The Prada co-chief executive officer was bestowed with the golden necklace, or Collare d’Oro, by the Italian Olympics Committee, known as CONI, for his contribution in helping develop and elevate the sport of sailing in the country.
“I am very honored to receive this award, which recognizes not only my personal commitment in the sport of sailing, but also one of the members of team Luna Rossa who, throughout the years, backed with passion and competence the America’s Cup campaigns,” Bertelli said.
Bertelli, an avid sailor, established the Luna Rossa sailing team in 1997 and his venture drew new fans and supporters, spurring a frenzy in Italy.
The entrepreneur was awarded in Rome by Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi during a ceremony that drew the president of the Italian Olympic Committee Giovanni Malagò, Olympic athletes and other members of the institutions.
Bertelli’s Luna Rossa team — now 100 percent privately owned by the entrepreneur — participated in the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2000, with a record of 38 victories over 49 races. It also competed in 2003 and in 2007, when it reached the Louis Vuitton Cup final. Luna Rossa was a finalist in the Louis Vuitton Cup also in 2013 in San Francisco.
In 2017, the Prada co-CEO announced he was eager to compete again in the America’s Cup, marking a return to the sea for Luna Rossa and its sixth challenge, but fifth race, as the team withdrew from the competition in 2015.
Prada’s sponsorship of the sailing team amounted to 65 million euros paid in quarterly installments over the 2018 to 2021 period and was determined on the basis of the budget for the preparation and participation of the Luna Rossa sailing team in all the international regattas, consisting of the preliminary series, the Challenger Selection Series and the America’s Cup match, held last March.
After 10 hard-fought regattas, Emirates Team New Zealand succeeded in defending the 36th America’s Cup with a 7-to-3 victory over Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli. In the previous month, Luna Rossa had won the Prada Cup in the Auckland waters, sealing a 7-to-1 win over team Ineos U.K.
Prada acquired the exclusive naming and presenting sponsor rights of all events, including the Challenger Selection Series, which was officially named Prada Cup. Previously, the Challenger Selection Series came under the moniker of Louis Vuitton Cup.