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M&C Saatchi Sponsorship joins Beagle 2 mission to Mars

Press Release From: Beagle 2 Project
Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2000

M&C Saatchi Sponsorship, one of Europe's leading sponsorship consultancies, today announced that it is to lend its support and commercial expertise to Beagle 2, the space mission to put Britain on Mars in 2003 and answer the question, "is there, or was there, life on Mars?"

The company, a subsidiary of Agency of the Year, M&C Saatchi, will help the project to develop its marketing strategy and funding from the private sector.The project is on target to raise at least 10 million over the next four years from a mix of sponsorship, merchandising, and public participation. Matthew Patten, Chief Executive of M&C Saatchi Sponsorship, said:

"Beagle 2 represents a unique opportunity for businesses and brands. It combines extraordinary vision, technological brilliance, mass coverage and awareness, and the opportunity to touch the lives of every man, woman and child not just in Britain, but throughout the world. Thanks to the vision of the European Space Agency and the British Government, Beagle 2 is no longer a dream, but a reality. We are thrilled to be working with Prof Pillinger's team on such a momentous project."

M&C Saatchi Sponsorship's first steps will be to formalise a strategic marketing plan for the project which will consolidate the commercial opportunities private sector partners can expect. These will include branding on the spacecraft itself, extensive promotional activities throughout the mission's test period over the next two years, a ground-breaking educational programme for schools, a technology roadshow, a national appeal, and a series of merchandising and licensing initiatives.

Photographs of Beagle 2 can be downloaded from www.beagle2.com
For further information, contact:

Philippa Keogh
M&C Saatchi Sponsorship
36 Golden Square
London W1R 4EE
Tel: 0171 543 4742
Fax: 0171 543 4712
Email: philippak@mcsaatchi.com

Notes to Editors

M&C Saatchi Sponsorship Ltd was founded in January 1997. The company is a subsidiary of M&C Saatchi, the UK's 6th biggest advertising agency and 1999 Agency of the Year, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Madrid, Hong Kong, and Dubai. M&C Saatchi was founded by Maurice and Charles Saatchi, Bill Muirhead, David Kershaw and Jeremy Sinclair.

M&C Saatchi Sponsorship's activities include the creation, management and exploitation of sponsorship in sports, arts, community, broadcast and press. Clients include Benson & Hedges, Channel 4, NatWest Card Services, and Unilever. M&C Saatchi clients include British Airways, BT, Dixons Group, Sainsbury's, and Rover Cars.

Beagle 2 will be launched in June 2003 as part of the European Space Agency (ESA) Mars Express Mission. As Mars Express approaches Mars at the end of 2003, Beagle 2 will be ejected from the orbiter and land on the surface of the planet. The instrument package on board Beagle 2 will analyse samples of Martian rock, soil and atmosphere to seek for signs of past or present life on the planet. The Beagle 2 project is led by the Open University, University of Leicester, Matra Marconi Space Stevenage, and Martin-Baker Aircraft Company.

For further information on Beagle 2 please contact:

Professor Colin Pillinger FRS
Planetary Sciences Research Institute
The Open University
Milton Keynes MK7 6AA

telephone +44 (0) 1908 652119 / 655169
fax +44 (0) 1908 655910
email psri@open.ac.uk
Web page http://www.beagle2.com

Support for the Beagle 2 Project has come from the participating organisations in Universities and Industry. Lord Sainsbury announced a package of 8 million from the DTI and PPARC in August 1999.

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