Under the name of "Oracle BMW Racing", the America's Cup Challenge lead by Oracle Corporation CEO, Larry Ellison, will collaborate with the internationally successful automotive group, BMW to compete for the first time in The America's Cup.
The "Oracle BMW Racing" team derives from two organisations that regard excellence and innovation as prerequisites to success, and the spirit of this team is encapsulated in that very same ethos.
Both parties were very motivated following the signing of the contract. "High performance sailing is now the third strong pillar of our sporting commitment in addition to Formula 1 racing and our involvement in golf. In Oracle Racing we have found a partner which embodies the most modern high-tech, the highest quality demands and the constant provision of the most innovative solutions in the same way as BMW does", according to Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, Senior Vice President Marketing of the BMW Group, which was able to ensure that the year 2001 was the most successful financial year in the company's history.
Oracle BMW Racing Chief Operating Officer, Bill Erkelens remarks, "We are very pleased to have the innovation and competitiveness of BMW behind our campaign for the America's Cup. Their support not only speaks well for our team but is a great asset to the sport of sailing."
Commencing on 1 October 2002 the "Oracle BMW Racing" team will take part in the Louis Vuitton Cup elimination races for the America's Cup. In Auckland, New Zealand the team will be faced by eight top quality rivals. The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will challenge Team New Zealand, the current Cup defenders in February 2003. Team New Zealand won the last America's Cup in 2000, which was first raced in 1851.