Toronto, Canada, February 14, 2008 – On February 19, 2008 PC company Lenovo, Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay and TOP Sponsor of the Olympic Games, will launch the first of three online auctions taking place in Canada as part of a global online Olympic philanthropic auction counting down to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Just as the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay will travel around the world, a new Lenovo auction is beginning each week in a different country counting down to the Olympic Games. The auction features limited-edition, notebook PCs inspired by the Lenovo-designed Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch and recently announced torch relay items also designed by Lenovo including the lantern that will carry the flame around the world and the cauldron lit at the end of the relay day in each city.
Over the next ten days, a “Cloud of Promise”-themed notebook PC will be available for bidding at www.lenovohopefundauctions.com. The limited-edition notebook PC is autographed by Lenovo champion Adam van Koeverden, Canadian World and Olympic Champion in Kayaking and Special Olympics athlete Russell Gerber, Special Olympics World Summer Games Gold Medalist in Power Lifting, offering fans the opportunity to bid and own a part of Olympic history. The remaining two auctions in Canada will begin on May 19th and July 18th.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the auction will be distributed through the Lenovo Hope Fund to select philanthropies, including Right To Play. In the spirit of Lenovo’s sponsorship of the Olympic Games, the program will concentrate on microfinance, small- and medium-enterprise development and bringing sports to communities of children.
“Right To Play is proud to partner with Lenovo and to be a beneficiary of the Lenovo Olympic Philanthropic Auction,” said Mark Brender, Deputy Director of the Canadian office of Right To Play. “Through initiatives such as this one, Right To Play is able to engage children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world in our unique sport and play programming, and to give refugee children, former child soldiers, children affected or orphaned by HIV/AIDS and many others hope for a brighter, happier future. We encourage everyone to visit the site, make a bid and show their support.”
“We are thrilled to offer fans the unique opportunity to own these one-of-a-kind Olympic torch themed notebook PCs,” said Deepak Advani, Senior Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, Lenovo. ”Just as our technology helps bridge the physical gaps among different parts of the world, Lenovo’s goal is to do the same through social investments. In the Olympic spirit of internationalism and cooperation, it is fitting that these Olympic torch-themed notebook PCs should benefit worthy causes.”
“Lenovo is proud to bring this auction to Canadians, giving everyone an opportunity to own a piece of Olympic History. Adam and Russell are world class athletes who represent Canada at a very high level. Their signatures on these limited edition Lenovo notebooks make them unique collector’s items.” said Stefan Bockhop, Lenovo Director of Sales in Canada.
The global auction is taking place in: Japan, Australia, UK, France, Russia, USA, Hong Kong, Argentina, China, India, Brazil and Canada. In the final week leading up to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, 12 notebook PCs, one from each of the participating countries, will be auctioned to conclude the program. A total of 36 limited edition Lenovo notebook PCs will be auctioned around the world. Many of these which will be autographed by Lenovo Champions – athlete ambassadors including:
- Gail Emms, badminton, Great Britain, 2004 Olympic silver medalist
- Libby Lenton, swimming, Australia, 2004 Olympic gold and bronze medalist
- Eamon Sullivan, swimming, Australia, 2004 Olympian
- Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, beach volleyball, United States, 2004 Olympic gold medalists
- Adam van Koeverden, canoe/kayak, Canada, 2004 Olympic gold and bronze medalist
- Liu Xiang, track and field, China, 2004 Olympic gold medalist
“In addition to contributing to an incredible charitable organization like Right To Play, this is such a unique opportunity for people to own a piece of Olympic history, not to mention an awesome computer!?” said Adam van Koeverden.
The auction will live on a Lenovo micro-site - www.lenovohopefundauctions.com. Each bidder will be directed to a country specific listing where they will find additional information about the notebook PC and bidding process in their native language. Bidders will be pre-qualified to bid in US dollars through Kompolt, an on-line auction agency focused on creating successful high-value, high-profile promotional and charity auctions. Due to export restrictions and policies, the Olympic torch-themed notebook PCs may only be purchased for use in their designated country.
Like the “Cloud of Promise” on which the design is based, the notebook cover features striking swirls of silver against a pure red base color. Because computer configurations and ability to sell vary by market, Lenovo has added the Lenovo Olympic Torch-themed design to notebook PCs in the markets for which they are configured in order to create this global auction. The product for auction will be the Lenovo 3000 V200 notebook with the special Olympic Torch-themed cover. In China, the product being offered will be the Lenovo Tianyi F21 notebook with Olympic Torch-themed cover.
About the Lenovo Olympic Torch Notebook Design
Lenovo’s award-winning design team spent more than 10 months on the design of the torch. Altogether, more than 30 Lenovo design specialists were involved in the torch project. The team was truly multinational, including designers from Germany, Singapore, US, Japan, New Zealand, Italy and China. For its winning torch design, the Lenovo Innovation Design Center group employed a number of innovative materials and techniques, from precision-machining an aluminum-magnesium alloy into the scroll-shaped curves of the torch body, to using rubberized paint for the first time ever in an Olympic torch to provide the sensation of one hand gripping another. Like the “Cloud of Promise,” on which the design is based, the notebooks are characterized by striking swirls of regal red against a pure silver base color, a contrast representative of the traditional Chinese concern for balance and harmony.
About the Lenovo Hope Fund
The Lenovo Hope Fund is a donor-advised philanthropic fund created by Lenovo Group and managed through the Triangle Community Foundation. The mission of the Lenovo Hope Fund is to support the creation and growth of new businesses in distressed communities around the world, as well as innovative nonprofit organizations that serve these communities.
About the Lenovo TOP Sponsorship
In addition to its role as the designer of the Beijing 2008 Olympic torch and Worldwide Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, Lenovo is also the technology hardware supplier for the 2008 Games. Nearly every aspect of the management of the Games, from gathering and storing participant data to displaying the scores to organizing all activities for BOCOG, depends on hardware provided by Lenovo. The company was also the Technology Equipment supplier for the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, where Lenovo hardware supported critical Games systems as well as specially designed Internet lounges for athletes and journalists.
Lenovo (HKSE: 992)(ADR: LNVGY) is the world's third-largest personal computing company, with a business model built on innovation, operational efficiency and investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group's acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina, and develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure, and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. For more information, see www.lenovo.com/ca.