Verizon, USF Athletics Form Long-Term Partnership

Verizon Communications has agreed to a three-year sponsorship of USF Athletics that will make the nationally recognized broadband company a premier corporate partner of the Bulls and afford Verizon exclusive sponsor status as a TV, Internet and telephone service provider.

The agreement - which was negotiated by ISP Sports, the exclusive multimedia rights holder of USF Sports - includes a two-year option that could make it a five-year deal.

"We are thrilled to enter into this exciting new partnership with Verizon which represents another big-time opportunity for USF Athletics and for the Bulls and Tampa Bay communities," said Doug Woolard, USF's director of athletics.  "This is the perfect time for these two exciting, emerging brands and programs to come together.  We expect to develop some exciting platforms related to the outstanding TV, Internet and phone services provided by Verizon and its FiOS service."

With the partnership, Verizon will feature its cutting edge fiber-optic FiOS technology in all USF athletic facilities and will enjoy extensive media positioning on the Bulls' radio network and official website (www.GoUSFBulls.com), at game privileges in both football and men's basketball, and naming rights of the "Verizon FiOS Courtside Cabana" hospitality area at all USF home basketball contests. 

Additionally Verizon is developing USF-based content on FiOS for Bulls fans to experience exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage in crystal-clear FiOS picture and sound.  Verizon and USF will also be linked in various promotional campaigns conducted by the company in the Tampa Bay market.

Finally, as USF continues to grow its fan base, the school will offer all FiOS customers who are not currently USF football season ticket holders a 25 percent season ticket discount for the 2010 season (more details will be available on this offer in the coming days).

 Michelle Robinson, Verizon's Southeast region president, said, "The progress USF athletics is making in Florida, in the Big East conference and across the country makes this an exciting opportunity for Verizon.  With FiOS, we offer the highest quality broadband experience for homes and businesses, just as USF has created ultra-competitive athletic programs, from football to soccer.  Together, we will create a Bulls stampede that leaves foes in the dust."  

(To view an interview with Michelle Robinson and Doug Woolard click here.)

Jason Capel, ISP assistant vice president and general manager of the USF ISP Sports Network, was equally excited with the new relationship for USF.  "We are extremely excited about this partnership," Capel said.  "Verizon is a strong national brand, and Verizon FiOS is a great product.  Over the course of the contract, people in the Tampa Bay area will see some unique promotions and access for customers of Verizon FiOS." 

Verizon's FiOS service is available to 1.1 million Florida households in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Sarasota and Manatee counties.

ISP is the country's largest and fastest growing collegiate multimedia rights holder, with partnerships involving more than 60 NCAA member institutions, conferences, bowl games and venues.  The ISP family of leading universities and conferences reaches into 34 states from the Northeast through the mid-Atlantic and Southeast, while extending across the Southwest and most of the West coast as well.  The company, which is based in Winston-Salem, NC, produces a variety of sponsorship opportunities and services for its partner schools and corporate clients, including publications, radio/TV networks, internet sites, game event promotions and stadium/arena signage.

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 93 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.