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Thrilling, supporting, unifying: sport is in our genes

+++ BMW Group celebrates the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace +++ Ilka Horstmeier: “Sport creates unique moments, strengthens a sense of community, cele-brates diversity, and builds bridges.” +++ Overview of the global sporting involvement of the BMW Group +++

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BMW Group

+++ BMW Group celebrates the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace +++ Ilka Horstmeier: “Sport creates unique moments, strengthens a sense of community, celebrates diversity, and builds bridges.” +++ Overview of the global sporting involvement of the BMW Group +++

 

Munich. Golf pros enjoy the celebrations when they take just a few shots to find the hole at a world-class tournament. Providing assistance to socially disadvantaged children through an educational project at the same time though shows how two worthwhile aims can interconnect; an unforgettable sporting event and a social commitment to increased equality of opportunity. It is precisely this combination that the BMW Group supports with its “Eagles for Education” initiative at numerous tournaments, part of an international involvement in golf. The aim is to support educational programmes and provide improved prospects and future opportunities for young people. 

The BMW Group has been involved in this approach on a social level - for some decades also with a special sporting focus. “The BMW Group is much more than a car manufacturer. With around 150,000 employees from 110 nations, we are a part of society – both inside and outside of our factory gates and offices. That is why supporting this diversity within sport is particularly important to us”, explained Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Human Resources and Real Estate, Labour Relations Director. “Sport creates unique moments for athletes and spectators, strengthens a sense of community, celebrates diversity, and builds bridges. At BMW Group, we are very proud to support sporting events around the world, helping to connect people from different backgrounds and cultures with one another.”

The Day of Sport for Development and Peace on 6th April is a good reason to take a look at the BMW Group’s involvement in this area, sport is in our genes.

The BMW Group sporting involvement reaches all around the globe, from Australia, Japan, and China, via India, South America, and the USA, to Finland and Italy. Golf and motorsport are both international focus areas. However, established long-term national involvements in running, basketball, and tennis all have an extensive history and tradition within the company.  Sport achieves something that hardly any other sphere of life is able to do; it unites nations, crosses borders, and is a language that anyone can understand.

 

Tradition meets the future: how golf brings together top-class international events and the good cause.

Golf is at the heart of the sporting involvement of the BMW Group. Around 40 years ago, the company established the largest international tournament series for amateur golfers, the BMW Golf Cup. BMW has been supporting professional golf for nearly as long, since 1989. The BMW International Open in Munich is the best-known pro tournament in Germany and will take place for the 35th time in 2024.  What makes it even more special is that BMW is not just the sponsor, but also the organiser of this traditional tournament.

Over the decades, BMW has also become established as a prominent and reliable partner in the international golf scene, supporting tournaments that attract world-class golfers: the BMW Championship in the USA, the BMW PGA Championship in Great Britain, the BMW Ladies Championship in Korea, and the BMW Japan Golf Tour Championship feature professional athletes competing in four more tournaments that BMW supports as title sponsor. BMW provides assistance and support as a partner of another 22 tournaments - from the USA to South Africa and Australia - guaranteeing a premium experience for all participants.

The effects of these events extend far beyond sport itself, going hand in hand with responsible, social involvement. The BMW International Open 2023 saw the start of the “Eagles for Education” initiative, as the BMW Group added another module to its long-term, sustainable commitment to improve education and future opportunities for young people. For each eagle chalked up by the top players at the BMW International Open, the BMW Group donated 1,000 Euro to the “JOBLINGE” and “Kick ins Leben” organisations, both of which have been working with the BMW Group for many years. BMW also increased the donation amount for each hole-in-one by 10,000 Euro. A total of 99,000 Euro was raised during the traditional tournament, which the two organisations from Munich applied to the improvement of learning opportunities for disadvantaged children and young adults.

The support for the Evans Scholar Foundation is following a similar path. The BMW Championship 2023, which took place near Chicago in the USA, generated a record total of 5.5 million US dollars to finance full college scholarships for caddies in need. Since the BMW Championship debuted in 2007, more than 3,300 young people have been given the opportunity to move into further education.

A good cause is also behind the BMW PGA Championship. Also known as the “Festival of Golf”, this takes place in Wentworth, just outside London and thanks to BMW’s involvement, the tournament has supported the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) in recent years– an initiative that focuses on suicide prevention.

Even in a single-player discipline such as golf, it is easy to appreciate the power of sport,  working together towards a single objective. This also became clear at the Ryder Cup in Rome, featuring BMW as Worldwide Partner. Turning their differing styles of play into collective strength, the teams from the USA and Europe delivered thrilling golf at this event, which stands alone in the world of sport. Individual interests retreat into the background. As Worldwide Partner of the Ryder Cup, BMW supports the legendary competition with all-electric mobility to support precisely this approach of respectful collaboration.

