AEG, Health Net Announce Cycling Team's AdditionFounding Partner Health Net Will Also Present Free-to-the-Public Lifestyle Festival at the Finish Line in Each Host City
LOS ANGELES, January 4, 2007 – The Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis will again be one of the professional cycling teams racing in the Amgen Tour of California, it was announced by Health Net of California and AEG, presenters of the 8-day, 650-mile road race. Health Net also will return as one of the event’s "founding partners," which will include sponsorship of the Amgen Tour of California Lifestyle Festival presented by Health Net.
The Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis has won the National Racing Calendar team title every year since 2004. Based in Oakland, Calif., the team stepped up to UCI Continental Professional status and made its first foray into European racing in 2006. International victories in 2006 included overall wins at the Tour of Taiwan and New Zealand’s Tour of Wellington, and a stage win at Australia’s Herald Sun Tour. The 2007 team will be led by crowd favorite Nathan O’Neill (AUS), who finished 5th overall in the 2006 Amgen Tour of California. He will be joined by newcomers Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) and Rory Sutherland (AUS), as the team races for the overall title in 2007.
As a founding partner of the Amgen Tour of California, Health Net will present the daily Lifestyle Festival, as well as be the overall sponsor of Stage 6, in which the peleton races from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita on February 24.
“Health Net is committed to helping people live healthy lives,” said Stephen Lynch, president, Health Net of California. “Sponsoring the Lifestyle Festival helps attendees get valuable information that helps them make healthy decisions.”
The Lifestyle Festival presented by Health Net is an interactive eight-day, free-to-the-public “festival” that will travel with the internationally sanctioned professional cycling stage race. Located near the finish line of each daily stage, the festival will feature race-day activities such as health screenings, cancer awareness education, bicycle stunt shows, live music, sweepstakes drawings, family activities and interactive displays and presentations featuring more than 40 participating companies.
The festival will also give the public an opportunity to explore the lifestyle of cycling while awaiting the peleton. A big-screen TV featuring live coverage of the race will help keep spectators apprised of the exciting race action. Fans also will be able to watch the explosive sprint to the finish and the awards ceremony where jerseys will be presented to the day's top riders and overall race leader.
“The Amgen Tour of California Lifestyle Festival presented by Health Net is a vital component of the overall race-day experience that brings cycling culture alive in the communities the race will visit,” said Shawn Hunter, president of AEG Sports. “With its focus on important messages like bike safety and healthy living, the festival gives us an opportunity to share a positive experience with the fans and communities that have come together to support the cyclists.”
The Lifestyle Festival presented by Health Net will offer a unique experience each day, showcasing the local flavor of each of the eight finish cities. Visitors will be able to:
- Get physical with health and fitness tests at the Health & Fitness Expo
- Be part of Amgen and The Wellness Community's Breakaway from CancerTM initiative, raising awareness and funds to support the millions of people affected by cancer and benefiting The Wellness Community and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
- Collect freebies from Amgen Tour of California sponsors and participating companies
- Enjoy family fun with little ones inside the Kid's Zone
- Check out the Demo Area action with special performers like BMX stunt riders and local entertainers
- Learn bicycle safety, check your ride at the bike valet and enjoy great bargains on gear, gadgets and more in the Cycling Center
- Pick up cool race merchandise and a commemorative program in the Amgen Tour of California Race Central Pavilion
- Stay connected with fellow fans and the day's race with live coverage on the big screen TV near the finish line
Schedule for the 2007 Amgen Tour of California Lifestyle Festival presented by Health Net:
Sunday, Feb. 18, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, 12-5 p.m.
San Francisco (Prologue Start/Finish) San Luis Obispo (Stage 4 Finish)
Monday, Feb. 19, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Santa Rosa (Stage 1 Finish) Solvang (Stage 5 Time Trial)
Tuesday, Feb. 20, 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Sacramento (Stage 2 Finish) Santa Clarita (Stage 6 Finish)
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 12-4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25 , 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
San José (Stage 3 Finish) Long Beach (Stage 7 Criterium)
For information about getting involved with the Lifestyle Festival presented by Health Net, please contact Marc Entin, at 213-742-7187 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Amgen Tour of California, which will be broadcast nightly on VERSUS, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
ABOUT HEALTH NET
Health Net of California, a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT), is one of the largest health plans in California, serving nearly 2.3 million members statewide. It contracts with more than 51,000 physicians, 300 hospitals and 4,600 pharmacies, giving its members greater choice and more convenient access to care. Its commercial, HMO, POS and Medicare lines of business have received the “Excellent” accreditation status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. For more information about Health Net, visit www.healthnet.com.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center, The Home Depot Center, Toyota Park, Toyota Sports Center, Anaheim Convention Center Arena, El Rey Theatre, Colosseum at Caesars Palace, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie and NOKIA Theatre Times Square; sports franchises including the Los Angeles Kings (NHL), Los Angeles Riptide (MLL), four Major League Soccer franchises, two hockey franchises operated in Europe, management of privately held shares of the Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Los Angeles Sparks (WNBA), the ING Bay to Breakers foot race and the Amgen Tour of California cycling road race; AEG LIVE, the organization’s live-entertainment division, is a collection of companies dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performance, touring and a variety of programming and multi-media production. Additionally, the company has begun fully developing London’s 28-acre Millennium Dome which includes a 23,000-seat arena, the O2 and over 650,000sf of leisure and entertainment use within the ‘Dome’ and additional arenas; The O2 World on a 45-acre site in the heart of Berlin; Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California; Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri; as well as Red Bull Park, a soccer stadium in Harrison, New Jersey; and L.A. Live, a $2.5 billion sports and entertainment district in downtown Los Angeles. For more information, visit AEG today at www.aegworldwide.com