It all started with watches, of course. Some time ago, we spotted IWC’s special editions with a striking blue dial that are being launched on regular basis. Naturally, we wanted to know more about them. Since 2005, IWC has been supporting the programs of the ‘Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’ with an annual launch of a new limited watch. A portion of the sales goes straight to local Laureus’ sports projects. Every edition has a special ‘Laureus-blue’ dial that is adapted to different lines from IWC’s portfolio: from the Portugieser (IW371432) in 2006 to the Aquatimer (IW379507) in 2019, which is the 2019 model from the ‘Edition Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’.
As the ‘Laureus Sport for Good Foundation‘ is a non-profit organisation where 100% of all donations go into different projects, we wanted to make a small contribution to help call attention to this initiative. We dreamed of a unique video series where athletes gather to talk about their fascination with sports. IWC and Laureus liked the idea of a joint project – and the athletes were thrilled. This took the project far enough that even surf legend Garrett McNamara, in his typical ‘hang loose’ way, super-spontaneously agreed to an interview when we met him during last year’s Laureus Award. Only a short time later, he already sent some video proof from the airport just before his return flight to Hawaii. A few hours after the interview, the first video links popped up in an email sent by Garrett McNamara himself. A wave as high as a house swallows the big wave surfer, and finally spits him back out. That’s lucky for us, since McNamara is now one of many thrilling athletes to join our special project with IWC Schaffhausen and Laureus to support the ‘Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’.
The former big wave surfer McNamara and race car driver Maro Engel are the first two protagonists that we are introducing and who talk about their impressive careers and commitment to sports.
Garrett McNamara – Laureus Sport for Good Ambassador
Garrett ‘GMAC‘ McNamara was born in 1967 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He spent most of his childhood surfing in Hawaii, however. Garrett and his younger brother Liam were some tough guys well known to fearlessly face the huge waves. And yet he once admitted to being afraid of horses. In 2011, he surfed a 24-metre wave in Nazaré, Portugal – the biggest wave recorded that was ever surfed. In 2007, he was the first one ever to ride glacier waves, which are caused by breaking glaciers of ice in Alaska. Since 2017, McNamara has been an ambassador of the ‘Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’.
Maro Engel – Laureus Sport for Good Ambassador
Maro Engel was born in Munich in 1985, but raised in Monte Carlo. There, he went to school with Nico Rosberg, whose father was primarily responsible for his first motorsport experiences – because Keke Rosberg convinced Engel’s father to buy him a go-kart for his sixth birthday. Hence, his career first started in kart sports before switching to Formula racing in 2001, where he was third in the BMW German Formula Juniors. In 2008, Maro Engel switched to DTM racing. In 2015, he won the FIA GT World Cup in Macau. Since 2017, he has supported Laureus with the social initiative ‘Passion for Good’ from Mercedes-AMG, where 1 euro is donated to ‘Laureus Sport for Good’ for every kilometer raced by all of the Performance teams in the GT3 racing series.
Within the next couple of days, we will present to you some more exciting athletes and their personal stories. It’s worth checking the site regularly. In the meantime, feel free to make your contribution by donating to: www.laureus.de/foundation/spenden
Fabian Cancellara – Laureus World Sports Academy Member
Fabian Cancellara was born in 1981 in Wohlen near Bern and is a former Swiss cycling professional. He won the time trial in the World Championship in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 and holds a world record in this discipline. In 2008, he won the Olympic time trial gold medal in Beijing. As a child, he preferred playing football and even started an apprenticeship as electrician. Only at the age of 17, Cancellara time trial cycling skills began to blossom. He finished his professional career in 2016 during the Olympic games in Rio, winning his second time trial gold metal. Meanwhile, he calls himself a „very busy pensioner“ and has become Laureus Academy Member in 2016.
Sean Fitzpatrick – Chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy
Sean Fitzpatrick was born in Auckland in 1963, and is considered to be one of the best rugby players from New Zealand, having played for the famous All Blacks. For the Rugby World Cup in 1987, he was only a substitute. But when the former captain Andy Dalton had to drop out due to injury, Fitzpatrick got into the game. He was so strong, that he eventually replaced Dalton. He is the Chairman of the ‘Laureus World Sports Academy’ that consists of 69 athletes.
Fredi Bobic – Laureus Sport for Good Ambassador
Fredi Bobic was born in 1971 in the former republic of Yugoslavia and is a former professional footballer. A few month after his birth, his parents emigrate with him to Germany. Bobic grows up in Stuttgart and starts playing football for the youth team of VfB Stuttgart in 1980. After a few more stops playing for different teams in the Oberliga and 2nd Bundesliga, he returns to VfB Stuttgart in 1994 to play for their professional team in the 1st Bundesliga. One of his most memorable moments in his career remains his first Bundesliga game. Bobic is substituted in minute 60 at a score of 1:1. In minute 89, it is him who scores the winning goal. Currently, the former striker is member of the board of Eintracht Frankfurt. Since 2012, he serves as Laureus ambassador.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
Everything is under the banner of the ‘Laureus World Sports Awards’, which were established by Daimler AG and Richemont Group in 1999. Laureus’ main partners are the two brands Mercedes-Benz and IWC Schaffhausen, which belong to their respective concerns. They assume the financial responsibility for all administration fees, as well as the annual award, that is watched by several million people that helps to call attention to the organisation. Exclusively due to the financial support of the founding groups, all donations can go entirely into the projects. Hence, the partners founded a charitable company: the ‘Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’. On top of that, it supports the foundation with an annual sum of one million euros, that go into sports projects.
The fundamental vision of the ‘Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’ is to provide underprivileged children and young people worldwide with better future prospects through sports projects of all kinds. Like Nelson Mandela, the first Laureus patron already said in 2000: “Sports have the power to unite people and can create hope, where once there was only despair”. The support of the Laureus Sport for Good is based on the Funder+ model: Laureus not only supports the funded projects financially, but – similar to a social investor – with exchange, transfer of knowledge, consulting and access to a wide network.
Since 2005, IWC has supported programs of the ‘Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’ with the annual launch of a new limited-edition watch. The special models with the ‘Laureus-blue’ dial are based on collections such as Portugieser, Portofino, Ingenieur, Pilot’s Watch and Da Vinci. The winning motif from the drawing contest – organised by IWC and Laureus organize every year – is engraved on the case back of each edition.
Depending upon the model, the exclusivity ranges from 250 to 1.500 pieces, and they are available at IWC boutiques and official partners worldwide. They can also be purchased on IWC’s online shop since 2018. The special editions have been extremely sought after over the years – we know of two collectors who own every edition from 2006 to 2019.