Initial Sponsors Announced for 2009 Tour of Missouri
Impressive Line-Up of Missouri Companies Backs Elite Pro Cycling Race
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. − (January 27, 2009) − Today officials with the 2009 Tour of Missouri, an elite professional cycling race, announced an impressive list of returning sponsors for the seven day, 600+ mile event, taking place September 7-13, 2009. Two of the four named sponsors have supported the event since it's debut in 2007, and two are returning for the second consecutive year.
"It is a testament to the success of this event, as well as to the value it brings to sponsors, to name these outstanding Missouri companies and entities which are renewing their support for the Tour," said Lt. Governor Peter Kinder. "Since the inaugural race in 2007, this event has consistently delivered a positive economic impact to Missouri, and invaluable recognition throughout the state, country and the world to our sponsors."
The first firm to back the race in 2007, Edward Jones returns for the third year. The financial services firm effectively bridges its mission of "Making Sense of Investing" to "Making Sense of Cycling." A key component of the company’s sponsorship is on educational materials, including the official map guide and informational brochures.
"Edward Jones believes in physical and financial fitness. Edward "Ted" Jones was such a strong supporter of cycling that he purchased the Katy Trail and gave it to the people of Missouri. This was Ted's way of fostering fitness and appreciation for the outdoors. "Our sponsorship of the Tour of Missouri is another way to demonstrate the firm's dedication to health, the outdoors and the spirit of competition," says Mike Esser, principal of the firm.
Also returning for the third year, is Drury Hotels, the official hotel of the Tour of Missouri. The company’s invaluable support is activated in a number of ways, including billboards along major interstate highways as well as lodging for teams and support staff.
"Drury Hotels is proud to welcome cycling enthusiasts back for the 2009 Tour of Missouri. There are many outstanding reasons to visit Missouri, but none that wrap the entire breadth and depth of our state's geography, history and culture in one truly world-class athletic event," explains Eric Strand, vice resident of sales and marketing for Drury Hotels. "Over 30 of the 130 Drury family owned-and-operated hotels are located in our home state of Missouri. We take particular pride in the Tour making its first visit to the Boot Heel area of the state where the Drury brothers built their first hotel over 40 years ago."
Returning for the second year is Emerson. Emerson has set the bar for local community outreach, using its sponsorship of the Tour as a platform for promoting health and wellness.
Bob Cox, senior vice president, administration for Emerson, said: "Emerson sponsored the Tour last year to support the communities where we have major operations that were involved in the Race (St. Louis and Lebanon). We are pleased to return as a sponsor for the 2009 Tour."
Headquartered in Jefferson City, Missouri Farm Bureau is pleased to continue its support for the second year. "Missouri Farm Bureau is excited to once again be a gold level sponsor of the Tour of Missouri, a showcase of the special place that Missouri truly is," notes Jim Perch, marketing resources director, Missouri Farm Bureau. "As an organization whose over 106,000 member families span every part of the state, we think our sponsorship of the Tour of Missouri is a great way to highlight Missouri agriculture, and remind everyone of the programs, products, and services that the Missouri Farm Bureau Family of Companies provides to people across our state."
Last year Missouri Farm Bureau introduced the Tour of Missouri Spirit Award, delivering a whole new level of recognition to the race. The Tour of Missouri Spirit Award, sponsored by Missouri Farm Bureau, recognizes communities for their participation in the Tour of Missouri. The Spirit Award involves a competition for host cities as well as communities along the tour route. Spirit Award winners receive community grants and are eligible for commemorative tour memorabilia.
"Through the incredible support of our sponsors, and of course, the State of Missouri, the Tour of Missouri continues to attract top, elite professional athletes from around the world, as well as thousands of visitors and fans," said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of event organizer Medalist Sports of Atlanta, Georgia. "The prestigious nature of this race is illustrated by its upgrade by the Union Cycliste Internationale, the international governing body of the sport of cycling, from last year’s 2.1 to this year’s 'above category' (2.Hors Category) ranking."
Sponsorship, hospitality and VIP packages are now available for the 2009 Tour. For more information visit www.tourofmissouri.com or contact King of the Mountain Sports Marketing at
or (719) 272-7022 for sponsorship avails and Virginia Kavanaugh at Medalist Sports at
or (770) 631-1239.