Sina new sponsor for BAR

B*A*R GEARS UP FOR CHINA WITH NEW PARTNER SINA As B*A*R prepares to celebrate its home Grand Prix, the team is delighted to announce a long-term partnership agreement with Chinese internet portal SINA, one of the leading online media ...

B*A*R GEARS UP FOR CHINA WITH NEW PARTNER SINA

As B*A*R prepares to celebrate its home Grand Prix, the team is delighted to announce a long-term partnership agreement with Chinese internet portal SINA, one of the leading online media information service providers for China and global Chinese communities. The partnership, which represents a substantial sponsorship of a Formula One team by a Chinese company, commences with effect from this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The partnership has two elements, the first of which is traditional on-car sponsorship and the SINA logo will feature within the B*A*R Honda 005 car's distinctive livery for the first time this weekend. In addition, SINA will also host www.BARf1.com.cn, a bespoke Chinese version of the team's increasingly popular website www.BARf1.com. The language and content will be adapted specifically to Chinese culture.

SINA.COM (NASDAQ:SINA) is the leading online media and value- added infotainment service ("VAS") provider for China and for global Chinese communities. It boasts 71 million registered users worldwide and over 10 million active paid users for a variety of fee-based services. SINA operates three major business lines including SINA.com (online media and entertainment service), SINA Online (consumer fee-based online and wireless VAS) and SINA.net (small and medium-sized enterprises VAS).

With a high quality user base and unparalleled reach, SINA dominates the online advertising market in China with almost 60% market share. Under the terms of its agreement with SINA, B*A*R will also enjoy a share of its online advertising and other revenues.

Commenting on the new partnership, B*A*R Team Principal David Richards said: "This partnership is a very exciting step for B*A*R as it is potentially the most significant agreement since the team was founded. We are delighted to have demonstrated to SINA that Formula One and B*A*R can offer the company an unrivalled marketing platform as it seeks to expand its market share. China will have a major impact on Formula One when it joins the calendar in 2004. It has the potential to almost double the existing worldwide audience of the sport and I am pleased that the partnership between B*A*R and SINA is the first to capitalise on the exciting commercial opportunities that are emerging in this new Formula One market."

Speaking from Beijing, SINA's Chief Marketing Officer LC Chang added: "Although SINA is one of the leading Internet portals in China, it is a highly competitive marketplace and so interesting content is key to maintaining our position. We have entered into this partnership with the B*A*R Team because their marketing approach compliments ours and the content will provide a massive boost to our F1 services. This comes at a time at a time when Chinese people are becoming more and more interested in F1, so we shall certainly promote our sponsorship of B*A*R and we will feed regular SMS bulletins to our customers, thus building their relationship with and loyalty towards B*A*R as China prepares to host the Shanghai Grand Prix in 2004."

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Series AUTOMOTIVE , F1