Oct. 25, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio – One of the greatest rivalries in sports will soon have an official name and an official game logo. The Ohio State University Athletics Department and the University of Michigan Athletic Department today announced they are finalizing details on an agreement with the SBC family of companies to sponsor the SBC Michigan-Ohio State Classic. Once the agreement is finalized, it will extend the telecommunications company’s existing relationship with each school while providing additional funds to help support other varsity sports. The sponsorship is expected to begin with the 101st meeting between the two football teams, Nov. 20, 2004, in Columbus and extend through the game next year in Ann Arbor.
The SBC Michigan-Ohio State Classic is expected to model the longstanding SBC sponsorship of the annual SBC Red River Shootout – the rivalry football game between Texas and Oklahoma within Big 12 Conference play.
“The Ohio State Athletics Department is excited to extend our existing relationship with SBC companies with a program that provides support to the University campus wide,” said Ohio State Director of Athletics Andy Geiger. “Once this agreement is finalized, this rivalry’s sponsorship will result in new scholarship revenue for student-athletes in all 36 sports, support for the Ohio State Library campaign as well as a special housing grant to Campus Partners and the University’s South Campus Gateway Redevelopment Project thanks to the SBC companies.”
“The planned SBC sponsorship of the SBC Michigan-Ohio State Classic is an innovative way for us to work with a trusted partner to enhance the game and our athletic programs,” said Bill Martin, director of Intercollegiate Athletics, University of Michigan.
“We are excited that we are finalizing details to be a part of the SBC Michigan-Ohio State Classic,” said Joe Walkoviak, president and CEO, SBC Midwest. “SBC companies are committed to education and to the traditions that enrich our communities, and no single game is bigger in Michigan or Ohio than the annual November clash between the Wolverines and Buckeyes.”
This rivalry showcases two football programs with legendary winning traditions, combining for 18 national championships and 70 Big Ten Conference football titles. They have produced nine Heisman Trophy winners and 102 first round draft picks.
The SBC Michigan-Ohio State Classic also will expand the communications company’s roster of college sponsorships, including the SBC Cotton Bowl Classic, the SBC Red River Shootout, and relationships with 13 Division I athletic programs.
SBC Communications Inc. is a Fortune 50 company whose subsidiaries, operating under the SBC brand, provide a full range of voice, data, networking, e-business, directory publishing and advertising, and related services to businesses, consumers and other telecommunications providers. SBC holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which serves more than 25 million wireless customers. SBC companies provide high-speed DSL Internet access lines to more American consumers than any other provider and are among the nation’s leading providers of Internet services. SBC companies also now offer satellite TV service. Additional information about SBC and SBC products and services is available at www.sbc.com.