Toronto, Canada, June 2010 - Sennheiser Canada announces its partnership with native Canadian, IndyCar driver Alex Tagliani and the FAZZT Race Team. Tagliani has racked up numerous wins in the Champ Car Series and is currently driving in the IZOD IndyCar Series where he sits 12th in the point standings. In 2009 he was named Rookie of the Year at the Indy 500 in 2009 for finishing 11th after starting in the 33rd position. Ironically, it was another rookie who may have robbed Tagliani of a win at this year's Indy 500 in 2010, after an unsportsmanlike block (the rookie was a lap behind) thwarted Tagliani's run at the leaders and almost sent him into the wall. Nevertheless, Tagliani recovered from 17th to finish 10th.
Tagliani raises Sennheiser brand awareness in the established sport of IndyCar racing as he boldly sports the Sennheiser logo on his car and firesuit.
In addition to this standard mode of sponsorship, the partnership adds a critical technological component as well. Together with the FAZZT Race Team, Sennheiser is adapting its industry-leading wireless audio technologies for use in communications between driver and crew - communications that are essential for a successful race. In July, Sennheiser Canada will host dealer events in Edmonton and Toronto in support of Tagliani and the IndyCar races held in those cities.
"Communication is everything during a race," said Martin Vigneault, business director for Sennheiser Communications products at Sennheiser Canada. "If the driver can't hear the pit or if the pit can't hear the driver, the race is as good as lost. We are working with the FAZZT Race Team to bring our industry-leading microphone, headphone, and wireless technology to IndyCar." The crew is currently deciding amongst a number of alternative headset styles based on the Sennheiser HME 26, which combines a lightweight, comfortable design, excellent ambient noise attenuation, and high SPL performance. A specialized headset for Tagliani is also under development that will conform to IndyCar safety rules, which require that earbuds contain G-force monitors in the event of a crash.
"Sennheiser's sponsorship of Tagliani and the FAZZT Race Team is fitting, as there is symmetry between our unending push for excellence and theirs," said Jean Langlais, president of Sennheiser Canada. "IndyCar is a technology-driven sport, where success depends not only on the skills and instincts of the driver, but also on the pinnacle of automotive technology on which the driver relies. Indeed, much of the safety and performance advances in street cars originated with IndyCar. Sennheiser is an engineer-driven company, and we have led the professional and consumer audio industries in microphone, headphone, and wireless technologies for the better part of a century."
"I have developed a great relationship and friendship with Sennheiser over the last four years and they have been an incredible sponsor for me," said Tagliani. "I am a huge fan of their products, especially their noise-canceling headset that I use to make my cell phone hands free. I spend most of my time out of the racecar on the phone doing interviews and talking to my engineers, so if it weren't for the Sennheiser headset I would probably have a lot of traffic tickets. Sennheiser is a leader in technology and it makes a perfect fit with FAZZT and the IZOD IndyCar Series."
Sennheiser Canada's partnership with Tagliani will make the Edmonton and Toronto IndyCar races especially interesting for dealers, who will be invited to join Sennheiser in the paddock where all the final race-day technological and psychological preparations take place. Cars will be tweaked to perfection amid the thunder of eager engines while drivers work out the strategies that will propel them to the checkered flag. Sennheiser dealers will have the opportunity to meet Tagliani and the FAZZT Race Team before the race begins. They can watch the race from the grandstands or, as guests of Sennheiser, from the VIP hospitality lounge.
ABOUT SENNHEISER Sennheiser is a world-leading manufacturer of microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems. Established in 1945 in Wedemark, Germany, Sennheiser is now a global brand represented in sixty countries around the world through long-term distribution partners and subsidiaries in France, UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Russia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Japan, China, Canada, Mexico and the USA. Sennheiser's technology is produced in manufacturing plants in Germany, Ireland and the United States. Their pioneering excellence in technology has rewarded the company with numerous awards and accolades including an Emmy, a Grammy and the Scientific and Engineering Award (of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). The Sennheiser Group is proud to be affiliated with Georg Neumann (world leading studio microphones), and the joint venture Sennheiser Communications that brings their award winning technology to headsets for PCs, offices and contact centers.
OTHER BRANDS DISTRIBUTED BY SENNHEISER CANADA Neumann, Klein+Hummel, Innovason, L-ACOUSTICS, Kling & Freitag, K-array, Yellowtec, Televic
ABOUT FAZZT RACE TEAM The FAZZT Race Team was formed in July 2009 as a partnership between Andre Azzi of the Azzi Race Division, ATG, and other business partners. The team fields a full-time IndyCar Series team that made its debut at the season opening event in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The team has four Dallara chassis and has Canadian driver Alex Tagliani to drive the #77 entry. Andre Azzi, a Montreal-based entrepreneur, is the teams' Chief Executive Officer and Rob Edwards is the Chief Operating Officer and team General Manager. The team is housed in a 25,000 ft. race shop on the north side of Indianapolis with a second facility that will house their Research and Design division in Montreal. For more information, go to www.FAZZTRaceTeam.com.
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PHOTO CAPTION Native Canadian, IndyCar driver Alex Tagliani. (PHOTO CREDIT (c)2010 Steve Swope Photography)