CHICAGO - The Chicago organizers of the 2006 Gay Games announced today that Ernst & Young LLP, one of the nation's largest professional services firms, has joined as a global bronze sponsor. The Gay Games, which run from 15- 22 July 2006, will feature 12,000 participants from more than 70 countries, competition in 30 sports, world-class athletes and artists, band and choral performances, a week-long arts festival, and spectacular opening and closing ceremonies. Tickets are now on sale to all events at Tickets.GayGamesChicago.org and at Hot Tix locations in Chicago.
Ernst & Young's sponsorship includes providing ticketing and collection services for 10 venues at the events, equal to more than 1,000 hours of professional services. Approximately 180 Ernst & Young employee volunteers will be trained to work in shifts during the week-long event. Ernst & Young has also sponsored suites at both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies which will take place at Soldier Field and Wrigley Field and has purchased an additional group block of tickets for both events. Ernst & Young is further demonstrating its support of the GLBT community and the Games themselves by encouraging its employees to volunteer or participate in the games.
"At Ernst & Young, we are dedicated to providing a culture of inclusiveness," said John Ferraro, Vice Chair-Client Services, Ernst & Young LLP. "Sponsoring the Gay Games underscores our commitment to a diverse workforce and a work environment that fosters respect for everyone."
"Gay Games VII is proud to have Ernst & Young, one of the largest professional services firms in the U.S., as a Global Sponsor," said Sam Coady, Gay Games Chicago Co-Chair. "Gay Games Chicago continues to build a roster of world class professional partners working to ensure a successful Gay Games VII. With the sponsorship, Ernst & Young also cements its reputation as a firm that values diversity among its work force." Ernst & Young was recently named by Diversity, Inc., as one of the "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" and is listed as one of the "Best Places to Work" by the Human Rights Campaign.
About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, is committed to restoring the public's trust in professional services firms and in the quality of financial reporting. Its 107,000 people in 140 countries pursue the highest levels of integrity, quality, and professionalism in providing a range of sophisticated services centered on our core competencies of auditing, accounting, tax, and transactions. Further information about Ernst & Young and its approach to a variety of business issues can be found at www.ey.com/perspectives. As used in this paragraph, Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited does not provide services to clients. Ernst & Young LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership, is the U.S. client-serving member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited.
About Gay Games VII
Gay Games VII Sports and Cultural Festival will take place 15-22 July 2006. Over 12,000 athletes from more than 70 countries will compete in 30 sports ranging from softball to dancesport, swimming to tennis. The weeklong event will include band, cheerleading and color guard performances, chorus, an ancillary arts festival, and a series of community-organized social events and parties. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 15 July at Soldier Field, the lakefront home stadium of American-style football's Chicago Bears. Closing ceremony will be 22 July at Wrigley Field, the home of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs, located in the heart of Chicago's largest LGBT neighborhood.
Global sponsors of Gay Games VII include Lexiva; Logo; PlanetOut/Gay.com; Walgreens; Centaur Entertainment; Fleishman Hillard International Communications; NBC 5 / WMAQ; Orbitz; McKnight Kurland Baccelli; The New York Times; Olivia Cruises & Resorts; Windy City Media Group; Absolut Vodka; American Airlines; Apogee Strategies; Athletico; Chicago Free Press; Chicago Sun-Times; Ernst & Young; GLAAD; Genre; Human Rights Campaign; Lambda Legal Defense; QTG-Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade; Sydney New Mardi Gras; Mate Magazine; Pink Magazine; QTG (Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade); RCN; and Roosevelt University. Gay Games VII has more than 300 total sponsors.
General registration for Gay Games VII has now closed. "Race-Only" registration for Marathon/Half-Marathon, Triathlon and Open Water Swim remains open to metro Chicago residents until 1 July 2006 at www.GayGamesChicago.org.
About The Gay Games
The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982 with 1,350 participants. Subsequent Gay Games have been held in San Francisco (1986; 3,500 participants), Vancouver (1990; 7,300 participants), New York (1994; 12,500 participants), Amsterdam (1998; 13,000 participants), and Sydney (2002; 11,000 participants).
The Federation of Gay Games is the international governing body that perpetuates the quadrennial Gay Games and promotes the event's founding principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best(tm). For more information, visit www.GayGames.org.
Chicago Games, Inc. is the host of Gay Games VII and is led by experienced civic leaders from Chicago's business, sports and non-profit sectors. For information about how to sponsor or participate in Gay Games VII in Chicago, visit www.GayGamesChicago.org, e-mail info@GayGamesChicago.org, or phone (773) 907-2006.