IWC and Laureus part 5

Watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has joined forces with Laureus

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Published by 3809 on October 13th, 2009 at 08:11 p.m..
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Taking responsibility with social commitment Georges Kern explains the company’s motivation to adopt this commitment as follows: “The privileged people on this planet – and we are among them – must do something to help those who are socially, physically or economically disadvantaged.” This clearly does not only apply to individuals but also to the economy as a whole. “We as a company bear a social responsibility.” And the company carries out these responsibilities not only through the overarching Laureus Global Foundation, but also through a direct commitment with the national Laureus Sport for Good Foundations. This may take the form of additional financial subsidies, support from IWC’s local employees and local infrastructure, or from the IWC network in the country in question. In Switzerland, for example, IWC Schaffhausen is playing a particularly important role in the setting up the Swiss branch of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

IWC obtained its first experience of social sponsorship through its support of the Cousteau Society, which was founded by Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the legendary diver and underwater filmmaker, in 1974, and whose central objective is to preserve the foundations for life in the world’s oceans. Another important partnership is the one with the descendants of the famous French pilot and great writer Antoine de Saint Time for social responsibility Laureus and IWC Exupéry. To support the humanitarian project Vol de Nuit/Vuelo Nocturno of Saint Exupéry’s greatnephew in Buenos Aires, a unique watch of IWC came up for auction with Christie’s New York. IWC donated the proceeds from the sale to that association that looks after the interests of disadvantaged children in Argentina. The top man at IWC explains this engagement as follows: “Today, people expect companies to give them authenticity and to represent genuine values.” Solidarity with underprivileged individuals is one of those values. It is the sustainability principle that is becoming increasingly important for society and, ultimately, for potential customers. In the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which helps underprivileged children and adolescents to help themselves, IWC has found the ideal partner for an active form of social commitment. Social sponsorship has been almost de rigueur for successful corporations in the USA for some time now, and the significance of this mix between charity and marketing is becoming increasingly important in Europe. “Do good things and talk about them: that is the motto.”

Combining top-level sport with charity In the case of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, in over 65 projects worldwide almost 750,000 children and adolescents have been helped since its inception and have benefited from the commitment of the two corporations. “The major strength of this Foundation is the combination of charity and sport at the very highest level”, says Georges Kern. Ultimately, one of the main supports of the organization is the Laureus World Sports Academy. “This consists of the most important sports personalities in the world”, Kern points out – not without pride – adding the rhetorical question, “Where else – apart from Laureus – will you find names like Mark Spitz, Edwin Moses and Boris Becker working together to the same end?” Between them, the Academy members account for over 100 Olympic medals, 100 world championship titles and 200 world records. If only for this reason, IWC’s commitment to Laureus represents a unique chance for the company, explains the CEO. As a manufacturer of top-quality sports watches, IWC Schaffhausen already has a close affinity to sports stars of the past and present. It is undoubtedly a huge honour for the watch manufacturer to work so closely with such successful and irreproachable sports and stars. It is also significant that the Academy is made up of more than 20 different nationalities, as well as a wide range of races, cultures and religious beliefs. Georges Kern sees this as yet another symbol that sport is able to surmount the boundaries between nations, races, cultures and religions.

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