BMW Developing New Motion Tracking Technology for Swimmers, Latest Effort in Partnership with Team USA

With 100 Days to Go, BMW Group Unveils Team USA Fundraising Initiative and U.S. Olympic Marketing Campaign

Apr 18, 2012, 07:00 ET from BMW of North America, LLC

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- After successfully deploying cutting-edge technology to help America's long jumpers go farther, faster, BMW is now turning its attention to USA Swimming. This latest effort will provide quantitative analysis of swimmers' starts and turns – critical to success in the sport – via a unique motion tracking system. This technology initiative is central to BMW's comprehensive U.S. Olympic program which endeavors to advance the performance goals of Team USA while bringing communities across the country closer to the excitement of the Olympic Games.

In addition to these efforts in North America, BMW UK, in its role as official Automotive Partner, will be providing a fleet of approximately 4,000 vehicles including low emission diesel, hybrid and electric cars as well as motorcycles and bicycles to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), among other host-market activities.

"As a major contributor to the U.S. economy, BMW is proud of our nearly 40-year history of manufacturing and operations in the United States," said Dan Creed, Vice President, Marketing, BMW of North America. "The Olympic Movement and BMW share a common focus on performance and sustained competitive excellence. Through this sponsorship we are able to connect with customers throughout the country and extend the Olympic partnership through unique customer programs that drive brand affinity and sales."

Driving Athlete Performance

As the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee, BMW is combining sports science with insights from automotive engineering, such as research into camera based pedestrian detection and tracking, to help Team USA athletes improve their performance. The first U.S. Olympic technology project BMW announced as part of this program was a velocity measurement system developed in partnership with USA Track & Field which measures and provides real-time analysis of three key parameters in the execution of a long jump – horizontal approach velocity, vertical take-off velocity and take-off angle. The project with USA Swimming, currently in development, aims to produce a motion tracking system that automatically captures a swimmer's stroke at starts and turns and completes a performance data analysis for coaches – an expected improvement over the current approach of manual stroke counting and video study. With this new technology, BMW intends to apply quantitative analysis techniques to evaluate how major and minor adjustments in form and technique affect overall performance. 

"Developing a first-of-its-kind training technology for Olympic athletes is very exciting for BMW," said Dirk Rossberg, Head of the BMW Group Technology Office USA. "We're eager to build upon what we learned from USA Track & Field, and are focused on delivering performance data for USA Swimming to help improve starts and turns - those pivotal moments in a race where Olympic medals are lost and won."

BMW Drive for Team USA

BMW is further supporting U.S. Olympic athletes – and generating excitement for London 2012 – by reprising its popular campaign: BMW Drive for Team USA. This national fundraising effort invites consumers to BMW retailers across America to test drive any one of five different BMW 3 Series models. For every participant who test drives a vehicle at the event, BMW will donate $10 to Team USA, for a maximum donation of $200,000.

Following a hugely successful 2011 drive campaign, BMW has expanded the number of Drive for Team USA events, from 277 last year to 315 this year, which will take place from April 17 to August 25, 2012. BMW Drive for Team USA events not only offer consumers the chance to test how the Ultimate Driving Machine measures up against the competition, they will also offer the chance to meet U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, legends and other members of the Olympic community at BMW retailers across the country.

MINI Takes the States

Similarly, MINI USA will also host its bi-annual MINI Takes the States (MTTS) 2012 event, recently announcing the United States Paralympic Team as its charitable partner. A portion of the proceeds from each $30 participant registration fee will be donated to the Paralympic Movement, with a minimum of $10,000 earmarked to support the Paralympic athletes who will compete in the London 2012 Paralympic Games as well as 2016 hopefuls as they train. MTTS is the brand's single biggest road rally, in which thousands of participants are set to make a cross-country trek from July 4 – 15, 2012.

Integrated Marketing Campaign

To support its Team USA partnership and BMW Drive for Team USA program, BMW is launching an integrated marketing campaign around the London 2012 and Paralympic Games. The campaign will include dealer promotions; owner incentives; and digital, local and national television advertising, comprising one of the largest media investments by BMW of North America in company history. By providing opportunities for BMW retailers to connect with their communities through a shared love of sport, and by offering unique experiences to BMW owners, the campaign allows the automaker to reinforce its brand among a passionate fan base.

"Last year, more than 20,000 customers participated in our BMW Drive for Team USA events across the country, and BMW retailers saw a conversion rate of 23 percent – yielding the most ever purchases following a marketing event," said Creed. "This year's integrated marketing campaign only extends the reach of the Drive for Team USA program by promoting BMW products and supporting our retailers."

BMW Performance Team U.S.

For the London 2012 Olympic Games, BMW North America is supporting 11 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls, the BMW Performance Team U.S. They are:

  • Ricky Berens, swimming
  • Matt Chrabot, triathlon
  • Bryan Clay, track & field
  • Natalie Coughlin, swimming
  • Janet Evans, swimming
  • April Holmes, Paralympic track & field
  • Jonathan Horton, gymnastics
  • Clay Johnson, sailing
  • Sanya Richards-Ross, track & field
  • Evelyn Stevens, cycling
  • Mallory Weggemann, Paralympic swimming

BMW North America's global parent, BMW Group, is the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams through 2016. BMW Group is also the Official Mobility Partner of USA Track & Field, USA Swimming, USA Bobsled & Skeleton and US Speedskating.

BMW Group (which includes BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad) will also lend its support to more than 150 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls in other countries, including the United Kingdom and France. BMW Group also supports the National Olympic Committees of the U.S., Great Britain, China, France, Austria, Spain, and Greece.

At the Games

For the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, BMW UK will be providing a diverse fleet of approximately 4,000 vehicles including low emission diesel, hybrid and electric cars as well as motorcycles and bicycles to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). Voted by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index as the most sustainable automotive manufacturer for seven consecutive years, BMW will provide a fleet to achieve the challenging average emissions threshold as set by LOCOG of 120g CO2 per kilometer.

BMW Group will also present an impressive pavilion space built on an elevated site above the Waterworks River, situated between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Center. Every element of the BMW pavilion has been designed to reflect the company's heritage in environmental innovation, including the use of river water as a sustainable source of cooling for the building whereby river water is filtered and returned to the river by way of an aesthetically pleasing 'water curtain.'

To learn more about BMW Group's partnership with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and its designation as a Sustainability Partner of LOCOG, visit the dedicated press page To learn more about the BMW Performance Team, Olympic technology projects and BMW's partnership with the USOC and NGBs USA Bobsled & Skeleton, US Speedskating, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field, visit

Journalist note: Information and visual assets about BMW Group, its Olympic partnership and its products in the US are available to journalists online at and

SOURCE BMW of North America, LLC