The IAAF are very pleased
to welcome Pirelli as title sponsor of the 25th
IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
partnership of Pirelli with the International
Amateur Athletics Federation which started in
Paris on the occasion of the World Indoor
Championships continues with this major
international competition, in accordance with
Pirellis traditional association with the
highest levels of sporting prowess.
Pirelli has always
kept a weather eye on the world of athletics and
its champions. After the mythical Carl Lewis, who
ran on water and bounded from skyscraper to
skyscraper in Pirelli advertisements, it is the
turn of Marie-Josť Perec, the magnificent French
sprinter double gold medallist in the Atlanta
Olympics at 200m and 400m - who will be escaping
the clutches of monsters of ice, fire and water
in the latest advertising campaign.
Pirelli is looking
forward to this exciting new venture into the
world of athletics, the queen of the Olympics,
whose values of deep dedication, loyal
competition and continual challenge are closely
akin to the spirit of Pirelli.
association with sport goes back a very long way.
In 1907 Prince Scipione Borghese and journalist
Luigi Barzini, aboard their Itala car, won the
crazy race between Paris and Peking. After
crossing the finishing line, the Prince
telegraphed Pirelli and complimented him on the
excellent performance of his tyres: "We used
only sixteen!" Using similar tyres, French
driver Georges Boillot won the French Grand Prix
in 1913 in a Peugeot: the first Grand Prix in
Ninety years have
passed, ninety years which have formed the
sporting image of Pirelli. But the benefits
derived from competition are certainly as
precious for their technical and technological
contributions as they are from a marketing
standpoint - competition offers the greatest
"laboratory" for active development and
experimentation, flanking the work carried out in
the companys research facilities around the
Pirelli was officially absent from top level
competition. Since the companys return to
the world rally circuit with the Subaru 555 in
1994, three world titles have been won on Pirelli
tyres: 1995 and 1996 Constructors title and
1995 world champion with Colin McRae. In the IMSA
Pirelli shod the winning Ferrari team with driver
Firmin Velez and in 1996 won two further titles
with the Riley & Scott-Oldsmobile team with
driver Wayne Taylor.
Three victories in
the World Rally Series in 1997 have taken
Pirellis record to 100 victories in this
prestigious event since its inception in 1973.
Since 1995 Pirelli
has further expanded its sporting interests
beyond the field of motor sports, by becoming the
major sponsor of the Inter-Milan football club.
"Inter" as the club is popularly known
is one of the top Italian sides and a prime
contender for both the Italian championship title
and the UEFA cup.
A final curiosity
linking Pirelli to the history of Athletics: in
the 1948 London Olympics, where Fanny
Blankers-Koen was crowned as the "Flying
Dutch-woman" after her four gold medals (100m and 200m, 80m
hurdles and 4x100m relay), the discus was won by
one Adolfo Consolini. He worked at Pirelli.