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AT&T backs F1 in bid to go global

Not just a US telco anymore...
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

Not just a US telco anymore...

The global reach and appeal of Formula 1 was the main motivator behind AT&T's partnership with the Williams Formula 1 team.

Senior executives at the US telco revealed why the company wants to be involved in F1 at the official launch of the Williams-Toyota 2007 challenger last week.

John Slamecka, vice president of AT&T's EMEA business, said the company, long focused on the US market, is looking to highlight its global presence - and Formula 1 provides the best platform to do this.

He added the company's role with the Williams team "emphasises AT&T's commitment to [go] global".

Martin Silman, executive director of global portfolio management at AT&T, explained: "For us the challenge is to find ways to show our customers how we deliver our technology and how we support our technology, and Formula 1 is a great way to do that."

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AT&T worked with McLaren last year but went elsewhere when Vodafone came in as that team's title sponsor.

On choosing Williams, Silman described the team as a "sleeping giant" with its history of success and future potential.

He said it was a good time to come in to the team with the new Toyota engine and sponsors. "It wasn't a hard decision," he added.

Silman said AT&T aims to work with the team "in a way that makes [it] better and more successful".

The telco is providing the team with various communication technolgy such as an IP network at the factory at Grove in Oxfordshire as well as remote services for the team while at the track. It also hosts the team's website.

Paulino Barros, AT&T's president of global operations said the sponsorship deal is a "great opportunity for us to deliver in such a difficult environment".

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