Top-Tier Sponsors Ramp Up for August Professional Cycling Race
Salt Lake City, UT – A dozen top-tier sponsors have been confirmed for the 2012 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, August 7-12, prompting plans for an expanded 2013 event. Wasatch Front Subaru Dealers have recently increased their sponsorship investment of the international cycling event, currently held across six cities in northern Utah, by extending their agreement for an additional two years. Along with a commitment from title sponsor Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, organizers of the Tour of Utah have started developing the new route for 2013, with tentative talks to include southern Utah communities for the first time.
“The Tour of Utah continues to draw not only the best athletes from the world of professional road cycling, but it also attracts a fantastic group of who’s who from corporate America. With this continued support, we have formed an exploratory committee to look at expanding the geographic reach of the event to southern Utah. We’ve had a staggering amount of interest from race fans to move south, as well as our corporate partners. We will know more after our race next month,” said Steve Miller, president of the Tour of Utah.
The title sponsor for the event for a fifth consecutive year is Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. The Utah-based company, now with 80 businesses and properties primarily in the western United States, retains the naming rights for the event. The company name has been incorporated in the new brand identity for the Tour of Utah, created by TWIO Brand in January. In addition, the naming rights for the prestigious yellow jersey worn by the overall top athlete (rider with lowest cumulative time) will continue for a second year as the Larry H. Miller Dealerships leader’s jersey.
Wasatch Front Subaru Dealers, which participated in 2011, have confirmed a two-year deal with the Tour for 2012 and 2013. Subaru will serve as the Official Vehicle of the Tour of Utah, providing more than 80 vehicles during race week for race officials, communications support, teams and medical staff. All Subaru owners will have access to special parking at all host venues of the Tour. The Wasatch Front Subaru Dealers will provide free test rides at Miller Motorsports Park on Wednesday, August 8 for race fans at the track. Each dealer will be giving away a VIP Tour of Utah package that includes two hospitality passes for the week and a photo opportunity with one of the professional teams during the KJZZ 14 Team Presentation ceremonies on August 6 in Ogden. Subaru will also return as the sponsor of the Subaru Best Young Rider award jersey. This jersey is presented each day to the rider, under the age of 25, with the lowest cumulative time.
The Utah Sports Commission, which has been an official Tour partner each year, will have branding on all award jerseys. The Utah Sports Commission has increased its support for the Tour of Utah in 2012. The mission of the Utah Sports Commission is to help enhance Utah’s economy, image and quality of life through the attraction, promotion and development of national and international sports. For the Tour, the Sports Commission will assist with event promotion and volunteer coordination. The Tour relies on 2,000 volunteers for the week-long event.
“We have a diverse number of summer and winter sports which take advantage of the tremendous man-made venues in Utah to make this a year-round sports destination. The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah showcases the natural landscape beauty and landscape of Utah. It allows the public to see another side of Utah. It’s a nice juxtaposition to be able to maximize what nature has made, not just what man has made,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.
One of the longest-running sponsorships for the Tour continues with Zions Bank, a Founding Partner and the official bank of the Tour. With over 100 full-service branch locations across Utah, Zions Bank will be one of the main distribution points for the Tour of Utah Map Guide, a fold-out, full-color brochure to help spectators enjoy the six-day race and festival activities in each host community. Zions Bank will receive co-branding on the Map Guide and signage at each finish line during race week. The overall start of the race, Tuesday, August 7 in Ogden, will reflect the continued partnership with naming rights – Stage One presented by Zions Bank.
XO Communications has expanded its partnership with the Tour in 2012. As one of the nation’s largest communications service providers of advanced VoIP, Internet, managed network, and hosted IT solutions, XO Communications is the Official Internet Provider for the Tour and the presenting sponsor of Stage Two on August 8 of race week. This stage is the Team Time Trial at Miller Motorsports Park, which is the first TTT in the United States for a UCI-rated event since 2008. For a second year XO Communications serves as the right’s holder for the Sprint award jersey, honoring the fastest cyclist who has the most sprint points for each day’s competition. The XO Communications Sprint award jersey will feature a new purple palette, which is part of the company’s new brand campaign that launched in April.
