Heir to IBM PC Makes Brazil’s Footballer Ronaldinho Its Ambassador

Lenovo Group Limited announced a cooperation with FC Barcelona and its superstar, Brazilian-born Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, otherwise known as Ronaldinho Gaúcho.

Ronaldinho will be a Lenovo Worldwide Brand Ambassador. Ronaldinho, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Player of the Year for two years running, currently plays for Barcelona and the Brazilian national team and is expected to play a key role in Brazil’s defense of its World Cup title when the tournament begins on June 9, 2006.

Ronaldinho will be featured in worldwide marketing campaigns and promotional activities for the recently announced Lenovo-branded notebook and desktop PCs powered by Intel.

"Through innovation and excellence in customer service, Lenovo is building a global brand that we believe customers will recognize and trust," said Deepak Advani, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Lenovo.

"FC Barcelona and Ronaldinho bring world-class play and teamwork to the field, and they are always trying to improve their game. These traits resonate well with us at Lenovo – we believe Ronaldinho represents our culture of innovation and our pursuit of excellence."

Marc Ingla, vice president of FC Barcelona, said, "We are delighted to have Lenovo as our partner and have Ronaldinho promote Lenovo and the FC Barcelona brand together globally. I believe the excitement of football combined with cutting-edge technology will bring more happiness and enjoyment to people in the world."

Strengthening the ties between technology and sports, Lenovo earlier this year completed its first-ever sponsorship of the Olympic Games. With more than 6,000 systems in place supporting the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, Lenovo’s debut demonstrated, according to Lenovo, that the world’s third-largest PC company is ready to compete on the world’s largest stages and serve the world’s most demanding customers with high quality products and reliable customer services.

"I am glad to be a Lenovo Worldwide Brand Ambassador," said Ronaldinho. "From keeping in touch with friends and family when I am in training, to designing my exercise routines, to keeping an eye on Barcelona’s standings, technology and products provided by Lenovo have added value to my life as an athlete."

Ronaldinho first made his mark in the worldwide football arena in 1997, as the top scorer for the winning Brazil team at the "Under-17 World Championships." In 1999 he led his team to victory at the America’s Cup.

In 2005 he took the European Footballer of the Year and the FIFPro World Player of the Year awards. His unique football skills have won Ronaldinho numerous professional accolades and have endeared him to fans around the world.

Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the Lenovo company develops, manufactures and markets reliable high-quality, secure, and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide.

Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina.

FC Barcelona is one of the greatest football clubs in the world, with a history of 106 years since its foundation in 1899 by the Swiss Joan Gamper. FC Barcelona is the club that has most members and one of the most impressive track records in winning titles.

Its playing style has created a global fan base that reaches from the Americas to Asia and has been characterized by mythic figures of football: Kubala, Cruyff, Maradona, Romário, Rivaldo and now Ronaldinho.

The philosophy of attractive and offensive play has specifically won the support of the youth, to whom stars like Ronaldinho, Eto’o and Messi are role models and idols.

The club, current UEFA Champions-League finalist and favorite to repeat last year’s Spanish "La Liga" title, is not only active in the sporting field with several professional sports (football, basketball, handball, etc), but also has a strong social responsibility that goes beyond sports. The club’s theme is "Mas que un club" (More than a club).

Lenovo – www.lenovo.com

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