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BMW Partners with Team USA, Developing Motion Tracking Technology for Swimmers to Secure Olympic Gold - Web Exclusive

BMW North America is supporting 11 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls.

After successfully deploying cutting-edge technology to help America’s long jumpers go farther, faster, BMW is now turning its attention to USA Swimming. This latest effort will provide quantitative analysis of swimmers’ critical moves at starts and turns via a unique motion tracking system. This technology initiative is central to BMW’s comprehensive U.S. Olympic program, which endeavors to advance the performance goals of Team USA while bringing communities across the country closer to the excitement of the Olympic Games.

In addition to these efforts in North America, BMW UK, in its role as official Automotive Partner, will be providing a fleet of approximately 4,000 vehicles including low emission diesel, hybrid and electric cars as well as motorcycles and bicycles to the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), among other host-market activities.

“As a major contributor to the U.S. economy, BMW is proud of our nearly 40-year history of manufacturing and operations in the United States,” said Dan Creed, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. “The Olympic Movement and BMW share a common focus on performance and sustained competitive excellence. Through this sponsorship we are able to connect with customers throughout the country and extend the Olympic partnership through unique customer programs that drive brand affinity and sales.”

Driving Athlete Performance
As the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee, BMW is combining sports science with insights from automotive engineering. BMW’s first U.S. Olympic technology project was a velocity measurement system developed in partnership with USA Track & Field. It measures and provides real-time analysis of three key parameters in the execution of a long jump – horizontal approach velocity, vertical take-off velocity and take-off angle.

The project with USA Swimming aims to produce a motion tracking system that automatically captures a swimmer’s stroke at starts and turns. Providing performance data analysis for coaches, rather than the current approach of manual stroke counting and video study. With this new technology, BMW intends to apply quantitative analysis techniques to evaluate how major and minor adjustments in form and technique affect overall performance.

“Developing a first-of-its-kind training technology for Olympic athletes is very exciting for BMW,” said Dirk Rossberg, Head of the BMW Group Technology Office USA. “We’re eager to build upon what we learned from USA Track & Field, and are focused on delivering performance data for USA Swimming to help improve starts and turns - those pivotal moments in a race where Olympic medals are lost and won.”

BMW Drive for Team USA
BMW is further supporting U.S. Olympic athletes – and generating excitement for London 2012 – by reprising its popular campaign: BMW Drive for Team USA. This national fundraising effort invites consumers to BMW retailers across America to test drive any one of five different BMW 3 Series models. For every participant who test drives a vehicle at the event, BMW will donate $10 to Team USA, for a maximum donation of $200,000.

Following a hugely successful 2011 drive campaign, BMW has expanded the number of Drive for Team USA events, from 277 last year to 315 this year, which will take place from April 17 to August 25, 2012. BMW Drive for Team USA events not only offer consumers the chance to test how the Ultimate Driving Machine measures up against the competition, they will also offer the chance to meet U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, legends and other members of the Olympic community at BMW retailers across the country.

BMW Performance Team U.S.
For the London 2012 Olympic Games, BMW North America is supporting 11 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls, the BMW Performance Team U.S. They are:

• Ricky Berens, swimming
• Matt Chrabot, triathlon
• Bryan Clay, track & field
• Natalie Coughlin, swimming
• Janet Evans, swimming
• April Holmes, Paralympic track & field
• Jonathan Horton, gymnastics
• Clay Johnson, sailing
• Sanya Richards-Ross, track & field
• Evelyn Stevens, cycling
• Mallory Weggemann, Paralympic swimming

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