COMMITS TO SEC WITH THE FIRST-EVER CONFERENCE-WIDE WOMEN'S
SPORTS TELEVISION SPONSORSHIP 10/31/01
Ala. (Oct. 29, 2001) -- In an unprecedented move, WorldspanŽ
will become the official presenting television sponsor of
Southeastern Conference (SEC) women's athletic events on FOX
Sports Net South for the 2001-2002 academic year, as announced
today by the SEC.
marks the first-ever, conference-wide women's sports television
sponsorship in the history of intercollegiate athletics. Worldspan,
a leading provider of technology for travel agents, suppliers,
and Internet travel companies, is in its second year as a
member of the SEC Corporate Partner Program, which has been
sold, administered and marketed by Host Communications, Inc.
(HOST) since 1989. This television "first" is a significant
extension to Worldspan's existing relationship with the League,
as the Atlanta-based company continues to raise its profile
among businesses, universities, and communities across the
southeastern United States.
is proud to take a national leadership position in the support
of Women's Athletics in the SEC," said Paul J. Blackney, Worldspan's
president and CEO. "Worldspan has strong beliefs on diversity
issues, and this sponsorship aligns perfectly with our supportive
position for women - not only on the athletic field, but also
in the world of technology and commerce. It is an honor to
be affiliated with these fine student-athletes. We know they
will use the leadership skills and dedication honed in SEC
competition when they move forward to leadership positions
in our communities."
Worldspan identity will be featured on all women's events
televised as part of the SEC-TV package distributed by FOX
Sports Net South, Sunshine Network and FOX Sports Net Southwest.
The programming schedule includes both regular-season and
conference championship events in soccer, volleyball, basketball,
gymnastics, softball, golf, tennis, track and field and swimming
and diving. Worldspan also will present a regular women's
athletics feature on SEC-TV Weekly, seen Thursday evenings
at 6:30 p.m. ET. Worldspan's on-air presence will begin with
the November 1 edition of SEC-TV Weekly.
SEC, which sponsors 11 women's sports, captured national championships
in swimming and golf last season and posted three additional
national runner-up finishes in gymnastics, indoor track and
tennis. Since 1990, the league has won 35 NCAA women's team
titles, with 185 individual national champions and 1,543 All-Americas.
Southeastern Conference and its member institutions salute
and thank Worldspan for its vision and leadership in supporting
women's athletics," Commissioner Roy Kramer said. "This historical
commitment is unprecedented and further enhances our women's
has made significant strides in the area of sports sponsorship
since first entering the arena in spring of 2000. They've
only just begun to understand the value and benefits of this
type of partnership, particularly with the SEC, which has
such a tremendous following," said HOST President and COO
Marc Kidd. "It was rewarding to work with Worldspan on this
additional venture to help them achieve the right value and
vehicle to match the company's goals and objectives."
Worldspan provides global electronic distribution of travel
information, Internet products and connectivity, and electronic
commerce capabilities for travel agencies, travel service
providers and corporations worldwide. The company's three
lines of business are travel supplier services, e-commerce,
and global distribution systems for the worldwide travel industry.
The Worldspan reservations system provides nearly 21,000 travel
agencies and other users worldwide with travel data and booking
capabilities for hundreds of the world's leading travel supplier
services. Worldspan is the market leader in e-commerce for
the travel industry, processing more than 50 percent of all
online travel agency bookings. The company maintains world
headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Worldspan is owned by affiliates
of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL), Northwest Airlines (Nasdaq:
NWAC) and TWA Airlines LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of American
Airlines, Inc. Additional information is available at www.worldspan.com.
The Southeastern Conference was formed in 1933 and consists
of 12 member institutions: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida,
Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South
Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The league currently sanctions
championship play in nine men's sports and 11 women's sports.
Its headquarters has been located in Birmingham, Ala., since
HOST is the centerpiece subsidiary of Bull Run Corporation
(Nasdaq: BULL). Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2002,
HOST is a multi-faceted corporation, with more than 20 U.S.
offices and an international division in Paris, France. HOST
provides comprehensive sales, marketing, multimedia, special
event and convention/hospitality services to domestic and
international grassroots sports and lifestyle events, NCAA
Division I universities and conferences and national/global
associations. HOST's well-known, 26-year marketing relationship
with the NCAA now extends through 2013 via an 11-year agreement
with CBS Sports.