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AC35: Chief Commercial Officer is leaving ACEA

WE HEAR RUMORS on and off every week about goings on behind the scenes in our sport, particularly the America's Cup. We don't normally go to press with rumors unless we are certain they are true, as we are in this case, or if we are sure they are untrue, in which case we will publish and debunk any serious rumors that could be harming the sport.

This afternoon we learned that Dan Barnett, ACEA's Chief Commercial Officer has resigned. He has been hired by U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the national governing body for those Olympic sports in the USA, as their first-ever CCO.

A public announcement is planned for Monday in Sports Business Journal, a leading sports marketing and management trade journal in the USA and beyond.

When Mr Barnett is leaving ACEA is unclear. Hopefully, he will stay through at least the end of the Cup in June as he has an important role overseeing TV and sponsor contracts. However, today the CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard sent an email to their leadership, a copy of which was provided to SAILING ILLUSTRATED, that Mr Barnett will be on hand for the organization's Partner Summit June 21-23 in Park City, UT. That, of course, is in the middle of the America's Cup Match which begins Saturday, June 17th.

Mr Barnett, a British lawyer who previously had served in a commercial capacity with UEFA (European Soccer Federation), joined ACEA during the last Cup in San Francisco as Senior Legal Counsel and subsequently Vice-President of Broadcast. He became Chief Commercial Officer after Harvey Schiller resigned as the Cup's "Commercial Commissioner" in August of 2016. Dr. Schiller was in that position for two years, having served on a Cup Advisory Panel during AC34. He left AC35 during the controversy that engulfed the Cup in 2015-16 after ACEA signed a letter of agreement with Emirates Team New Zealand for an AC World Series event in Auckland that never came to fruition. The details of all that are cloaked in secrecy under the AC Protocol because the matter went to the America's Cup Arbitration Panel, the decision from which is widely rumored to have gone against ACEA.