The Utah Office of Tourism, an agency of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development and a Tour partner, will feature its “Life Elevated®” brand statement on both sleeves of all award jerseys. In partnership with the tourism agency, Ski Utah will receive branding with all King of the Mountains summits along the race route. The distinctive snowflakes for Ski Utah are incorporated into the design of the Ski Utah King of the Mountains award jersey, promoting “The Greatest Snow on Earth®”. In addition, the Ski Utah Yeti inflatable mascot will be used race week with social media and for mobile signage at some of the big climbs on the course.
Miller Lite joined the Tour of Utah as a sponsor in 2011 and has ramped up its activation with two consumer promotions to spotlight the Miller Lite Punch Top Can. Both promotions will be co-branded as Miller Lite/Miller64. Aligning with Fresh Market, an Associated Food Stores brand in Utah, Miller Lite/Miller 64 will allow sports fans to register to win two VIP Experience packages on the final day of the race, Sunday, August 12, in Park City, Utah. In addition, Miller Lite/Miller 64 will offer a new NeilPryde Alize road bicycle, and Tour merchandise, for a consumer contest in five cities across northern Utah. Cycling fans can register for the NeilPryde bicycle and other prizes online, as well as at select Maverik stores where special Tour of Utah point of sale materials are on display through mid August.
Adobe Systems Inc. continues its partnership of the Tour as a stage sponsor and as the presenting sponsor of Tour Tracker®. The California-based software technology company has its digital marketing unit based in Lehi, where it plans to open a new 280,000-square-foot facility at the end of the year. Near this facility is the start line on Friday, August 10 for Stage Four presented by Adobe, which at 131 miles is the longest stage of the race. Tour Tracker® presented by Adobe provides start-to-finish coverage of the Tour of Utah on the official Tour web site and using mobile applications (iPad, iPhone, Android). In addition to live broadcast video, Tour Tracker® presented by Adobe also offers real-time race data (speed, slope, elevation, GPS location), as well as commentary, social media feeds and speed, slope and elevation data, commentary and social media feeds.
The University of Utah Health Care continues as a top-tier sponsor for the Tour of Utah. The August 9 stage from Ogden to Salt Lake City is Stage Three presented by University of Utah Health Care. The Salt Lake City hospital system will also provide medical support for the full week of the Tour. The medical team serves not only the needs of athletes, but also officials, volunteers, staff, and spectators throughout the six-day event. University of Utah Health Care is the No. 1 health care system in the Salt Lake City metro area, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2011-2012 Best Hospitals rankings. As part of that system, University Hospitals & Clinics rely on more than 1,100 board-certified physicians who staff four University hospitals, community clinics, and specialty centers.
Exergy Development Group has stepped up its sponsorship in 2012 to include recognition of the Most Aggressive Rider award jersey. One of the largest independent renewable energy companies in the United States, Exergy Development Group will recognize the athlete who demonstrates a courageous performance during each day’s contest. Exergy Development Group has also committed to be the presenting sponsor of Stage Five, the “Queen Stage” of the race that is contested between Newpark Town Center in Park City and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. Exergy Development Group also sponsors a UCI Continental men’s cycling team, Team Exergy, which will race for the first time in Utah.
As one of the largest well-being companies in Utah, UnitedHealthcare has a large presence in Utah and has been involved with the race for five years. UnitedHealthcare will receive naming rights to the final stage of race week, Stage Six presented by UnitedHealthcare. The company is the title sponsor of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, which features 2008 Tour of Utah champion Jeff Louder. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.
Kühl Clothing, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the official apparel supplier for the Tour through 2013. This outdoor lifestyle clothing company will provide new designs using innovative fabrics for Tour staff shirts and jackets. The Kühl Parashirt is a lightweight wind and water resistant jacket made out of a rip stop material. The other is a new polo made with Coffeena fabric. This poly blend utilizes recycled coffee grounds to enhance evaporative cooling and provide UV protection.
The 2012 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah showcases 17 professional teams, including seven teams from the Tour de France, which will compete over 545 miles of racing in six consecutive days this August. This year’s overall start will be in Ogden and other host venues include Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, downtown Salt Lake City, Park City, University of Utah Research Park in Salt Lake City and Utah County. The event continues to be free to all spectators, making professional cycling one of the most unique pro sports in the world today. More information about the Tour, pro teams, Experience Packages, Ultimate Challenge and Tour partners can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com. Updates are also provided on Facebook (Tour of Utah) and Twitter (@thetourofutah).