FORD EXECUTIVE RINGS THE CLOSING BELL AT THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE, MARKING RENEWAL OF FORD'S TITLE SPONSORSHIP OF IRONMAN
Ford is renewing its title sponsorship of the U.S. IRONMAN event series for 2010 and 2011.
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- John Felice, general manager, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury Marketing, will ring The Closing Bell Dec. 11 at the New York Stock Exchange, signaling the close of trading and marking the renewal of Ford's sponsorship of the IRONMAN Triathlon
- Ford has been the title sponsor of IRONMAN's domestic events since 2005
- A recent survey of IRONMAN triathletes shows that through its partnership, Ford now leads domestic competitors, Toyota, Honda and Nissan as the vehicle make they drive most often and are most likely to purchase in the future
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 9, 2009 – John Felice, general manager, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury Marketing, will ring The Closing Bell on Wall Street Friday afternoon, signaling the close of trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and marking the renewal of Ford's title sponsorship of the U.S. IRONMAN event series through 2011.
Ford Motor Company has been the title sponsor of IRONMAN – regarded as the world's most challenging endurance event for triathletes – since 2005. The relationship has been a great strategic fit for Ford, according to Connie Fontaine, manager, Ford Brand Content and Alliances.
"There is a strong connection between the way in which the endurance athlete thinks and the way we think as a company," she said. "We share many of the same core ideals, such as strength, leadership and endurance."
The IRONMAN community also shares a strong preference for Ford vehicles. That was the conclusion in a recent survey of more than 7,500 IRONMAN triathletes who said that Ford is the brand they currently drive most often, over all competitors, including Toyota, Honda and Nissan. They also report that Ford is the brand they are most likely to purchase in the future.
"Ford recognizes and respects the passion that people who participate in IRONMAN Triathlons possess," said Fontaine. "Like those athletes, we have the same deep-rooted passion for our business and that resonates with IRONMAN athletes and fans."
Fontaine says that Ford is looking at ways to expand its role with IRONMAN in the future and leverage Ford owners within the IRONMAN community.
"We want to bring the series to life not only for the athletes participating, but for family members, friends and volunteers who provide such an important support network, as well as the fans," she said. "Triathlons are the fastest-growing participatory sport in the world, and IRONMAN is the most recognized and respected global events brand. We want as many people as possible to experience it, to become part of this highly connected community."
IRONMAN has been a respected name in endurance sports for more than 31 years and consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run, all of which is completed in succession within 17 hours. IRONMAN now has 25 qualifying events around the globe, all of which culminate at the Ford IRONMAN World Championship held each October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.