BT and Offshore Challenges team up for a 'better world'

BT today announced a three-year global agreement with the Offshore Challenges Sailing Team to become title sponsor of ‘BT Team Ellen’ – a new sailing team headed up by legendary sailor, Ellen MacArthur. The agreement includes the lead sponsorship of two boats in addition to Ellen becoming an ambassador for BT’s worldwide corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

This new partnership is designed not just to win races, but also to raise awareness of how enhanced communications and technology can help create a better world.
‘BT Team Ellen’ will bring together the world-class sailors Ellen MacArthur (GBR), Sébastien Josse (FRA) and Nick Moloney (AUS) alongside other sailing talent that is dedicated to success on the water.

These sailors will race a BT-sponsored boat in the IMOCA World Ocean Racing Championship 2008/10 including Sébastien Josse’s challenge for the solo 2008 Vendée Globe, and an Extreme 40 in the European Sailing Series 2007/08.

Ellen MacArthur said: “I am really looking forward to leading the way with ‘BT Team Ellen’. First and foremost I’m a sailor, and have a clear goal for our sailing team to be successful on the water as well as to grow the team of sailors and help younger talent emerge. There’s only one way to win top tier racing events and that’s to work with the best the world has to offer, so it’s fantastic to have BT on board.”

“This new partnership with BT perfectly complements my own personal, and the team’s objectives for the future. I also know how valuable IT and communications can be as a means to achieving your goals. By working as an ambassador for BT’s CSR projects, we’ll be able to draw much more attention to those issues that effect people across the globe.”

Francois Barrault, CEO, BT Global Services said: “It’s wonderful to be taking our long-term relationship with Ellen that first began 10 years ago to the next level. Our mutual determination to win is matched by our shared desire to act responsibly towards the environments and societies in which we work.
“Sustainable development is one of the greatest challenges – and opportunities – for business in the 21st century. We believe that BT can make an important contribution by inspiring people and communities to make a better world through the power of communication skills and technology. ”

BT will be collaborating with Cisco on ‘BT Team Ellen’, underlining both companies’ commitment to sustainable development. Thierry Drilhon, Managing Director Cisco France and Vice President Cisco Europe, said: “Communications technology can fundamentally transform the way we live and work, enabling organisations to grow for today, without jeopardising the ability of future generations to do the same. Through supporting ‘BT Team Ellen’ and other joint initiatives, we are delighted to bring this shared vision of business sustainability to life.”