Ericsson 3, the first of Ericsson's two race yachts, has been given its name in an event that lit up the Barcelona night sky. The ceremony invited key guests from the telecom industry and sailing community to get on board the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009, with 235 days to go before the racing yachts set sail round the world.
A large, glowing sphere suspended in mid-air displayed a journey from the sun to earth, zoomed in on Barcelona and then the World Trade Center, where skippers Torben Grael (BRA) and Anders Lewander (SWE) stood by the Ericsson 3 along with Ericsson's Senior Vice President Communication Henry Sténson, and Torbjörn Possne, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales & Marketing. Henry Sténson says, 'This is a race that we are proud to be associated with. For a company like Ericsson, leading the way in technology and innovation, there is no better way to express our goals and ambition than to go right out there and compete in one of the toughest yacht races the world has ever seen.'
While the audience watched images from the boat-building process, crew training sessions and challenges from the previous race, Ericsson's two crews entered the courtyard and the skippers were invited onto the stage. 'The naming of Ericsson 3 is a milestone in our campaign. We have had great offshore tests and we feel very confident on this boat. Juan K did a great job and we are very proud of the new boat. But with 235 days to go it is important to make every day count', says Torben Grael.
'There will be some very competitive teams in this race. We feel good about where we stand right now, but make no mistake: this is going to be a tough race where we will need to do our best at all times', complements Anders Lewander.
At 9:30pm, Gordana Kovacevic, President, Ericsson Croatia, broke the champagne bottle and the yacht was officially named under lights and visual effects. Guests were then invited to look at the boat for the first time. The team will now head back to its training base in Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, and continue training until the race kickoff in Alicante, in October.
The new course of the Volvo Ocean Race will take the fleet to stops in India and China before finishing in St. Petersburg, Russia, in June 2009. Ericsson's participation in the Volvo Ocean Race is a platform for driving sales. The race gives the company an unrivalled opportunity to reach customers around the world, spend quality time discussing joint opportunities and challenges, as well as showcasing how Ericsson's solutions can help them develop relationships with enterprises and consumers. With the new race course taking the fleet to stops in the India, South East Asia and China, Ericsson will be able to reach further into these important growth regions.
Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. The market leader in 2G and 3G mobile technologies, Ericsson supplies communications services and manages networks that serve more than 185 million subscribers. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, and broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and developers. The Sony Ericsson joint venture provides consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.
Ericsson is advancing its vision of 'communication for all' through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 70,000 employees generated revenue of USD 27.9 billion (SEK 189 billion) in 2007. Founded in 1876 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on the Stockholm, London and NASDAQ stock exchanges.
For more information, visit www.ericsson.com