Verizon Supports United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation in Its Drive for Gold

NEW YORK -- Verizon Communications has signed a five-year agreement with the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USBSF) to be the group's exclusive telecommunications sponsor.

The sponsorship begins with the upcoming 2001-2002 World Cup season and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. The agreement makes Verizon the largest sponsor of the USBSF.

In the sports of bobsled and skeleton, the objective is to guide a sled down an icy track in the fastest time. In bobsled, men compete in both two- and four-man sleds, while women compete solely in teams of two. Teams and sleds reach speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. Men's bobsled has been an Olympic sport since 1924; women's bobsled will debut at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Skeleton, a sport in which a single athlete slides down a traditional bobsled track headfirst on a sled, will return to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games after a 54-year hiatus. Skeleton was an event at the 1928 and 1948 Olympic Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

"Verizon is proud to support U.S. bobsled and skeleton athletes as they go for gold on the World Cup tour, the World Championships and Winter Olympic Games," said Pat Hennebry, Verizon director of sponsorships. "We've had a long and successful partnership with the U.S. Luge Team that has been a boost to both the team and the company. We hope this new sponsorship will help create the same kind of awareness and recognition for the Verizon brand name."

Bobsled and skeleton athletes are in their final stages of preparation for the upcoming 2001-2002 World Cup season and the rapidly approaching 2002 Winter Olympic Games. During the 2000-2001 season, U.S. women's bobsled and men's skeleton athletes finished first in the world. Women's skeleton ranked second in the world, and men's bobsled had its best season in years.

"With Verizon on our team, U.S. bobsled and skeleton athletes' chances for gold have never been better," said James Morris, president of USBSF. "Today's agreement with Verizon marks one of the most significant events in the history of the USBSF."

As a premiere sponsor for USBSF, Verizon will receive sponsor rights for all USBSF events based in the U.S., including the National Championships, World Cup Bobsled and Skeleton events, the nationwide Summer Bobsled and Skeleton Recruitment Tour and many others.

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 125 million access line equivalents and more than 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with about 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.

Located in Lake Placid, N.Y., the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation is the non-profit, national governing body for the sports of bobsled and skeleton in the U.S.