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U.S. Bank Returns as Presenting Sponsor for 2004 Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland; Bridgestone, Labatt Blue Also Renew Commitment to Annual Event


CLEVELAND, Apr 29, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Reaffirming a successful partnership that has blossomed over the last eight years, officials from the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland announced today that U.S. Bank will return to the annual Roar by the Shore summer event as presenting sponsor in 2004.

"We are extremely happy to be renewing our partnership with U.S. Bank," said Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland General Manager Rena Shanaman. "Over the years U.S. Bank has proven its commitment to both the City of Cleveland and the Grand Prix in its unwavering support. The event could not ask for a better partner as we work toward the 23rd running of this Cleveland summertime celebration."

The U.S. Bank Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland will be held at Burke Lakefront Airport July 1-3.

"This is the eighth year U.S. Bank has been a part of this world-class sporting event," said Kurt C. Treu, U.S. Bank president in Northeast Ohio. "We are revved up to be the presenting sponsor of the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland because it showcases our community to race fans across America and around the globe."

U.S. Bank will enhance its promotional partnership with the Grand Prix of Cleveland this year creating some exciting opportunities for U.S. Bank customers with special events and promotions featured in bank branch locations.

Grand Prix officials were also proud to announce today that the event has renewed a sponsorship agreement with one of the most respected companies in the automotive industry - Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. A longtime sponsor of the Grand Prix of Cleveland, Bridgestone, which is also the presenting sponsor of the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford again highlighting the competition at this year's race, will serve as an associate sponsor for the U.S. Bank Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland. As part of its sponsorship, Bridgestone will introduce an extensive retail store promotion in Ohio that will include a "free Thursday" Grand Prix ticket coupon for fans available at Bridgestone retail outlets.

"We're delighted that Bridgestone will play an expanded role in the Grand Prix of Cleveland, as an associate sponsor and official tire of the event," said Al Speyer, Executive Director of Bridgestone Motorsport. "This race is annually one of the most exciting on the Champ Car schedule, plus Cleveland is a very important market to us. There are a great number of loyal Bridgestone retailers in the region, not to mention more than 1,300 employees nearby at our Technical Center in Akron and credit card facility in Brook Park. The opportunity to sponsor the race as presenting sponsor of the Champ Car World Series and as official tire of the Grand Prix allows us to further showcase our success in motorsports to those deserving employees and associates, as well as the great racing fans of the Cleveland area."

Another well-established partner of the Grand Prix of Cleveland renewed its commitment to the event with today's announcement that Labatt Blue will return as the official beer of the 2004 race. Labatt will be entering its fifth year as a sponsor of the Roar by The Shore.

"This is a fantastic event for the city of Cleveland and Labatt Blue is proud to once again be the official beer sponsor of the Grand Prix of Cleveland," said Tim Jenzen, Labatt Field Marketing Manager. "Labatt Blue is dedicated to help make 2004 the best year yet for the Grand Prix."

After a popular debut at last year's Grand Prix of Cleveland, Labatt will once again be bringing the Labatt Outfitter mobile unit to this year's event. Local bands will perform live at the Outfitter in the midway area at the Burke Lakefront Airport, entertaining fans all weekend long.

"It's incredible to see the amount of support that the Grand Prix has generated from the local business community," added Shanaman. "Renewing a trusted partnership with U.S. Bank is certainly significant to this year's event and we're also very excited to welcome back Bridgestone and Labatt as well. All of these alliances are important because not only will all of these companies serve as official sponsors in their respective areas, but they will also work to promote the race in their local branches, retail stores and distributors. This type of support certainly demonstrates just how important the Grand Prix of Cleveland is with local businesses and the benefits and value they can enjoy by being associated with the event. We can expect to see more announcements in the coming weeks where other local companies will also be coming on board to reap these benefits."

Tickets are currently on sale for the 2004 U.S. Bank Presents the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland July 1-3 at Burke Lakefront Airport. Call 888-817-RACE for ticket information or visit the Galleria Box Office, located at 1301 East 9th Street in downtown Cleveland.

For more information visit the event's official website www.grandprixofcleveland.com.

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), with assets of $192 billion, is the 7th largest financial services holding company in the United States. The company operates 2,275 banking offices and 4,472 ATMs in 24 states and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp is home of the Five Star Service Guarantee which assures customers of certain key banking benefits and services or customers will be paid for their inconvenience. U.S. Bancorp is the parent company of U.S. Bank. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at usbank.com.

Nashville-based Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company. BFNT develops, manufactures, and markets Bridgestone, Firestone, Dayton and associate and private brand tires. The company is focused on wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off-road, agricultural and other tires to its customers in North America.


CONTACT:          Grand Prix of Cleveland
                  Steve Legerski, 216-436-3587
                  Merrill Cain, 586-630-1474

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