Verizon Selects IMG to Handle Wide Portfolio of Sponsorship Affiliations

NEW YORK - Verizon has selected New York-based IMG Consulting, the corporate advisory practice of IMG, to handle all aspects of the company's sponsorship requirements.

IMG's duties will include management of the daily functions of each sponsorship property, promotion, scheduling of activities and acting as the liaison between the company and its sponsorship organizations.

The selection of IMG Consulting was made after an extensive search and review of incumbent and new agencies. The appointment will consolidate Verizon's sponsorship-related responsibilities and replace a host of other sponsorship agencies that have handled various aspects of Verizon's sponsorship portfolio. Verizon will begin working with IMG starting today, and will work with current agencies during a transition period. This is the first time IMG Consulting, part of IMG, the world's largest sports and lifestyle management and marketing company, is representing Verizon.

Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

"Consolidating our holdings into one agency creates efficiencies both in our cost structure and in work processes," said Jody Bilney, Verizon senior vice president for Brand Management and Marketing Communications. "And like other agency moves we have made, this consolidation provides for better stewardship of the Verizon brand name."

Verizon's sponsorship properties include music, such as the Verizon Music Festival; sports, including the USA Luge Association, the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Foundation, and USA Track & Field; properties, such as the Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid, N.Y., and media sponsorships, such as the Verizon Classic and individual and university athletics.

"Verizon has tremendous reach, influence and impact in sports, cultural and lifestyle-related sponsorships, and we are very enthusiastic about working with the company to expand its options and opportunities," said Andy Pierce, the IMG senior international vice president who heads IMG Consulting.

IMG will work closely with Verizon advertising agencies to create maximum awareness of the company's sponsorship properties.

Verizon Communications

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 132.1 million access line equivalents and 29.4 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 247,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.

IMG Consulting

IMG Consulting, now its 25th year, develops global strategic partnerships with major corporations to assist in creating, executing and managing worldwide brand and consumer-driven sports, events and entertainment marketing programs. IMG, founded by Mark H. McCormack in the early 1960s, is the world's premier sports management and marketing agency, with an international staff of more than 2,500 in more than 80 offices in 32 countries. Its television division, TWI, is the largest independent distributor and producer of televised sports and annually produces and distributes 6,000 hours of original programming in over 240 sports to more than 200 countries. Other IMG divisions include licensing, literary, classical music, models and celebrity representation.