Lipton gears up

TEAm Lipton's 2005 world-class circuit showcases the power of tea.

Las Vegas, N.V. -- LIPTON Tea strengthened its commitment to health and vitality today announcing its title sponsorship of the 2005 TEAm LIPTON Pro Cycling and Triathlon team for a race schedule spanning more than 150 events in 28 states this March through October.

TEAm LIPTON is the only elite-level team of women road cyclists and triathletes in the US, one of the youngest squads in the women's professional cycling peloton and the World Cup triathlon circuit. In addition to the sponsorship, LIPTON will collaborate with the team during the summer to rally enthusiasm for the sport in 12 markets and TEAm LIPTON will encourage people to engage in recreational sports like cycling, swimming and hiking in their national and local parks, as a great way to enjoy the outdoors while increasing physical activity. LIPTON will also make a contribution to the National Park Foundation for each race that each TEAm LIPTON member places in one of the top four positions.

"TEAm LIPTON's impressive roster of top-notch athletes who are also highly accomplished professionals is a natural fit for our brand," says Bauke Rouwers, Unilever Vice President/General Manager, LIPTON Tea North America. "TEAm LIPTON inspires enthusiasm for the simple, easy steps that anyone can take to reach their fitness and nutrition goals, and really show consumers what tea can do."

The National Academy of Sciences has concluded that foods and beverages containing antioxidants decrease the damaging effects of free radicals to the body. LIPTON teas naturally contain flavonoid antioxidants from the tea leaf, which help protect your body from free radicals. In addition, regular tea drinking may help maintain cardiovascular health when included as part of a healthy lifestyle. Hot or cold, black or green, LIPTON is the leader in tea offering a range of great tasting, healthy products for today's health conscious consumer.

TEAm LIPTON kicks off its 2005 schedule at the PoolGel Redlands Classic in Redlands, CA and will cover world-class events such as the Wachovia Classic (Philadelphia, PA), NYC Ford Triathlon (New York, NY), Manhattan Beach Grand Prix (Manhattan Beach, CA) and the Downers Grove Criterium (Downers Grove, IL). The road cycling calendar comprises of USA Cycling National Road, Pro Cycling Tour and Women’s Prestige Cycling Tour races. The triathletes' slate includes World Cup Olympic distance events as well as the ultra-endurance Ironman competitions, including the World Championships in Hawaii.

"It's a great day for elite cyclists and triathletes – we couldn't be more thrilled and honored to have LIPTON as our title sponsor," said Julie Upton, TEAm LIPTON manager. "With LIPTON on board, our team will have more opportunities to pursue their passion and inspire others to achieve their health and vitality goals."

TEAm LIPTON consists of 15 athletes, many of whom will be contenders for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The key team members on the 2005 roster include:

  • Kristen LaSasso, a climbing specialist who finished 13th in the 2004 Olympic trials
  • Anna Milowski, a top cyclocross and all-around rider formerly of the Canadian Equipe Rona squad
  • Katherine Lambden, a top performer in stage races and climbing
  • Zoe Owers, one of the youngest, best all-around riders in the US
  • Elisa Gagnon, a Canadian national team member
  • Rebeccah Wassner, 2004 Pro Rookie Triathlete of the Year
  • Margaret Schotte, 2004 World Duathlete Champion and Duathlete of the Year
  • Kiki Rutkowski, MD, top 2004 Hawaii Ironman finisher

Other supporting sponsors of the team include PowerBar, Aquafina, Giant Bicycles, Fizik saddles, Vitalicious, CamelBak, Rider sandals, Upton Performance Systems coaching, Hincapie Sportswear and Weleda. For more information on all the health and vitality benefits of drinking tea, go to www.Lipton.com.

About Unilever

Unilever [NYSE: UL, UN], one of the world's largest consumer products companies, aims to add vitality to life by meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Each day, around the world, consumers make 150 million decisions to purchase Unilever products. The company has a portfolio of brands that make people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

In the United States these brands include recognized names such as: Axe, "all," Ben & Jerry's, Bertolli, Breyers, Caress, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, Eternity by Calvin Klein, Hellmann's, Lipton, Knorr, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Skippy, Slim·Fast, Snuggle, Suave and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of Unilever. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever has 230 000 employees in almost 100 countries and generated annual sales of $50 billion in 2004. For more information visit www.unilever.com

Unilever United States, Inc.

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