United Community Banks Becomes Major Sponsor of Tour de Georgia and 'Race to Defeat Cancer'

Oct 25, 2006
United Community Banks Becomes Major Sponsor of Tour de Georgia and 'Race to Defeat Cancer' Third-Largest Georgia-Based Bank Signs for Two Years as Founding Partner of America's Premier Cycling Event

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga., Oct 25, 2006 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- United Community Banks, Inc. (Nasdaq: UCBI) has signed on as a two-year major sponsor of America's premier cycling event, the Tour de Georgia. The bank's Founding Partner sponsorship includes ownership of the "King of the Mountain" presentation jersey and rights to consumer promotions across the Southeast.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20061024/CLTU116 )

The 2007 Tour de Georgia will be held April 16 - 22 and will again travel through Union County, the home of $6.5 billion-asset United Community Banks, and numerous other counties where the bank has a presence. Event organizer Medalist Sports, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), will announce the official route in early November.

Tour de Georgia benefits the Georgia Cancer Coalition, a not-for-profit dedicated to reducing cancer deaths by accelerating prevention, early detection, treatment and research. Since 2003, Tour de Georgia has raised more than $125,000 and boosted public awareness for the Coalition.

"Our customers and communities strongly support Tour de Georgia and the mission of the Georgia Cancer Coalition," said Jimmy Tallent, president and chief executive officer of United Community Banks. "We'll be there to welcome and cheer on the cyclists when they ride through our communities across the state."

Professional cyclists will compete for the United Community Banks King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey by collecting points at designated KOM locations, including the summit of Brasstown Bald Mountain. The rider with the most accumulated KOM points is awarded this jersey. United Community Banks will give spectators oversized, collectible "spirit-hands" for their use in encouraging cyclists along the challenging mountain roads.

"We've had wonderful support from all the communities the Tour has touched, and it's thanks to them and sponsors like United Community Bank that the Tour de Georgia has grown each year and was able to add an extra day to the schedule in 2007," said Craig Lesser, commissioner of GDEcD. "The bank's sponsorship and the Tour have a great synergy that will create a new dimension to the event's economic impact in the state."

GDEcD has been a Presenting Partner since the inaugural Tour de Georgia in 2003. The agency communicates the state's economic and tourism assets to Tour attendees, and works closely with Tour staff to align with business partners for sponsorship and hospitality.

"United Community Banks is an ideal example of a Georgia community leader that embraces the Tour de Georgia and becomes a true corporate partner," said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of Tyrone, Ga.-based Medalist Sports. "We will announce 2007 event details soon and begin activation right away with great partners like United Community Banks and the Georgia Department of Economic Development."

Last year's Tour de Georgia began in Augusta with 120 athletes on 15 teams representing 22 countries. These world-class cyclists raced over 600 miles throughout the north Georgia mountains and finished in Alpharetta. The event attracted more than 500,000 spectators and had a $26.2 million direct economic impact on Georgia.


Headquartered in Blairsville, Georgia, United Community Banks is the third-largest Georgia-based bank holding company. United Community Banks has assets of $6.5 billion and operates 26 community banks with 96 banking offices located throughout north Georgia, metro Atlanta, coastal Georgia, western North Carolina and east Tennessee. The company specializes in providing personalized community banking services to individuals and small- to mid-size businesses. United Community Banks also offers the convenience of 24-hour access through a network of ATMs, telephone and on-line banking. United Community Banks common stock is listed on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol UCBI. Additional information may be found at the company's web site at http://www.ucbi.com.


The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state's sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a location for film, video and music projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.


The Tour de Georgia is North America's premier, professional cycling event and rolling festival of community activities. The Tour was first held in 2003 and has become a spring tradition with a varying route of over 600 miles of racing. Over 2.3 million spectators have traveled to Georgia to watch the event in the past four years, and direct economic impact has totaled over $121 million. The event is sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI, 2.HC ranking), and USA Cycling, Inc. (USA Cycling Pro Tour Calendar), making the event one of the top stage races for elite athletes around the world. Two of the past four winners have also won the Tour de France, including 2004 champion Lance Armstrong. The Tour's official beneficiary is the Georgia Cancer Coalition (GCC). The Tour de Georgia is owned by the Georgia Partnership for Economic Development (GPED) and is managed by Medalist Sports (http://www.medalistsports.com). Route information, merchandise and sponsor information will soon be available at the official website, http://www.tourdegeorgia.com.

SOURCE United Community Banks, Inc.

Craig Metz, EVP of Marketing, of United Community Banks, Inc., +1-706-745-2151,
x2411, or craig_metz@ucbi.com