Iveco and sports
The union between Iveco and international sports has a long history: already in 1980, very early in its history, Iveco had its first high level participation as sponsor of the Italian athletics team at the Olympic Games in Moscow. A good start, with the three golden medals won by Sara Simeoni, Pietro Mennea and Maurizio Damilano. 1980 is also the final year of “Raid Pigafetta”, a 184,000 km journey travelled by Iveco 75 PC 4x4 through 48 countries including Europe, Asia, Australia, South and North America.
In 1981 Iveco opened the boxing season with two first-class sponsorships: the match between and Leonard and Hearnes in Las Vegas, with over 400 million TV viewers in more than 50 countries, and then the double world championship of Chicago. Still in 1981, Iveco gained Les Mans 24-hour race reserved to trucks, with over 60,000 spectators.
1982 was a year full of appointments for Iveco sports calendar: boxing, with the sponsorship of “Top Rank”, a prestigious series of 64 matches; athletics, with the entry of the Olympic champion Gabriella Dorio in the Iveco team; tennis, through the Davis Cup sponsorship; the great expeditions of Jacques Cousteau who explored the Amazonian Basin using, among the others, an Iveco amphibious vehicle; it was also the year of football with the sponsorship of the World cup in Spain which saw Italy win the maximum title for the third time.
In1983 Iveco sponsored the boxing match between Hagler and Duran, defined the “match of the century”, while Iveco athletics women’s team conquered the second place in the Champions League held in Madrid. Iveco sponsored also the first world championship of athletics in Helsinki and the Ski World Cup, in addition to Formula 1 Toleman stable. Finally, the second edition of Les Mans 24-hour race reserved to trucks saw the winning participation of Iveco.
The three years 1983-1986 were characterized by the great raids: two editions of the Paris-Dakar, the Pharaohs’ Rally, and then the Venice-Beijing raid of 1985, which took three months with nearly 20,000 km travelled by a TurboDaily 40.10 WM with the new turbodiesel Sofim with direct injection.
Still talking about the ‘80s, it is important to remember the participation in the offshore championship with a fleet of racing crafts equipped with Iveco Aifo engines which conquered several World , European and Italian titles.
In 1987 Iveco was the technical sponsor of the Athletics World Championship in Rome, ensuring the transport of the athletes with around 60 buses and minibuses; in 1990 it was also the technical sponsor of the Football World Championship “Italia 90”.
In the following years Iveco turned its attention to the world of adventure. Some initiatives were started through which Iveco vehicles were generally associated to extraordinary enterprises.
In 1989 the archeologists Alfredo and Angelo Castiglioni, with the support of Iveco vehicles, discovered the legendary town of Berenice Pancrisia (Berenice “completely golden”), already mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his “Naturalis Historia” and which had been long forgotten. One of the greatest archaeological discoveries that the desert had protected and guarded for millennia.
In 1995, with the Rome – New York expedition, the Overland project was started, which through the Iveco technology contributed to promote a positive image of trucks in the world. Iveco orange coloured vehicles, 330.30 ANW 6x6 with 8 V-cylinder engines, became the protagonists of some adventurous journeys, overcoming extreme difficulties, both due to the weather and the routes, never stopping, showing their great reliability and quality.
1997 saw our debut in the "Master Rally" Paris-Samarkand-Moscow, where the world champion Miki Biasion wrote the best pages of Iveco recent competitive past: Biasion classified absolute second among the trucks and first among the industrial vehicles.
The next two years were triumphal: two subsequent successes both in the Rally Optic 2000 Tunisie and in the U.A.E Desert Challenge, two world titles Fia Tout Terrain and a first place among factory trucks (fifth absolute) in the Granada-Dakar of 1999.
In 2006, as Official Sponsor of the XX Winter Olympic Games and the IX Winter Paralympic Games, Iveco was included in the selected group of companies which actively participated in the development and organization of the Games with a very high profile economic and management commitment. A fleet of over 1200 Iveco Irisbus buses, mostly intercity and tourist, but also minibuses and city buses, ensured the transfers of the athletes, journalists, spectators and staff volunteers. In addition, for the construction and setting up of the facilities for the Olympic sites of Turin 2006, the whole Iveco range was used. 17 big building yards were opened and finished, including the several Media Villages, Palavela and Hockey Stadium in Turin, the Ice Palaces in Turin, Pinerolo and Torre Pellice, the launching pads in Pragelato, the bobsleigh and sledge facilities in Cesana Torinese, in addition to the Olympic Villages in Turin, Sestriere and Bardonecchia.
Iveco passion for sports and its values, which inspired the participation as Official Sponsor in the Winter Olympic Games of Turin 2006, are reconfirmed for the World University Winter Games of Turin 2007 with the “Iveco Truck Crazy4U International Tour”, which disseminated the message of the World University Games around Europe for over 10,000 km.