 

BMW M Motorsport: the art of engineering comes to the racetrack 

The company has enjoyed many years of success in motor racing. This season, BMW M Motorsport is making a works entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship with the BMW M Hybrid V8 prototype, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans as the highlight of the season in June, and is also competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in North America. The wide range of BMW M works drivers and BMW M Motorsport teams will also be racing with the BMW M4 GT3 in numerous top-quality, international GT racing series. Customer racing represents another key pillar of this involvement. Privateer drivers and teams are competing around the world, celebrating wins and titles with BMW M cars.

 

Basketball: new mobility partnership supports future opportunities 

BMW München has also been involved in basketball since the summer of 2023, initiating a partnership with FC Bayern München Basketball GmbH. The players and training staff at the five-time German champions can now drive around in emission-free, all-electric vehicles.

In golf, it is the eagles that are special, in basketball, it is the dunks. The “Dunks for Tomorrow” campaign from BMW München and FC Bayern München Basketball generates donations for education and equal opportunities – with considerable success. For every dunk during a home game at the BMW Park, the company will donate 1,000 Euro at the end of the season to SOS-Kinderdorf e.V. This will help to improve the future prospects for children and young adults from disadvantaged families. A total of 100,000 Euro had already been reached in early March when the 100th dunk was recorded by Devin Booker, the American power forward.

 

Bobsleigh and biathlon: technology partnership picks up speed

Sport events attract enthusiasts on a global, national, or regional level. In Germany, BMW is involved in winter sports, running and tennis.  The technology partnership with the German Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton Federation (BSD) features knowledge transfer from the automotive industry taking place right in the ice channel. The latest project is 3D printing processes from automotive development and production will lead to the production of the ideal footwear for the bobsleigh teams with brand-new spike plates to enable maximum acceleration in the ice channel. The objective it is anticipated that the athletes will be competing with the perfect footwear by the 2026 Winter Olympic Games at the latest, as they aim to extract the decisive hundreds of a second required on the way to a gold medal.

The technology partnership also encompasses other projects, such as the BMW Data Coach. The analysis technology is used to optimise the complex system of luge, athlete, and racing line - an approach that has been standard procedure for years in vehicle development. In bobsleigh, sensors are installed in the training sleds to measure dynamic data such as longitudinal and lateral speed, acceleration and yaw rates, and deliver high-resolution recordings. Analysis software allows for precise reconstruction of each run.

The Bob Simulator that BMW constructed for the BSD, especially for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, is also one of a kind. This allowed bob pilots in Munich to familiarise themselves with the previously unknown Olympic track in Yanqing, months in advance.

Technology transfer is also effective in biathlon. German biathletes have the opportunity to perform tests in the wind tunnel. In the BMW Group Aerolab, shooting from a standing position is simulated, analysed and improved under varying wind conditions. The aerodynamics experts from the BMW Group and the German Ski Association (DSV) additionally work together closely to optimise the material for the athletes.

The BMW Group has enjoyed a close connection to the DSV biathletes for many years, as mobility partner, the company equips the athletes with electric vehicles.

 

The fastest 42 kilometres in the world.

The diversity and solidarity generated by sport also shape the BMW presence in Berlin, the capital of Germany. This is not just the location of the BMW Motorrad plant, where up to 900 vehicles are produced each day by motivated and enthusiastic employees for customers all around the world. It is also where the extremely atmospheric BMW BERLIN MARATHON takes place, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, supported by the company as title partner.

The running event is part of the World Marathon Majors and the most international sporting platform to feature professionals and amateurs from all over the world racing the same route to the finish line. Last year, Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa celebrated a new world record with around one million fans along the 42.195 kilometre route. At the finish line, the timer on the all-electric BMW i5 lead car stopped at 2:11:53 hours.

 

Looking ahead to events in 2024: world-class athletes from tennis and golf to meet at the home of BMW.

Tennis and BMW – this is also the story of a long-standing partnership. BMW is involved in tennis around the world, at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, and at the ATP Masters 1000 Rome in Italy. Since 1987, the BMW Open has allowed the company to provide a stage for world-class tennis not far from its factory gates. This will again be the case from 13th to 21st April, when the stars of the scene serve on the clay courts of the prestigious MTTC Iphitos club in Munich. The tournament will feature German Olympic champion Alexander Zverev and former US Open champion and BMW Österreich brand ambassador Dominic Thiem.

Another big name from the world of golf will attract attention this summer when taking place for the 35th time in July 2024, the BMW International Open will see Bernhard Langer, the most successful German golfer, tee off in München Eichenried. This will be Langer’s final tournament on the DP World Tour.

 

Topics and stories at the BMW Group

The company provides topics and stories related to selected national and international days of commemoration and action. Feel free to approach us proactively with your topic ideas – we provide insights and introduce you to interesting people at the BMW Group.

The BMW Group will also publish topics and stories related to these days of commemoration and action in 2024:

 

21st May: World Day for Cultural Diversity

24th June: Architecture Day

15th July: World Youth Skills Day

14th September: World First Aid Day

9th October: Fire Prevention Day

30th November: Computer Security Day

3rd December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities

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