Verizon Joins USA Track & Field as Official Telecommunications Sponsor

INDIANAPOLIS - Verizon Communications has signed a multi-year contract with USA Track & Field to be its official telecommunications sponsor, USATF announced today. The agreement includes major title sponsorships and the television broadcast of the USA vs. THE WORLD competition at the Penn Relays this weekend.

''We are pleased to add a distinguished company such as Verizon to our list of blue-chip sponsors,'' said USATF CEO Craig Masback. ''We look forward to a long and productive relationship with our newest sponsor, Verizon.''

''As the nation's leader in telecommunications services, Verizon is proud to be associated with the leading track and field organization in the world,'' said Bruce Gordon, Verizon president for Retail Markets. ''This sponsorship reflects Verizon's commitment to support the communities where our customers live and work. Through our sponsorship with USA Track & Field, we are working to develop the sport of track and field among athletes of all ages.''

Verizon will be the title sponsor for the USA vs. THE WORLD television broadcast at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia and the Millrose Games in New York City in February. Verizon also will support USATF's elite Golden Spike Tour series of events and the U.S. National Team, while working with USATF to develop groundbreaking Youth and Junior programs under the umbrella of the Verizon Youth Series (VYS).

The new Verizon Youth Series will include major USATF Youth Championship events. Verizon also will name a Verizon All-American Team, which will include the top eight finishers in each event at Junior Nationals, and at each VYS meet, the top boy and girl athletes will be named Verizon Outstanding Athlete of the Meet.

With the USATF contract, which runs through 2004, Verizon joins Nike, adidas, GMC Envoy, Pontiac Grand Prix, Xerox and SoBe Sports System as a major corporate sponsor of USATF and its programs. Verizon is the second major corporate partner signed by USATF since the 2000 Olympic Games. USATF introduced SoBe Sports System to the USATF family last November. USATF also has extended relationships with Visa, Xerox and General Motors.

USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. With nearly 70,000 members nationwide, USATF includes 57 Associations around the country and 2,500 local clubs. USATF sanctions more than 4,000 track and field, running and race walking events each year. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org

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 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.