CHAMPCAR/CART: Motorola press conference

An interview with Chris Pook and Tom Crawford Adam Saal: It's our pleasure to be joined by Tom Crawford, Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Sports Marketing for Motorola, and Chris Pook, our CART President and CEO. They have an important ...

An interview with Chris Pook and Tom Crawford

Adam Saal: It's our pleasure to be joined by Tom Crawford, Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Sports Marketing for Motorola, and Chris Pook, our CART President and CEO. They have an important announcement to make as we continue the momentum of all our breaking news. We'd like to turn it over to Tom Crawford to tell us what it's all about.

Tom Crawford: Thank you, Adam.

First of all, on behalf of Motorola, we want to congratulate Cristiano [da Matta] on a great championship and the Newman/Haas team, they're a first-class organization. We wish them both well in their new endeavors.

I did want to tell Cristiano, he's in a meeting right now, Motorola cellular phones work well over in Europe. I can help him out with that.

Really what we're here about today, on behalf of Motorola, is to announce our renewal as an official sponsor of CART and the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. We have been involved in state-of-the-art two-way radios, specially designed Motorola head sets and sophisticated digital systems that CART uses to operate the races week in, week out around the world. We have a great opportunity to showcase these sophisticated systems to our customers in a rugged and yet exciting environment, and again throughout the world.

We will continue a program we started this year, the Motorola Call of the Race Contingency Award Program. We'll enhance this program by engaging our fans, they can vote online for the team that executes and communicates the best race strategy week in and week out. We'll have a program where fans can win Motorola products and win a year-end cash award bonus at the end.

Finally I'd like to thank Chris Pook and [CART Vice President of Marketing] Steve Fusek who worked to help us continue this Motorola sponsorship program of the series. We look forward to growing it in the years to come.

Adam Saal:  Thank you.  Great news.  We will continue to benefit from the
great Motorola technology.  The Call of the Race Award is definitely a
favorite of the media.  Good news particularly for this audience today.

Chris, another announcement. We really believe the momentum is starting to pick up. How do you feel heading into the final event of the year, seeming to get an upswing with the announcements?

Chris Pook:  Tom, thank you very much indeed for your continued support
of this great series.  Please convey our grateful thanks for your
confidence to your colleagues at Motorola.  It's a great announcement.

Obviously, Motorola is one of the finest names in technology in this country. Their relationship is very multi-fold with automobile manufacturers, as well. On the communications side, they play a tremendous role for CART. The fact that now we can have them back, joining a pretty significant announcement at Fontana [California] with Bridgestone, and with Ford, and Simple Green, who are loyal sponsors. We're talking about really solid companies here, Blue Chip companies, in the United States of America, that have stepped forward and said, "We're on board, we're going forward with CART together." I think it does speak to the quality of the racing.

I think Cristiano was extremely articulate in how he described the racing in CART. It is absolutely a quality racing product. The fact now that we can have these Blue Chip companies stand by us as we restructure and re-launch CART to a new level, I would say to you that's extremely significant.

There are elements that will keep throwing rocks and darts at us. But we're getting stronger and stronger by the day. We are just taking it one step at a time, putting building block, building block in place, one block after the other. Rest assured, we will provide a return on Motorola's investment to them, as we will provide a return to all our other sponsors. That is the philosophy of this company, to provide a return to everybody that's involved in this series, be they sponsors on the side of the car, be they teams, series sponsors, event sponsors. I thank Motorola for the vote of confidence in us as we move forward.

Adam Saal: Tom, an additional question for you. When we announced we would retain the turbocharged V8 format in what's obviously a technology-driven chassis that will continue through the next two years, the overwhelming response from our fans via our website and calls was great. They made it clear they didn't want to go the alternative path we attempted and were later forced to reject, that we had to continue with the turbo package. Does that high-tech component of CART play into what Motorola looks for?

Tom Crawford: Absolutely. We look at our involvement in CART as a technology-driven program, almost more so than a marketing play. We have to be in sync. When we say we're trying to develop the most technologically advanced products, and here specifically the communications systems, it has to be in sync with what the series represents. No question, we love that aspect of the series.

The other aspect, again for our company, it's wonderful that CART races around the world. I know that may not be the same for everybody, but it gives us a chance to showcase that technology in every region. I hope that continues.

Adam Saal: Outstanding partnership. It will definitely continue. We appreciate the faith and support as we move along.

Questions for either Tom or Chris.

Q: Tom, the past two years we saw Motorola sponsoring a car in the CART series. Will we see that in the future again or is your role going to be in series sponsorship?

Tom Crawford: Actually we've been a sponsor going back to 1994 on a team. It's been kind of a long run. Right now that isn't in the plan for CART for 2003. Chris works hard all the time, so who knows what the future will hold.

What we're going to try to do is maximize our series relationship. We think there are some unique things we can do with this from a customer perspective and marketing perspective. We'll focus on that.

Adam Saal: Gentlemen, thank you much.

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Motorola announcement

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Chris Pook