SOURCE: Barclays Global Investors

February 05, 2007 09:30 ET

iShares® Becomes First Presenting Sponsor of Cirque du Soleil® U.S. Touring Shows

Highly Acclaimed Brands Align to Present Cirque's Celebrated Artistry in National Tour

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 5, 2007 -- Barclays Global Investors (BGI) announced today that it signed an agreement for iShares® to become the first-ever presenting sponsor of the U.S. Touring Shows of Cirque du Soleil. The two-year partnership agreement features the troupe's iconic "Big Top" performances held under its famous blue and yellow "Grand Chapiteau" tent.

"We were attracted to Cirque du Soleil because it is a highly regarded, unique and creative company that we feel matches well with the innovative iShares Exchange Traded Funds we offer investors," said Lee Kranefuss, CEO of iShares at Barclays Global Investors. "iShares has revolutionized the investment landscape, becoming the world's largest family of exchange traded funds, while Cirque has revolutionized their own category, creating one of the world's most admired brands."

Added Mario D'Amico, Vice President, Marketing at Cirque du Soleil, "Cirque du Soleil welcomes iShares as the presenting sponsor of our 2007-08 U.S. Tour. As we travel around the country presenting engaging and energetic shows, we will reach many of the forward-thinking investors and financial advisors that iShares serves."

The 2007-08 Cirque du Soleil U.S. Tour -- comprised of two shows -- will visit 20 markets and is expected to reach nearly 3 million people. The Big Top shows, which take place in each market for an average of 50 individual shows over 5-6 weeks, reaches eight major markets this year, with the iShares sponsorship kicking off this Friday, February 9, in Dallas. Other markets in 2007 include Houston, Denver and Los Angeles, with an additional 12 major markets planned for 2008, including stops in New York, Chicago and Boston.

Yesterday Cirque du Soleil performed to their largest audience to date in the pre-game show of Super Bowl XLI. The game was broadcasted to an estimated one billion viewers in more than 230 countries and territories.

Promotional activities for the U.S. Tour will include onsite branding and messaging, as well as exposure in co-branded advertising support across all markets and mediums. Financial terms of agreement were not disclosed.

Tickets are available at or at 1-800-678-5440.

Cirque du Soleil: From a group of twenty street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment, with over 3,000 employees from over 40 different countries, including 900 artists.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to close to 60 million spectators in over 100 cities on four continents. In 2007, Cirque du Soleil will present 14 shows simultaneously throughout the world. Cirque du Soleil has received such prestigious awards as the Emmy, Drama Desk, Bambi, ACE, Gémeaux, Félix, and Rose d'Or de Montreux. Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters are in Montreal, Canada. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit

The iShares Exchange Traded Funds are index funds that are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares Funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account.

Barclays Global Investors (BGI) is one of the world's largest asset managers(1) providing structured investment strategies such as risk-controlled active strategies and indexing. In the US, BGI is one of the largest active managers(2), set apart by its risk-controlled approach. BGI manages assets on behalf of 65 of the world's 100 largest pension plans(3) and is the leader in assets and products in exchange traded funds (ETFs) through its iShares® brand with more than 180 ETFs globally. The firm managed over $1.7 trillion in assets as of September 30, 2006, for more than 2,800 clients in 52 countries around the world. BGI is a majority-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC.

Carefully consider the iShares Funds' investment objectives, risk factors and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Funds' prospectuses, which may be obtained by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or by visiting Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

There are risks involved with investing, including possible loss of principal.

The iShares Funds ("Funds") are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. (SEI). Barclays Global Fund Advisors (BGFA) serves as an advisor to the Funds. Barclays Global Investors Services (BGIS) assists in the marketing of the Funds. BGFA and BGIS are subsidiaries of Barclays Global Investors, N.A., which is a majority-owned subsidiary of Barclays Bank PLC, none of which is affiliated with SEI.

© 2007 Barclays Global Investors. All rights reserved. iShares® is a registered trademark of Barclays Global Investors, N.A. All other trademarks, servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

(1) Source: "P&I/Watson Wyatt World 500," Pensions & Investments, September 4, 2006.

(2) Source: "Special Reports: Money Manager Directory," Pensions & Investments, May 29, 2006.

(3) Source: "P&I/Watson Wyatt World 300: Largest Pension Funds," Pensions & Investments, September 18, 2006.