Siemens inks sponsorship deal with Disney Jerry W. Jackson | Sentinel Staff Writer Posted November 8, 2005, 10:36 AM EST Walt Disney Co. has signed a 12-year marketing agreement with technology giant Siemens AG that includes rights for Siemens to sponsor a number of attractions at Walt Disney World in Orlando. Siemens will have its brand on the Epcot icon, "SpaceShip Earth," the nighttime Epcot fireworks show, "Illuminations: Reflections of Earth," as well as new attractions that will be incorporated into Innoventions both at Epcot and at Disneyland Resort, the companies said today. The Sylvania lighting division of Siemens will sponsor Disney-MGM Studio's holiday light show -- "Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights," as well as "Disney's Electrical Parade" and "Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams" at Disneyland Resort in California. Disney already uses a range of Siemens technologies, but the agreement expands the relationship and paves the way for the two companies to broaden their technological collaboration across several platforms, Disney officials said. "Our extended and strengthened relationship with Siemens is a perfect fit as we implement new forms of technology," Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement. Embracing new technology is a "key strategic priority" at Disney, Iger said, because it "drives growth for the entire company," The dollar value and other details of the agreement were not announced. Siemens AG, based in Munich, Germany, is one of the largest global electronics and engineering companies with worldwide sales of $91.5 billion in fiscal 2004. Founded more than 150 years ago, the company is a leader in the areas of medical, power, automation and control, transportation, information and communications, lighting, building technologies, water technologies and services and home appliances. With its U.S. corporate headquarters in New York City, Siemens in the United States has sales of $16.6 billion and employs 70,000 people in 50 states and Puerto Rico. Eleven of Siemens' worldwide businesses are based in the United States. With its global headquarters in Munich, Siemens AG and its subsidiaries employ 430,000 people in 192 countries. Siemens employed about 3,600 people in Orlando last year, making it one of the top employers in Central Florida and the fourth largest technology employer. Walt Disney World employs 56,800 in the Orlando area, including 38,500 full-time workers, by far the leading employer in the region and thought to be the largest single site employer in the nation. AT&T sponsored Epcot's SpaceShip Earth ride from the time it opened in 1982 until 2003, giving no official explanation at the time for why it was not renewing the longtime marketing agreement. The ride inside the huge geodesic dome is a popular slow-moving ride in which guests are transported through the history of communications, from animatronic cave people drawing on walls to the latest high-tech gadgetry. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights has been at Disney-MGM Studios since 1995, but got its start with humble beginnings on a private home in Arkansas years earlier. The Jennings Osborne family in Arkansas began decorating its 22,000-square foot home nearly 20 years ago, gaining national attention as the display of lights and decorations grew and grew through the years. Finally it got so elaborate it had to find a larger setting and Disney added it to the backlot at Disney-MGM Studios, where it has drawn huge crowds.