FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Steve Legerski
(216) 619-7223 x 14

Nineteen sponsors announced, including BP, Build-a-Bear, Crocker Park, Clear Choice, Cuyahoga County and Red Bull

CLEVELAND, May 16, 2006 – The 2006 Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank is still more than a month away, but it is already shaping up to be a big year for the event. On the heels of announcing a new ownership group that is bringing a secure future and fresh approach to the popular Northeast Ohio tradition, the Grand Prix of Cleveland announced today that it has already secured sponsorship commitments with nineteen sponsors for 2006, which means that the event is off to its best sponsorship sales start in years.

In addition to four sponsors that were previously announced – U.S. Bank, Bridgestone, Sherwin-Williams and Budweiser, the Grand Prix of Cleveland has inked sponsorship deals with BP, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Clear Choice Vision Center, Cleveland Coca- Cola, Cleveland Plain Dealer, ComDoc, Cuyahoga County, Crocker Park, Grand Prix Charities, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Korbel Champagne, Metro Health Hospital, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Ohio Technical College, and Red Bull.

“We are proud to welcome this tremendous group of companies to the Grand Prix of Cleveland family,” said Rena Shanaman, Managing Director of the Grand Prix of Cleveland presented by U.S. Bank. “The support of the local business community is vital to the success of our event, so we are delighted that these great partners have stepped up to sponsor the Grand Prix of Cleveland.”

BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through 13,000 retail outlets and supplies more than four billion gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck manufacturers, railroads and utilities. BP has been marketing fuel in Ohio for over 100 years. Today, BP markets almost 1 billion gallons of gasoline every year to consumers in Ohio through 750 retail outlets. One third of that volume comes from the Cleveland market. Cleveland and all of Ohio, continue to be key markets for BP. The Grand Prix of Cleveland represented a great opportunity for first-time sponsor BP to become involved in a major automotive-related event in the area.

BP, which has been named the Official Fuel of the Grand Prix of Cleveland, will use the sponsorship to educate the public and promote the high quality of their Amoco fuels using the “Amoco Ultimate Fuel Experience”, a traveling educational exhibit that will be featured at the Grand Prix.

Returning as a sponsor of the Cleveland Grand Prix for the third consecutive year, the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners is renewing its pledge to revitalize the county’s economy through such sponsorship. As Cleveland’s largest annual event, the Grand Prix has again qualified for the funding through the County’s “Destination Cleveland Fund”, a fund based on effectiveness in attracting visitors to Cuyahoga County and generating a significant economic impact to the region. The Grand Prix of Cleveland is estimated to generate $25 – 30 million in direct and indirect benefits to the area.

Stated Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, President of the Board of County Commissioners, “The Grand Prix of Cleveland has evolved into a Cuyahoga County tradition. Racing is one of the fastest growing spectator sports in America, and we are proud, once again, to be one of the sponsors of this exciting weekend event. Local and national racing fans anticipate the Grand Prix of Cleveland every year, and we sincerely welcome them back! Start your engines!”

Red Bull has agreed to sponsor the Grand Prix of Cleveland and will be the Official Energy Drink of the Grand Prix. In addition to traditional sponsorship elements, Red Bull will activate its sponsorship through a number of exciting promotions designed to appeal to the company’s active target audience.

Red Bull will host the Red Bull TNT Freestyle Motocross Show on Saturday and Sunday of race weekend, featuring freestyle motocross pioneers and X Games competitors Tommy “Tom Cat” Clowers and Jeff “Full Tilt” Tilton performing tricks over an 80-foot gap between two Red Bull freestyle ramps. The Red Bull Air Force will also perform on Saturday and Sunday, which will give fans a chance to see the nation’s premier aerobatic exhibition team perform paragliding, hang gliding, skydiving, and base jumping with a mix of finesse and style.

Crocker Park will be the Official Lifestyles Mall of the Grand Prix of Cleveland as part of a sponsorship deal with the event. The recently introduced Lifestyles Mall is part of the Stark Enterprises organization which operates several malls in the Cleveland area, with an important new property being planned in downtown Cleveland. The sponsorship includes several unique promotional activities that will benefit both organizations, including a Fan Fest in early June and Crocker Park hosting a semi-final round of the Miss Grand Prix of Cleveland contest.

Build-a-Bear is an interactive, entertainment retailer of customized stuffed animals that will be bringing its mobile marketing workshop to the Grand Prix of Cleveland. At a special display area located in the Family Fun Zone at the Grand Prix, race fans will be able to create their own custom stuffed animals using Build-a-Bear’s unique bear-making stations. At the Grand Prix of Cleveland, fans will also have the opportunity to purchase collectable “25th anniversary” t-shirts for their bears commemorating the event’s silver anniversary.

Clear Choice Custom Vision Centers is one of the largest locally owned LASIK vision correction centers in the Midwest. With its headquarters in Brecksville, General Manager Bill Schneider believes it is very important to participate and support such local events as the Grand Prix of Cleveland. As part of its sponsorship program, Clear Choice will conduct an “Improved Viewing” promotion, where fans will register to win top row reserved grandstand seats at the Grand Prix.

BP, Build-a-Bear, Crocker Park, Cuyahoga County, Red Bull, Clear Choice Custom Vision Centers and all of the nineteen new sponsors are part of not only one of the most successful sponsorship sales seasons for the Grand Prix of Cleveland, but also an important time for the event. This year’s Grand Prix of Cleveland marks the dawning of a new era, with new ownership, fan-friendly improvements, and renewed support from the business community, all of which promise to help the Grand Prix of Cleveland reach new heights in its 25th year.

Tickets for the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank are available by phone at 216-241-5555; online at or in person at Ticketmaster locations including all Kaufmann's and select Giant Eagle stores. Corporate sponsorship, hospitality or group sales are available by calling the Grand Prix of Cleveland office at 216.619.RACE (7223) or toll-free 888.817.RACE.

For more information on the Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank contact the event’s downtown business office at (216) 619-RACE (7223) or visit