HERNDON, Va., May 29, 2009 – Audi of America will again team up with star quarterback Tom Brady and the non-profit organization Best Buddies International as the Title Sponsor and Official Vehicle of the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, a charity bike ride in support of people with intellectual disabilities.
Brady will join Audi and Best Buddies on Saturday May 30th as the ride’s Honorary Chairman and Celebrity Ambassador. Together with Chef Duff Goldman, star of the Food Network’s “Ace of Cakes,” Brady will also serve within the celebrity judge panel of the first High Gear Gala on Friday night kicking of the weekend’s celebrations, where top Boston chefs and Best Buddies participants will prepare gourmet cuisine.
Brady has been involved with Best Buddies since 2003 and has participated in the Best Buddies Friendship Races, a short-course, tandem race that partners a celebrity and a buddy. Last year, Brady’s current personal car, an Audi S8, was auctioned for charity at the Best Buddies Ball in Potomac, Maryland. He had also given his linemen a new Audi Q7 SUVs to protect them on the road and to thank them for their support of Best Buddies and dedication during the 2007/2008 football season.
“I’m honored to once again join Audi and Best Buddies to raise money for such a tremendous cause, and to also have my own best buddies, my offensive linemen, join me to support this amazing organization,” said Tom Brady. ”I am glad that corporations like Audi are so dedicated to a cause like this one. Especially during times like these, responsibility – both on a personal and a corporate level – is a concept that is more important than ever.”
As host and Title Sponsor, Audi will welcome Brady and his New England Patriots team mates Nick Kaczur, Dan Koppen, Logan Mankins, Steve Neal, and Pierre Woods, Senator John Kerry, Olympic gold-medalist Carl Lewis, actor Verne Troyer; actress Maureen McCormick, Miss Teen USA 2008 Stevi Perry, and model Lauren Anderson.
The Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port is an annual charity bicycle tour that takes riders on a picturesque route from Boston, Massachusetts to Hyannis Port. Participating riders will depart from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston and ride 100 miles to Craigville Beach. Riders choosing not to participate in the 100-mile ride will have the opportunity to ride 20 miles from Sandwich, Massachusetts to Craigville Beach, or to join Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis for a 5k run or 3k walk followed by a New England-style clambake and a concert by the Bangles. Last year’s event rose over $3 million, and this year’s event is expected to break that record.
“Audi is privileged and honored to be the Title Sponsor of the Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port,” said Johan de Nysschen, President of Audi of America. “This extraordinary event joins the rich philanthropic history of the Kennedy family in New England with Audi’s own long history of corporate social responsibility. CSR continues to be a key component of our strategy. Responsibility towards society of course also means responsibility towards the environment and our natural resources. We take this very seriously at Audi. More than ever, as a vehicle manufacturer, developing low consumption technologies and investigating in alternative fuels and drive trains is a priority of ours. This is why Audi Q7 TDIs will make up more than 60% of this event’s fleet.”
Audi has set a company-wide goal to reduce C02 emissions by 20% by the year 2012. The company’s TDI engines are the most successful efficiency technology in the world. With over 4.5 million cars with TDI engines sold globally, and the recent introduction of the 2009 Audi Q7 3.0 TDI to the U.S. market in 2009, Audi offers a technology that is simultaneously cleaner and more efficient than traditional gasoline, while still providing excellent performance.
“Best Buddies is thrilled to have Audi as our Title Sponsor for this event,” said Anthony Kennedy Shriver, founder and chairman of Best Buddies International. “Since Audi joined us in 2007, its tireless commitment to social responsibility has helped us grow our organization in ways we’d never imagined, including raising US $ 21 million. Thanks to Audi’s underwriting of our rides, 100% of all funds raised at them go directly towards our programs. And with its incredible fleet of TDI clean diesel vehicles, Audi is even helping us reduce our carbon footprint.”
Founded in 1989, Best Buddies is a non-profit that provides opportunities for one-to-one friendship and integrated employment to people with intellectual disabilities in 42 countries. In June 2007, Audi and Best Buddies proudly announced their new partnership. For the next three years, Audi will continue to be the Exclusive Automotive Sponsor of Best Buddies within the Americas and support numerous projects and fundraising events in Europe and overseas. Since 2008, Audi has made it a mission to engage its whole organization in Best Buddies’ cause, including dealers, employees and partners, including to install a job program to place people with intellectual disabilities on career paths to further their personal growth.