While some may think that sponsoring the Iditarod Trail sled dog race, ran annually in Alaska, might be a job better left to outerwear providers like North Face or dog food companies like Alpo, Allworx (News - Alert) is looking to step in and is offering not only a Team Dog sponsorship, but something just about as valuable, if somewhat unexpected.
Allworx is a Windstream (News - Alert) company, and it has announced that it would not only be offering sponsorship in the 41st annual running of the Iditarod Trail sled dog race, but it would also be offering a phone system that will be used during the race. Having the phone system in place will not only allow for communications from the race's traditional start point in Anchorage, but also provide communications systems at each of the race's 24 different checkpoints, as well as the finish line in Nome.
By way of background, the Iditarod race features 66 different racers--mushers, as they're known--and sends those mushers and their teams of 12 to 16 dogs over about 1,000 miles of trails and harsh terrain to reach Nome from Anchorage. Interestingly, it wasn't so long ago that Allworx ran--and won--a somewhat similar race of its own, taking home the Best of Show award at ITEXPO East for its Allworx Reach product.
Allworx Reach is a virtualized handset that's geared to work on mobile devices, allowing Allworx functionality to go with users just about anywhere they can take their devices.
Since Allworx's target market is small to medium sized businesses, it's got plenty of capacity to handle what amounts to a network of under 30 users, specifically, the 24 checkpoints plus the start and finish, assuming those are counted separately from the checkpoints.
Additionally, there's a certain cachet involved in being the communications system of the Iditarod; it speaks to a level of durability and ruggedness that most users will never actually need from a mobile phone system, but having it on hand is certainly a shot at peace of mind. Especially in environments that get a lot of cold, rain, or wind, having a phone system that can stand up to the Iditarod is a bit of overkill, but in the right direction.
Allworx's decision to sponsor the Iditarod may be a surprising one, but it's also quite astute in its way. Not only does it have recent awards of its own to show thanks to its performance at ITEXPO (News - Alert) East, but it also has the kind of perception that can only come from being a major part of the infrastructure of a particularly grueling sports event. Allworx should be able to make plenty of capital from this move, and use it to effectively get more interest in its line of offerings.
Edited by Ashley Caputo