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NEW YORK - Verizon, USA Luge's Founding Sponsor since 1985, has signed an eight-year extension with the organization. The 17-year relationship, one of the most enduring corporate sponsorships in any sport, will continue through the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Upon completion of the new agreement, Verizon will have completed 25 years as sponsor of USA Luge.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"Verizon's sponsorship of USA Luge goes way beyond on-course competition. Luge is a partner in our business," said Bruce Gordon, president of Verizon's Retail Markets group. "The entire USA Luge staff has helped to spread the Verizon brand to our customers, our employees and our communities. In the future, Verizon will look to expand our extensive schedule of athlete visits to schools, employee kick-off events, product demonstrations, summer programs, and more."
The partnership between Verizon and USA Luge has helped transform the team, its coaches and administrators into one of the most successful Winter Olympic national governing bodies in the U.S. USA Luge has captured more than 320 international medals over the last 15 seasons, and during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the American squad raced to silver and bronze medal finishes in the doubles' event. The results equaled the team's success four years earlier in Nagano, Japan, and the entire team's combined result placed USA Luge second among all nations, a best-ever for the whole program.
"We are extremely proud of what we've accomplished over the years, both on the ice and as a business entity," said Ron Rossi, USA Luge executive director. "Our sport's success is due, in large part, to Verizon's support of our athletes and teams. We have always approached our relationship with Verizon by developing ways to bring more value to the company. Their renewed commitment to us shows their faith in our focus and track record."
Verizon's commitment has also enabled USA Luge to develop a strong recruitment program through the Verizon-USA Luge Slider Search. Currently, more than 90 percent of USA Luge's Junior and Senior National Team athletes are graduates of the program. Additional programs, the Verizon Luge Challenge and the Verizon Win@School program, were each designed to give back to local communities.
The new agreement, under which Verizon will continue as the luge association's Premier Sponsor, gives Verizon full identification with the teams and title sponsorship rights for many U.S.-based luge events, including the Senior and Junior U.S. National Championships. Verizon will also receive sponsorship rights to three television race broadcasts annually.
For more information, log on to www.usaluge.org.
A Fortune 10 company, 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 136.6 million access line equivalents and 33.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third-largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 13.2 million long-distance lines, and the company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. With approximately $67 billion in annual revenues and 227,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.