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AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE NAMES NEW SPONSORS

 
2/25/2004 - American Ballet Theatre announced today three new corporate sponsorships.

Countrywide Financial Corporation, the nation’s largest residential mortgage lending firm, has been named a National Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre’s national tour and New York seasons, and Cole Haan, a leader in fashion and accessories, has been named a Leading Benefactor of ABT’s national tour and New York seasons. In addition, luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue has signed on as Leading Corporate Sponsor of American Ballet Theatre’s Costume Fund.

“On behalf of the Board and the entire Company, we are delighted to welcome these three new sponsors to the ABT family,” said Lewis S. Ranieri, Chairman of the Board of Governing Trustees of American Ballet Theatre. “Each has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to excellence in dance and to ABT. We are grateful for their generosity and thank each for their support.”


COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL

Countrywide Financial, formerly known as Countrywide Credit Industries, services mainly prime first mortgages for single-family homes through its Countrywide Home Loans subsidiary.

Commenting on Countrywide’s new support of ABT, Angelo R. Mozilo, Company Chairman, President and CEO, said, “Countrywide is committed to bringing art to people everywhere. American Ballet Theatre maintains that same commitment and level of excellence, and we are very pleased to support them and their upcoming national tour and New York season.”

Among Countrywide’s most significant philanthropic initiatives is Rebuilding Together, the nation’s largest volunteer organization preserving and revitalizing low-income housing and communities. In May, Countrywide announced the contribution of $4.25 million over the next five years to the Alliance for the Arts to build the Countrywide Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks, CA. In addition, the Company, has demonstrated its commitment to the arts at Countrywide’s headquarters in Calabasas, CA, which houses the largest collection of paintings in the style of the Hudson River School west of the Mississippi.


COLE HAAN

Cole Haan, the premier American lifestyle brand, offers high quality, handcrafted men’s and women’s footwear, handbags, accessories and outerwear. A wholly owned subsidiary of Nike, Inc., Cole Haan has its international headquarters in Yarmouth, Maine. In addition to its commitment of financial support, Cole Haan has pledged additional support through joint promotional efforts including in-store appearances and advertising.

Matt Rubel, CEO and Chairman of Cole Haan, said, "I am thrilled that Cole Haan is joining forces with American Ballet Theatre as a leading benefactor. We view this collaboration as the beginning of a significant relationship for both institutions. As an institution recognized for its artistic excellence and expressive beauty, America's national ballet company is an ideal partner. We are very pleased to lend our support to such a dynamic organization."


SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

As Leading Corporate Sponsor, luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue has pledged its financial support to American Ballet Theatre’s Costume Fund, a new campaign dedicated to the restoration, replacement and archiving of ABT’s vast collection of historic performance costumes.

Fred Wilson, President and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue, said, “Saks Fifth Avenue strongly believes in giving back to the community we serve. Fashion is art and the costumes that dress the dancers of American Ballet Theatre are no exception. We are thrilled to be a part of the restoration of these historic pieces.”

In addition to its financial commitment, Saks will further support ABT by generating interest in ballet through nationwide window displays and other initiatives undertaken in partnership with ABT.

American Ballet Theatre’s 2004 Spring Season at the Metropolitan Opera House opens May 10 and runs through July 3.