|View printer-friendly version|
|Tour of Missouri Pro Cycling Race Announces Partnership with Build-A-Bear Workshop® and Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation|
Race Promotes Cycling for Kids Through World-Class Event
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (July 9, 2007) --St. Louis-based Build-A-Bear Workshop® is announced as the first major corporate partner for the pro-cycling Tour of Missouri, a 600-mile professional race, being staged from Kansas City to St. Louis, September 11-16, 2007. The race will be held for the first time in Missouri and will host racers from some of the most elite professional cycling teams in the US and internationally.
Build-A-Bear Workshop will participate in several ways with a unique presence during the six-day event. Each day, the young athlete who places highest in the overall standings will be awarded a specially-branded Build-A-Bear Workshop Best Young Rider jersey (see artwork attached).
Much like the plush lion that is given to daily stage winners at the Tour de France, Build-A-Bear Workshop also created a personalized Tour of Missouri bear-sized tee shirt and cycling kit (jersey, helmet, and shorts,) to gear up a special bear. The stuffed animal-sized jersey is a replica of the Best Young Rider jersey. Starting in mid-August, the bear-sized replica jerseys and cycling kits will be available for purchase at all 11 Build-A-Bear Workshop Missouri locations and online at www.buildabear.com, while quantities last. The winner of each race stage will receive a specially outfitted bear.
Another unique element to the partnership is the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation sponsorship of the fitness, bike safety and educational workbook (see artwork attached) to be distributed in late-August by the Missouri Department of Education—just in time for back-to school. Three hundred thousand of these booklets will be distributed to 3rd -5th grade students statewide in Missouri. The workbook provides teachers with lesson plans that incorporate bike safety, healthy lifestyles for kids, as well as geography, history and English lessons that integrate the family friendly sport of cycling, based on specific races in towns across the state of Missouri. For example, the workbook uses the tour's route map for geography and incorporates historical information from the countries of participating athletes.
Trailnet, an organization that promotes Active Living in St. Louis through bicycle and pedestrian activities to improve the health of individuals, communities and the environment, will receive a donation from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Bear Hugs Foundation of $.50 for each bear-sized Tour of Missouri tee shirt sold and $1.00 from each cycling kit sold to benefit bike safety education and outreach.
Build-A-Bear Workshop Chief Executive Bear Maxine Clark believes supporting the Tour of Missouri helps kids in a number of ways. “You don't have to be the fastest, tallest or strongest kid in the neighborhood to have fun riding your bike. Almost everyone has fond childhood memories of their first bike—similar to those for their first teddy bear. We are thrilled to help further this great family sport and the fitness benefits that cycling provides,” said Maxine Clark.
“This event is being embraced by Missouri-based companies,” said Lt. Governor Peter Kinder. “Build-A-Bear Workshop is the first of a number of Missouri companies that have stepped forward to sponsor this premier cycling race. We applaud their vision and as always, they are showing tremendous creativity in their approach to help support this world-class event.”
Ben Jones, who is serving as the State's lead liaison for the event's fund-raising effort added, “We had this idea that started with the image of the lion being presented to the winner of each stage at the Tour de France. Why couldn't that be a custom Build-A-Bear Workshop animal? After all, a bear is the official animal for the state of Missouri. “
About Tour of Missouri
The race is sanctioned by the UCI, the international governing body for cycling, and USA Cycling, the national governing body for cycling. It is ranked as a 2.1, second in ranking to only the Tour de Georgia and Amgen Tour of California in North American cycling. The event's management group is Medalist Sports of Tyrone, Ga., the organizers of both the California and Georgia races. KOM Sports Marketing of Colorado Springs, Colo., is the event's marketing agency.
About Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.