Isuzu sponsors Bike RaceDate: 1999, May 29
Author: Mike Spurlock
"Go Farther" - Isuzu in Race Across America
CERRITOS, Calif.--May 28, 1999--In its enthusiastic support of ultra endurance sports and in its quest to continually ``Go farther,'' American Isuzu Motors Inc. (AIMI) announced its sponsorship of Race Across America (RAAM).
A specially-decaled 1999 Rodeo LS will serve as the official pace car for the event, which begins July 22. RAAM is a bicycle competition that spans 2,904 miles from Irvine, Calif. to Savannah, Ga. Cyclists will pedal through deserts, forests and mountain ranges in the diverse climates of Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee. Solo cyclists as well as two-person and four-person relay teams from around the world will compete.
Last year Gary Tatrai of Australia completed the race in eight days, 12 hours and 22 minutes -- just nine hours shy of the all-time record for solo entrants.
AIMI will maintain a strong presence throughout the event with its logo appearing on an official souvenir program, route book, the official race Web site, T-shirts, polo shirts, press materials and banners that will be strategically placed at the start and finish lines. AIMI will advertise during nationally broadcast taped coverage of the race. In addition to these media efforts, four individuals will take ``Go farther'' literally by forming a relay team. AIMI's Bob Reilly, senior vice president, chief operating officer; Stephen Kerho, executive manager, Product Planning; Scott Hyde, Product Planning & Analysis manager; and Bernard Isuzu's Craig S. Bernard of Chicago, will make up the Isuzu Team.
Relay teams ride non-stop 24 hours per day in two-person shifts. Two athletes will alternate every half-hour for six hours, while the other two rest in the support vehicle. The idea is to always have someone on a bike. ``Our SUVs have always typified the strength, endurance and athleticism of events like RAAM. We're just as serious about developing those qualities in our corporate culture by participating in and sponsoring such activities,'' said Reilly. He, Kerho and Hyde rode the 112-mile bike route of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, while the company served as the official vehicle sponsor of the event in Kona, Hawaii last year. ``This puts a different slant on the face of the Isuzu franchise than, for example, playing 18 holes of golf!'' joked Reilly.
Last year an estimated 13 million viewers watched video segments of RAAM on ``NBC Nightly News,'' ``Extra,'' ``Good Morning America,'' ``CNN'' and ``CNN-SI,'' and read about it in USA Today.
AIMI is the U.S. distributor and marketer of Isuzu diesel engines, commercial trucks, and sport-utility vehicles including the Rodeo, Trooper, Amigo and all-new VehiCROSS.