Stockholm, 13 September 2006 - Only three months after finishing the last Volvo Ocean Race, Ericsson announced today its entry in the next edition of the race, starting in 2008. Ericsson, the world's leading telecommunications supplier, is the first team to announce its intention to participate and one of the few potential teams who have already participated in the previous edition of the event.
The Volvo Ocean Race gives Ericsson an unrivalled opportunity to reach its customers around the world, as well as showcasing how its solutions can help them develop relationships with enterprises and consumers.
Bert Nordberg, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Ericsson, said: "I can think of no other sporting event that would give us the same return on investment. The customer feedback from the previous race was fantastic - they loved it. And we had the added benefit of great brand exposure in many parts of the world. We have gained a lot of experience and with the new race course taking us to Asia-Pacific the decision to participate again was easy."
The next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will start in the autumn 2008 in Alicante, Spain. The final course is not established yet, but it is understood that it will take the competitors through a new route, and that there will be stopovers in Asia.
The Ericsson Racing Team will now start to gear up again after a brief summer rest and build a strong 3-year campaign based out of Stockholm, Sweden. The team will announce more details of the campaign in the coming months.
Richard Brisius, Project director and co-founder of Atlant, said: "The predicted changes to the course and the improvement to the VO70 Rule will ensure that the 2008-9 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will be the most exciting round the world race ever. Ericsson's continued commitment to the race is great news for the event, for the sailing world and proof that the Volvo Ocean Race delivers outstanding commercial values if utilized in the right way. The Ericsson Racing Team gained valuable experiences about the new boats and other aspects of the campaign during the last race, experiences that surely will be beneficial for Ericsson Racing Team going forward."
Bert Nordberg continued: "When we got into the last race we knew that we were late and that it was a bit of a gamble both commercially and sports wise. But already then we said let's have a long-term perspective at this and keep the option of doing a second campaign very open already from the start. With the results from the previous race we feel that we can leverage the experience and investments already made to extend our commitment also to the 2008-09 race."
The team is currently doing hospitality sailing with Ericsson's customers in Europe and will be located in the Mediterranean during the fall.
The Volvo Ocean Race has taken place every four years since its conception in 1973. In 2008, the boats will line up on the starting line in Alicante, Spain. The course is not yet fully known, but it will for the first time take the boats to the Asia Pacific region. Over 8-9 months the boats will cover roughly 35,000 nautical miles of the globe's most treacherous seas, stopping in some of the most exciting ports around the world. www.volvooceanrace.org