March 20, 1999 CART and Quokka Sports Announce Partnership * Announcing Five-Year Deal to Bring Motor Racing Into the Age of Digital Sports Entertainment * CART.com to Feature Interactive Coverage of CART's FedEx ...
March 20, 1999
CART and Quokka Sports Announce Partnership
* Announcing Five-Year Deal to Bring Motor Racing Into the Age of Digital Sports Entertainment
* CART.com to Feature Interactive Coverage of CART's FedEx Championship Series
DETROIT/SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. - 20 MARCH 1999 - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. and Quokka Sports, Inc. today announced a five-year partnership to provide digital interactive coverage of CART's FedEx Championship Series, the premier open-wheel motor racing series in North America. As CART's partner in the delivery of digital interactive coverage, Quokka Sports will bring racing fans closer to the real on-track experience. CART.com will include up-to-the-minute 'immersive' coverage of each race, as well as in-depth pre- and post-event coverage of the entire FedEx Championship Series.
Today's announcement means fans will enjoy unprecedented access to year-round, interactive coverage of CART's prestigious FedEx Championship Series. Featuring 20 races in 5 countries on 4 continents, the 1999 series begins Sunday, 21 March, in Homestead, Fla., and concludes 31 October at California Speedway in suburban Los Angeles. CART also sanctions the recently announced Hawaii Super Prix, an all-star race on 13 November, with a purse of $10 million, and with a motorsports record $5 million going to the winner.
"The important thing about this announcement is that I see Quokka becoming a significant strategic partner for CART," said CART chairman and CEO, Andrew Craig. "This is not just about who is going to run CART.com. It's about building new audiences for Champ Car racing. We are very excited about this medium and CART's role in it."
Like Craig, Quokka Sports chairman, Dick Williams, sees great opportunity and mutual benefit in the new relationship. "CART gives us a great opportunity to expand Quokka's innovative sports coverage into the world of motorsports," said Williams, a co-founder of Quokka. "CART and Quokka have a common vision on the future coverage of motor racing, and we are proud to be part of this strategic and exciting partnership."
Leading drivers in the series include fan favorites and former champions Michael Andretti, Al Unser Jr., Jimmy Vasser, as well as rising stars like Scotland's Dario Franchitti, Mexico's Adrian Fernandez, Brazil's Gil de Ferran and United States drivers Bryan Herta and Richie Hearn. CART races on both large and small oval tracks, permanent road courses and temporary street circuits, giving the FedEx Championship Series the right to claim that its champion is the best all-around driver in the world.
"CART racing is on the leading edge of technology," said Marc Erzberger, vice president for motor racing at Quokka. "The timing, telemetry and audio systems provide live data on the state of the engines, suspension, tires, handling and the strategy between the team and the driver. What's really exciting is that in addition to images and text, we can use these digital assets to tell the story from the inside out and to get the fan closer to the real experience; in other words, immerse them in the experience."
"Quokka Sports shares our vision of placing the fans in the event," said CART executive vice president of marketing, Carl Cohen. "The Internet provides CART with a unique platform for the CART experience. We are delighted to be working with the leading digital sports entertainment company. Quokka's coverage is an ideal complement to our ongoing marketing programs, providing global exposure and information about our sport. As we enter the new millennium, CART is pleased to offer our fans this exciting new form of coverage, while reaching out to new audiences through next-generation digital sports entertainment technology."
Today, visitors to CART.com will find a wealth of new features for the coverage of the FedEx Championship Series. During each race, Quokka's Race Viewer will provide up-to-the-minute coverage of the race. The Race Viewer - data courtesy of Omega, the official timing provider of CART -- will provide a lap position chart to enable fans to see the entire field at once. Fans can follow any driver in the pack from start to finish, with precise lap time and time-behind-leader statistics. The Race Viewer will also let users experience the race first-hand through track sounds, announcements and radio communications between drivers and their pit crews.
In-depth pre- and post-race coverage will include detailed driver and team profiles, behind-the-scenes articles, news and statistics from the world of CART motor racing. An interactive schedule will provide event location maps, track layout diagrams and listings of worldwide television and radio coverage. In the interactive fantasy game, fans will play the role of team owners, selecting a roster of drivers for each race and accumulating points over the course of the season. Visitors will be able to explore and relive the excitement of past races via a chronological presentation. Off-season coverage will include behind-the-scenes updates on the drivers, team members and cars as they go through their testing programs and gear up for the following season.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series, which is comprised of 20 races in five countries on four continents in 1999. Competitors race 900-plus horsepower, open-wheel "Champ Cars" at speeds of more than 240 miles per hour. CART also owns and operates the top two development series -- the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship.
About Quokka Sports
The arrangement with CART will be operated through CART Digital Media Enterprises, LLC, which is made up of Quokka Sports and Forsythe Racing, Inc. Forsythe Racing is owned by Gerald Forsythe, a director of CART. Quokka Sports(R) (www.quokka.com) is a digital sports entertainment company pioneering a new media form, Quokka Sports Immersion(tm), which places sports fans closer to the real experience. By creating information- and entertainment-rich sites delivered to a global community over the Internet, Quokka is changing the way people experience sports. Quokka productions include coverage of the 1997-98 Whitbread Round The World Race, and currently, sailing (www.aroundalone.com), adventure (www.quokka.com) and Olympic (www.olympic.org) productions. Quokka Sports has offices in Troy, Mich., San Francisco, New York, London and Lausanne, Switzerland.
Quokka Sports is a registered trademark of Quokka Sports, Inc. Quokka Sports Immersion (QSI) is a trademark of Quokka Sports, Inc.