June 15 - Allianz SE, one of the world's leading integrated financial services providers, has strengthened its support of the Paralympic Movement by upgrading its global partnership with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and agreeing six new partnerships with National Paralympic Committees in the run-up to London 2012.
After five years as Gold Patron of the IPC, Allianz has agreed a two year renewal which will see it being upgraded to become the organisation's first International Partner.
In addition, Allianz has become the National Supporter of six more National Paralympic Committees after signing up with Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ireland, Switzerland and Turkey.
This is in addition to the organisations' support of the German and Portuguese National Paralympic Committees and Joseph K. Gross, head of group market management at Allianz, stated that the company was proud to extend its involvement in the Paralympic Movement.
"Allianz sees Paralympic athletes as role models for true motivation and as the most credible personalities to give advice on managing personal crisis," said Gross.
"Athletes help us understand our customers' needs even better by seeing how sport helps people master their personal challenges."
As part of their Paralympic partnership, Allianz actively promotes the Paralympic Movement and aims to reduce social reservations towards impairment and sports.
A campaign run by the company titled "Believe in Yourself" encourages the public and staff members to identify with the inspiring achievements of Paralympic athletes, while seminars and talks for Allianz employees with Paralympic athletes are part of the successful sponsorship package.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven said: "For the past five years, the IPC and Allianz have grown together through a mutually beneficial partnership.
"They are an extremely active and loyal partner who continues to contribute towards the aims of the Paralympic Movement.
"We are delighted that they are extending their involvement with the IPC by becoming our first International Partner and also supporting eight National Paralympic Committees as a National Supporter."
Werner Zedelius, a member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE, added: "There is a strong link that ties Allianz to the Paralympics.
"The topics of health, rehabilitation and reintegration after a casualty are part of our daily business.
"Around 650 million people worldwide are living with a disability but disability is an issue not only for those directly affected as one in four Europeans has a family member with a disability.
"By extending your view on co-workers, neighbours and friends, you will find that disability is an issue that concerns all of us."
Allianz entered the partnership with the IPC as Gold Patron and with the German National Paralympic Committee as the official partner of the German team in 2006.
With this renewed engagement, the company has vowed to continue bringing the Paralympic Community forward and focus even more on the motivation and strength of the athletes.
The company is also one of the main sponsors of Munich's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, where they are facing rivals Annecy and Pyeongchang.
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