better. It’s that kind of attitude from the outset that sets you up for success and makes you proud to be Kiwi.”
Kevin Shoebridge, ETNZ Chief Operating Officer

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.

Sailing’s massively changed over my time. Looking back to the first cup, it’s like a different sport. The technology leap that’s been taken since 2010/11 with foiling catamarans has turned the industry into something it wasn’t before. It’s now much more exciting, and much more reliant on tech and innovation.”
Kevin Shoebridge, ETNZ Chief Operating Officer

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.

It’s about being committed, not walking away when things get tough, and believing in your collective vision as a team.”
Kevin Shoebridge, ETNZ Chief Operating Officer

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.

It sounds cheesy but it’s simple, really. We support and listen to each other and have a deep, implicit trust of everyone’s skills and expertise. We know each other very well and have immense pride in what we’ve built together.”
Kevin Shoebridge, ETNZ Chief Operating Officer

It’s that same skill and expertise that has seen Emirates Team New Zealand trust us as their official banking partner of the 36th America’s Cup. And we share that same pride in what the team has achieved.