Bell Atlantic to Sponsor Atlantic 10 Sports in '98-'99

Bell Atlantic to Sponsor Atlantic 10 Sports in '98-'99

March 17, 1998

Media contacts:

Michael Kornfeld


Atlantic 10 Conference to serve as title sponsor of the Atlantic 10
championship events for 21 sports in the conference during the
1998-1999 academic year.

Bell Atlantic's partnership will support more than 20 men's and
women's athletic teams from each Atlantic 10 university: Dayton,
Duquesne, Fordham, George Washington, La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode
Island, St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph's, Temple, Virginia Tech and
Xavier. Bell Atlantic will have brand visibility at the universities
during the regular season for football and men's basketball, and it
will sponsor Atlantic 10 championship events for sports including
tennis, track and field, soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball and

"Bell Atlantic's home service area closely mirrors that of the
Atlantic 10 Conference, making for a very strategic, grassroots
opportunity to enhance customer recognition of our brand name," said
Pat Hennebry, director of sponsorships at Bell Atlantic. "Sponsoring
the Atlantic 10 Conference will enable us to communicate about and
showcase our products and services in the region our company serves."

"We are pleased to have Bell Atlantic join our corporate family," said
Linda Bruno, commissioner of the Atlantic 10 Conference. "This is the
first time a corporate sponsor has stepped to the plate to support all
of our championships. This partnership will enable the Atlantic 10 to
enhance the championship experience for our student-athletes. We look
forward to a long and successful relationship."

The Atlantic 10 Conference has gained recent attention as a growing
powerhouse, having sent five teams to the NCAA men's basketball
tournament during each of the last two years. Of note are the
successes of St. Joseph's University, which advanced to the Sweet 16
in its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1997, the University of
Massachusetts' Final Four appearance in 1996 and the University of
Rhode Island's Sweet 16 appearance this year. Success in each of the
championship sports also has been a hallmark of the Atlantic 10
Conference. Last year, 27 teams and 17 individuals earned berths to
post-season competition.

The sponsorship also affords Bell Atlantic an opportunity to reinforce
its commitment to educational initiatives through the Atlantic 10's
"Adopt-A-School" community outreach program.

Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -
is at the forefront of the new communications and information
industry. With 40.5 million telephone access lines and six million
wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier
providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders
in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's
largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with
operations and investments in 21 countries.