CHICAGO, IL — Verizon Wireless has entered into an exclusive, long-term, multi-million dollar major sponsorship agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls and the United Center. Blackhawks Owner/President Bill Wirtz said, "We're pleased that a highly recognizable company like Verizon Wireless has stepped forward to team with us." Similarly, Steve Schanwald, executive vice president, Business Operations for the Bulls, commented, "We are excited to partner with Verizon Wireless in an effort to build both of our recognizable brands in the Chicago area. Through our partnership, we hope to grow more Bulls fans, Verizon Wireless customers and have a positive impact on our Chicagoland community."
The sponsorship covers a three-year period: through the 2004-05 National Hockey League season and the 2004-05 National Basketball Association season. Major provisions for Verizon Wireless include:
- Having prominent signage throughout the United Center seating bowl and concourses and on the Madison Avenue marquee
- Being designated as the Official Wireless Telecommunications Provider of the Bulls, Blackhawks and the United Center
- Massive marketing promotions, such as Bulls' "Inflatabulls" in-arena races in which fans are randomly chosen to participate
- Being dominantly featured in team advertising, Web sites, signage, promotions, events and other Bulls and Blackhawks media
- Hosting HopeLineSM wireless phone drives at a Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls game in support of domestic violence awareness and prevention. Dates for these events are Wednesday, February 19, for the Bulls and Friday, April 4, for the Blackhawks
- Sponsoring Bulls charity events such as FestaBulls and donating 25 tickets per game to worthwhile Chicagoland charities
"We are delighted to be affiliated with the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks and United Center - among the biggest names in sports and entertainment in Chicago," said Tracy Nolan, president of Verizon Wireless' Illinois/Wisconsin Region. "These new sponsorships will give us exceptional visibility, reaching hundreds of thousands of potential customers each season."
About HopeLineSM Domestic Violence Program
Through its HopeLine program, Verizon Wireless focuses primarily on putting wireless products and services to work to combat domestic violence. Verizon Wireless dedicates resources to both the prevention of domestic violence and the life-rebuilding process. Verizon Wireless has collected more than 945,000 used wireless phones for the benefit of domestic violence victims and advocacy groups. Since the HopeLine phone-recycling program launched nationwide in October 2001, Verizon Wireless has collected more than 475,000 phones.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 31.5 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.
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