CART:Marconi Named New Title Sponsor of Cleveland's CART Grand Prix Auto Race
Motor racing - 05 Jan 2000
MARCONI NAMED NEW TITLE SPONSOR OF CLEVELAND'S CART GRAND PRIX AUTO RACE CLEVELAND (January 5, 2000) -- IMG Motorsports and Marconi plc jointly announced today an agreement for Marconi Systems to become title sponsor of Cleveland's CART racing event. The CART race weekend, June 30-July 2, 2000, on the 2.106-mile temporary circuit at Burke Lakefront Airport, will now be called the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. Marconi has also agreed to become the title sponsor of the race telecast -- which will be broadcast nationally on ABC-TV and throughout the world via ESPN International. The Cleveland race is seen annually by more than 43 million people in 208 countries. Firstar has presented the Grand Prix since 1998 and will continue to do so in 2000. Each year, over 150,000 race fans attend the Grand Prix -- making the 19-year-old race Cleveland's largest annual special event. "On behalf of IMG Motorsports, Championship Auto Racing Teams and all Cleveland race fans throughout the world, I want to welcome Marconi to Cleveland and to Champ Car racing," commented IMG Motorsports President Bud Stanner. "Our downtown temporary track event requires tremendous resources to insure viability and stability. Marconi's commitment to one of the world's most entertaining races is great for us and for that we are extremely grateful." "We are delighted to be associated with the Grand Prix of Cleveland and with the CART Championship Series," said Michael J. Donovan, chief executive officer of Marconi Systems. "Marconi's involvement in this event reflects our company's focus on speed, performance and world-class quality -- attributes that the CART Championship Series symbolizes," Donovan added. "I am extremely pleased that Marconi has chosen to do business in Cleveland and to support that endeavor by taking on the title of our race," stated Mayor Michael R. White. "As we have learned over the years, this race is very important to the City of Cleveland, area businesses and racing fans. Each year, millions of people throughout the world get exposed to Cleveland through the race. I want to thank Marconi for helping us to continue the global showcase of our wonderful city." Marconi Systems is a part of the new Marconi plc, one of the world's fastest growing communications and IT companies, with a strong record of innovation and technological breakthroughs. With 45,000 employees worldwide and sales in over 100 countries, Marconi plc is headquartered in London and appears on the FTSE-100 index of the London Stock Exchange. Marconi plc's two largest business divisions - Systems and Communications - are both headquartered in the United States, where Marconi employs 13,000 people and generates approximately half of its $8 billion in annual sales. Washington, D.C.-based Marconi Systems is focused on delivering global, systems-oreinted, information technology solutions for customers in key markets, including hospitals, major retailers and oil companies, food and beverage companies, pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers, and automotive and aviation industries. Cleveland-based Marconi Medical Systems (formerly Picker International) is one of three businesses that comprise Marconi Systems, along with Marconi Commerce Systems (formerly Gilbarco) and Marconi Data Systems (formerly Videojet). IMG Motorsports, a division of Cleveland-based IMG, owns and operates the Marconi Grand Prix of Cleveland. The Marconi Grand Prix is presented by Firstar. In addition to the Cleveland race, IMG Motorsports owns, operates and markets several other major professional auto races, manages Formula One, NASCAR and CART drivers, and oversees marketing programs for several major racing team sponsors.