Intel has signed a multi-year agreement with BMW for the sponsorship of the BMW Sauber Formula 1 racing team.
The deal marks the largest sports sponsorship programme in Intel's history and signals a shift in marketing beyond traditional media, according to Marty Olivero, director of global sponsorship at Intel.
"There is too much media clutter," Olivero told vnunet.com. "In the coming year you are going to see increased innovative marketing from Intel. The marketing landscape is changing."
Intel did not disclose the amount that it will spend on the deal, but Formula 1 sponsorships typically cost several millions of dollars per year.
The two brands share several characteristics, claimed Olivero, both focusing on technology innovation and performance.
The chipmaker will actively help the racing team in tackling technology issues, and plans to start using BMW as a reference customer.
As part of the agreement BMW has committed to using Intel equipped computers, laptops and PDAs in its car dealerships and offices. The car maker will also work with Intel on creating an industry specification that enables the integration of mobile phones and portable music players into its vehicles.
Formula 1 racing is one of the world's most popular televised sports, attracting a audience of about 160 million people for every race.
Intel is not the first technology company to sponsor a Formula 1 racing team. Siemens and Panasonic currently sponsor a racing team. HP earlier this year ended a sponsorship deal with the Williams racing team that it inherited from the Compaq acquisition.
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