AEG and Union Bank of California Announce Amgen Tour of California SponsorshipFocusing on the Future of Cycling, San Francisco-Based Bank to Sponsor Best Young Rider Competition and Stage 2 of Inaugural Cycling Road Race
LOS ANGELES, February 2, 2006 - Union Bank of California (UB: NYSE), the fourth-largest commercial bank in California, and AEG today announced a sponsorship agreement that names Union Bank as a Founding Partner of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California (UCI 2.1), an internationally sanctioned professional cycling road race to be held throughout California February 19-26, 2006. Union Bank will be the presenting sponsor of the Best Young Rider competition as well as the presenting sponsor of Stage 2 from Martinez to San Jose.
In addition, Union Bank will extend its engagement with the community through its association with the race by making charitable donations to the Wellness Community and underwriting the math lessons in the race's attendant education curriculum.
Owned and operated by AEG, the race joins the cycling calendar as one of North America's most anticipated sports competitions for 2006. Modeled after the Tour de France, 16 of the world's best cycling teams will compete for eight days across 600 miles of scenic California roadway as the race makes its way from San Francisco to Redondo Beach, Calif.
As presenting sponsor of the Best Young Rider Competition, Union Bank will help identify the athletes who are likely to lead the next generation of international cycling champions. Similar to the Amgen overall race leader's jersey, the Union Bank jersey will be awarded to the top cyclist under 23 years old. The favorites in the competition for the Best Young Rider title are expected to come to the fore on the climb of Sierra Road near the end of Stage 2, which also is sponsored by Union Bank.
"By sponsoring the Best Young Rider competition, Union Bank is showing its commitment to ensuring the success and growth of American cycling," commented Shawn Hunter, president, AEG Sports. "With stage 2 expected to be a pivotal point in this competition, this certainly will be a day to watch."
As part of the event's overall effort to positively impact the community, Union Bank will donate approximately $45,000 over the eight-day race to the Wellness Community, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free emotional support, education and hope for people with cancer and their loved ones. The checks will be presented after each stage. The bank has contributed more than $100,000 to The Wellness Community over the last 10 years.
"We are pleased to be a founding sponsor of this prestigious event," said Union Bank's Chief Operating Officer Philip Flynn. "Cycling is one of the top participation sports in the United States and this race will be a wonderful opportunity to showcase California to a worldwide audience. I'm also personally pleased the bank is helping support the important work of The Wellness Community, which is a longtime partner of Union Bank."
Union Bank will also assist AEG, Amgen and other Founding Partners in supporting the education and well being of California's children by underwriting an educational curriculum to be distributed to schools in each of the race's host cities. Using cycling as a platform, the educational program includes valuable lessons in bike safety, history, geography, science and math that will help make students in grades 4-6 safer, smarter and healthier.
The bank has a long history of providing grants and scholarships for educational support through the Union Bank of California Foundation, which disbursed 822 grants for education in 2005 totaling more than $3 million.
For more information on the Amgen Tour of California, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.