GAINESVILLE, FL — Verizon Wireless, operator of the nation's largest and most reliable wireless network, announced today that it has become the official wireless carrier for the University of Florida Athletic Association.
Verizon Wireless will officially kick off the exclusive sponsorship with a visit from its iconic Test Man TV character to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (The Swamp) in Gainesville on September 19, when the defending national champion Gators football team takes on Southeastern Conference rival the Tennessee Volunteers.
Test Man is based on teams of real-life Verizon Wireless technicians who span Florida and travel across the country to ensure the company has the most reliable wireless network. He and the University of Florida "Dazzlers" will greet fans and pose for photos in the Verizon Wireless "SideLines" sports and entertainment café in the pre-game GatorZone area adjacent to the stadium Later, inside The Swamp during the game's halftime break, Test Man and "The Verizon Wireless Network" team will make a special on-field appearance.
The game day activities highlight the multi-million-dollar sponsorship -- which is a component of the Verizon Wireless purchase of Alltel Wireless earlier in the year -- that gives Verizon Wireless exclusive signage in The Swamp and other Gators sports venues. Other sponsorship elements include broadcast rights, special events, charity partnerships, appearances by coaches and numerous other partnership opportunities.
UF football coach Urban Meyer already has filmed public service announcements (PSAs) to help support HopeLine, the Verizon Wireless program to raise awareness and prevent domestic violence.
"It's an exciting opportunity to team up with the defending national football champs and so many other elite Gator men's and women's sports teams," said Pam Tope, Florida region president for Verizon Wireless. "We're proud to bring the top wireless company, network and services to the top college sports program in the country."
In addition to the sponsorship and marketing components of the agreement, Meyer and other coaches will be using the industry-leading Verizon Wireless network and numerous state-of-the-art technologies to give the Gators an edge over their opponents.
Verizon Wireless features the most advanced 3G high-speed wireless network (EV-DO Rev. A), which allows customers to enjoy clearer call reception and faster speeds when sending text or multimedia messages. This advanced network also complements the latest wireless services, such as V CAST; VZ Navigator(SM), a location-based service offering maps, audible driving directions, traffic updates and more; and the newest, most reliable Push To Talk technology. Also, the company's Mobile Broadband data service allows wireless access to e-mail and calendars, the Internet and other information, with average download speeds of 600 kilobits per second (kbps) to 1.4 megabits per second and average upload speeds of 500-800 kbps.
To keep this Florida network fine tuned, Verizon Wireless has a large team of real-life Test Men here who travel 100,000 miles across the state each year in a fleet of high-tech vehicles.
Verizon Wireless has invested $2 billion in its Florida network enhancements since the company was formed in 2000.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving 87.7 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 87,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.