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Team New Zealand Launch Support Crew

Media Release


Team New Zealand has launched a nation-wide Support Crew programme in response to widespread offers of assistance from the public.

The nation-wide campaign during the next six months will be managed by The Warehouse, New Zealand's largest, fastest growing and most profitable general merchandise retailer.

The all-new programme will provide a number of different opportunities for the public to contribute to New Zealand's America's Cup 2003 campaign at the 78 stores operated by The Warehouse. Each week these stores have 1.65 million visitors.

Ross Blackman, the Chief Executive of Team New Zealand, says the Support Crew managed by The Warehouse provides New Zealanders a familiar place within their own community to get behind the team.

"Team New Zealand is determined to keep the America's Cup and most importantly, the huge benefits that flow from this event. We appreciate all the loyal kiwis out there backing us; and wanting to help in some way. We have been flooded with offers so I am delighted to respond with this announcement."

"However, from now until February of next year, Tom, Dean and our Team must concentrate on building and developing the fastest yachts. So, we are delighted that The Warehouse has taken on this role, particularly as their retail stores are part of the daily lives of so many of our own supporters.

Mr Blackman said public support had contributed both funding and enthusiasm to New Zealand's America's Cup campaigns since 1987 and this new Support Crew initiative, managed by The Warehouse, had the potential to be the best ever. "During the last two campaigns we all had a lot of fun with red socks and they will endure as a very special memory of Sir Peter Blake and our past successes. Although we will not use red socks again for fund raising, you can expect to see Team New Zealand wearing them with pride during this America's Cup.

Mr David Wilson, the General Manager of The Warehouse said the Support Crew programme is intended to be affordable, with contributions starting at just one dollar and the most expensive Membership level costing $20.

He said there would eventually be three options available at The Warehouse stores for people wanting to contribute to Team New Zealand.

The initial opportunity, launched within all stores today, is for customers to purchase $1, $2 and $5 donation cards. They will be displayed near the checkouts and the full amount paid will go to Team New Zealand.

In mid-September, just prior to the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series, a Support Crew Membership card carrying a magnetic strip will be offered in three categories - Bronze ($9.99), Silver ($14.99) and Gold ($19.99).

Benefits will vary between the three categories and will include exclusive visits to the Team New Zealand base and chances for a Support Crew member to win a 17th Man ride on a Team New Zealand yacht.

Within The Warehouse, the Support Crew memberships cards will entitle members to a discount on their next purchase. As well as invitations to special shopping nights at The Warehouse, there will be chances for Support Crew members presenting their card to get all their purchases free of charge.

The third phase of the programme will be a nationwide competition during the final run-up to the America's Cup in 2003. Full details of Support Crew Membership and the competition will be announced at a later date.

19th July, 2002. For further information please contact:

Murray Taylor Grant Jennings Media & Communications Marketing Department Team New Zealand The Warehouse

Tel: (09) 363 6900 Tel: (09) 489 7000 Mobile: 027 294 7930 Mobile: 025 270 3870

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