TAMPA, Fla. - Verizon today announced it would be a sponsor for the 2004 PGA Champion's Tour event in Tampa, with the understanding that one or more additional partners will be required to make the tournament possible.
While the company will continue its involvement in the event one more year, the 2003 Verizon Classic, which begins today, is the last year Verizon will be the title sponsor.
"This presents an opportunity for another sponsor to join us and help continue this tournament," said John Ferrell, president - operations, southeast region, Verizon. "The Classic has tremendous equity and with the additional year provided by Verizon's support, it is time for one or more sponsors to step forward and capitalize on that equity."
"Verizon's commitment to the Champion's Tour event is for 2004 only," said David Porter, tournament director, Pro Link Sports. "In 2005, the tournament will need to find one or more new partners to replace Verizon."
Financial terms of the sponsorship were not disclosed. Verizon will work with Pro Link, the tournament's local board and PGA officials to enlist additional sponsors for 2004 and future years.
"We've been pleased to contribute to the success of this tournament and appreciate the support the local community, volunteers, golfers and the Senior PGA have provided to us through the years," said Ferrell.
The PGA Tour's decision to guarantee that the event would give no less than its five-year average amount to charity each year strengthens the situation for new sponsors next year and beyond that. Through the years, the tournament has raised nearly $5 million for local charities, according to Ferrell.
"The community, particularly that portion working to improve literacy in our region, has benefited from the funds raised by this tournament through the years," said Alan Ciamporcero, president - public policy and external affairs, southeast region, Verizon. "With the PGA's decision to ensure that support, future sponsors can associate their brand with a powerful and positive force for local charitable works."
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to 33 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.