Apr. 5–ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s office announced Wednesday that
AT&T will be a "major sponsor" for this year’s Tour de Georgia bicycle race,
which has lacked a title sponsor since last June.
"We’re obviously thrilled to have AT&T Georgia join the ranks," said Chris
Aronhalt, the race’s executive director. "It’s a perfect fit."
Mr. Aronhalt said Cingular and BellSouth, both of which are part of AT&T, have
been sponsors of the event since it started five years ago.
He said AT&T has not signed on as a major sponsor for future races.
"Right now it’s just a oneyear commitment," Mr. Aronhalt said.
According to a statement from the governor’s office, AT&T will contribute
$500,000 for this year’s race, which is scheduled for April 16-22 and covers
about 667 miles.
"AT&T is committed to the state of Georgia and our communities," AT&T Georgia
President Sylvia Anderson said in a written statement. "I believe this event
will further showcase to the rest of the world our great state, our people and
State Sen. Jeff Mullis, RChickamauga, whose hometown will serve as the start of
one of the race’s stages, said he was "tickled to death" by the news.
"We’ve been discussing this with (AT&T) and other companies for a while," he said.
Three of the race’s seven stages will come through Northwest Georgia, and one
will end in Chattanooga.
The Ford Dealers Advertising Association of Georgia dropped out as the race’s
title sponsor last June.
The Georgia House of Representatives included $1 million for the race in its
version of the state’s 2007 midyear spending plan, but those funds were removed
by the state Senate.
An independent study found that the 2006 race contributed $26 million to the
Title: AT&T signs on for Tour de Georgia
Authors: Wilson, Matt
Source: Chattanooga Times/Free Press (TN); 04/05/2007