Name: Ceramiche Ragno

The area around Sassulo in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy underwent a boom in tile-making in the post-war period when the industry expanded dramatically as new technology enabled new colours to be used in mass production. This soon made Italy the largest producer of ceramic tiles in the world. One of the 200 companies which sprung up was Ceramiche Ragno SpA, incorporated in Modena in 1950. As the industry grew, the imporance of brand-building became clear and Ragno decided in 1981 to embark on a Formula 1 sponsorship in order to gain international profile. The company chose the Arrows team and was the team's major sponsor for two seasons. The company then went back to exploiting the sponsorship building up a network of four production plants, 800 employees and a global distribution network which meant that it climbed to be the third biggest tile company in Italy and the eighth biggest in the world. In 1989 it was taken over by rival firm Marazzi which now markets both its own brand and Ragno.