MINNETONKA, Minn. (Nov. 18, 2011) – UnitedHealthcare will serve as the title sponsor of Momentum Sports Group, LLC’s professional cycling team for three additional years, beginning in 2012.
UnitedHealthcare has been the cycling team’s title sponsor for the past two years, and the team’s riders have served as UnitedHealthcare’s health and wellness ambassadors to local communities including schools, children’s hospitals and YMCAs across the nation.
“We love racing under the UnitedHealthcare banner and traveling around the country talking about the health benefits of exercise and proper nutrition,” said Jake Keough, a member of the pro cycling team. “Winning races is very important to our team, but just as important for us is having a positive impact on the lives of young people.”
One of the community organizations team members visited earlier this year was the North Community YMCA Youth & Teen Enrichment Center in Minneapolis where they talked with youths about the importance of exercise, nutrition, goal-setting and cycling safety. The team also invited the kids to join them as special guests for the Nature Valley Grand Prix race, which was held June 17 in Minneapolis.
“This was the second year in a row that members of the UnitedHealthcare pro cycling team visited our Y, and our kids really enjoyed learning from nationally competitive cyclists how cycling, eating the right foods, staying active and setting goals helped them in becoming professional athletes. These visits also exposed the kids to the possibility of a career in pro cycling,” said Alicia D. Johnson, program executive of North Community YMCA Youth & Teen Enrichment Center.
The pro cyclists also visited this year with children at the Athens Regional Hospital in Georgia.
“We enjoyed having the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team visit us this past spring. It really helped brighten the day of our young patients,” said Mike Pilcher, associate director of corporate communications, Athens Regional Hospital. “The guys on the team were very compassionate, and the kids enjoyed talking to them about racing and everything else under the sun.”
In total, the pro cycling team made more than 30 appearances at local hospitals, schools and community events in 2011. The team also helps raise money for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit public charity that provides medical grants to children in need.
“Partnering with Momentum Sports Group provides us with a number of opportunities that go well beyond promoting the benefits of exercise and cycling,” said Jeff Alter, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual. “When not racing, this team is engaging communities and their youth in educational discussions and activities that will develop healthy habits early in a person’s development.”
“We are thrilled to team up again with UnitedHealthcare. UnitedHealthcare has been incredibly supportive, and we have been able to build a true long-term partnership that benefits everyone involved – the community, the fans, and the sport overall,” said Greg Raifman, chairman and CEO, Momentum Sports Group.
In 2012, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will compete in the National Criterium Calendar along with various International Cycling Union sanctioned events. In 2011, the pro cycling team was among the most successful in North America, winning 21 races and finishing in the top three 60 times.
Pro cycling is a fast-growing sport in the United States that reaches millions of fans nationwide with stage races such as the Amgen Tour of California, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado and Minnesota’s Nature Valley Grand Prix.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.
About Momentum Sports Group, LLC
Based in Oakland, California, the Momentum Sports Group, LLC is an organization dedicated to the growth and management of sports and entertainment assets worldwide. Momentum Sports Group owns and operates one of the most successful professional cycling teams in the sport, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. Fans can follow the team at www.uhcprocycling.com, http://twitter.com/UHCprocycling, and http://facebook.com/UHCprocycling.
About UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation
The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity that strives to enhance either the clinical condition or quality of life of children who have health care needs not fully covered by their commercial health benefit plan. UHCCF provides medical grants of up to $5,000 for costs associated with medical services and equipment. UHCCF’s funding is provided by contributions from individuals, corporations and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) employees. Donations to help provide assistance are deeply appreciated. To apply, donate or learn more, please visit www.uhccf.org.