Bud Light to Sponsor Steve Fossett's Upcoming Solo Round-the-World Balloon Mission
World-Renowned Adventurer to Launch 'Bud Light Spirit of Freedom' in June
ST. LOUIS, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Bud Light, the world's best-selling light beer, today announced it will sponsor adventurer Steve Fossett's upcoming attempt to complete the first solo round-the-world balloon mission. Fossett is scheduled to launch the "Bud Light Spirit of Freedom" balloon from Northam, Australia, in June. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020513/CGM042 ) Fossett has attempted to circumnavigate the globe five previous times during 1997, 1998 and 2001. His last attempt was in August 2001, when he also launched from Northam, and inclement weather forced him to land in Bage, Brazil, after 12 days. That is the longest solo balloon flight on record. "Steve Fossett is one of the world's most accomplished adventurers, and we're proud to support his historic mission to circle the globe," said Joe Castellano, vice president, retail marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "Steve and the 'Bud Light Spirit of Freedom' team have worked hard to prepare for this journey. With their expertise and competitive fire, they are ready to make history." Fossett is looking forward to the upcoming flight. "The first solo round-the-world balloon flight is my greatest challenge. Again this year, I have the help of my expert balloon team and student interns from Washington University in St. Louis. Now Bud Light has joined the effort. This is a grand adventure and with this team, I have every chance of success," Fossett said. Mission control for the flight will again be located at Washington University in St. Louis. Immediately after the launch from Northam, the project manager, mission control director, meteorologists, and other members of the balloon team will direct round-the-world flight operations from this nerve center. Eighteen Washington University students from the School of Engineering & Applied Science, The Olin School of Business, and the College of Arts & Sciences will serve as interns on the project, working closely with the mission control balloon team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the duration of the flight. These internships are made possible by a generous grant from Barron Hilton, a long-time ballooning enthusiast and admirer of Steve Fossett and his many accomplishments. "Washington University is pleased to host mission control, and we are especially grateful to Barron Hilton for making it possible for so many of our students to have a wonderful learning experience and to participate in such an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime adventure," said Mark S. Wrighton, Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis. "We all wish Steve Fossett, our alumnus and trustee, Godspeed and every success on his upcoming attempt to achieve the last, greatest record in aviation." Fossett's launch date for the Bud Light Spirit of Freedom is scheduled for mid- to late June, based on weather conditions. His launch site is located in Northam, approximately 60 miles east of Perth, Australia. For up-to-date information on the status of the Bud Light Spirit of Freedom mission during and after Fossett's launch, visit www.spiritoffreedom.com or www.budlight.com . Fossett holds official world records in balloons, sailboats and airplanes. His round-the-world balloon attempts in August 1998 and August 2001 are the longest solo flights in a balloon for distance and duration, respectively - and, in fact, by any type of aircraft. He has made the first balloon crossing of Asia, Africa, Europe, South America, the South Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans, plus the first solo flight across the Pacific Ocean. Bud Light will support its sponsorship of the mission through advertising initiatives, as well as feature stories and news updates on www.BudLight.com . Anheuser-Busch has a long history of supporting aviation and aviation challenges. In 1999, the company awarded the Budweiser Cup trophy and a $1 million prize to the Breitling Orbiter 3 Team, which became the first team to successfully complete a round-the-world voyage in a balloon. The Budweiser Cup prize -- which was initiated in 1997 -- included $500,000 awarded to the team and $500,000 awarded to the charity or non-profit organization of their choice. In addition, previous aeronautical sponsorships for Anheuser-Busch include the Bud Light Micro Jet, the Budweiser.com Airship and a variety of hot air balloons representing the company's brands. Washington University, a medium-sized, independent university, is counted among the world's leaders in teaching and research. Twenty-one Nobel laureates have been associated with Washington University, with nine doing the major portion of their pioneering research there. Approximately 12,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students enrolled at Washington University represent all 50 states and more than 80 international locations. The university's 2,567 full-time faculty teach in eight schools: architecture, art, arts & sciences, business, engineering, law, medicine and social work. The university offers more than 90 programs and almost 1,500 courses leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in a broad spectrum of traditional and interdisciplinary fields, with additional opportunities for minor concentrations and individualized programs. Bud Light is a member of the Budweiser Family of Beers, which are brewed by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the world's largest brewer. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X53520334
SOURCE Bud Light
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