|Los Angeles, CA (Sept. 7, 2005) – WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: WPTE) welcomed Budweiser today as the “Official Beer” of the WORLD POKER TOUR® (WPT) for the WPT’s fourth exciting season of riveting televised poker on the Travel Channel. The WORLD POKER TOUR was the show that ignited the worldwide poker boom when it launched in March 2003 and continues to lead the way in developing poker as a major international sport.|
“As the WPT™ repositions poker as a leading sport—not just a pastime—Budweiser is the ideal sponsor. Our long association with sports increases poker’s recognition by the sports-loving consumer and television viewer,” said Peter McLoughlin, Vice President, Corporate Media, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “We are pleased to continue our three-year relationship with WPT Enterprises and look forward to toasting another great year.”
Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser television spots will air on Travel Channel’s broadcasts of Season IV. Additionally, viewers will see the Budweiser logo on the “table ring” around the Final Table arena and on in-show graphics for the WPT’s popular “hole card camera” segment. The winners of each WPT tournament will celebrate a toast with Budweiser as part of the WPT’s traditional closing sequence.
In jurisdictions where it is legal, Budweiser will support the sponsorship with retail promotions which will begin in December 2005 and will run through February 2006 with a “Texas Hold‘em tournament”, to feature a shortened elimination version of Texas Hold’em. Players will begin each round with an equal number of chips and play until they “bust out.” Only the top chip winners will progress to the next round. Players will not pay or purchase anything to play in this tournament, but must be 21 or older. The top two players at the National Finals will secure coveted seats in the WPT Invitational, the WORLD POKER TOUR’S celebrity pro-am tournament boasting 300 players vying for a $200,000 prize pool. Skilled celebrities such as Ben Affleck, James Woods, Jennifer Tilly and Tobey Maguire have joined the roster of WPT tournament winners and leading pros who participate in the WPT Invitational.
The sponsorship enables Budweiser to capitalize on the global growth of WPT viewership. The show is currently licensed for broadcast in more than 100 countries and territories around the world. The WORLD POKER TOUR, which reinvented poker as a televised spectator sport, will air tournaments filmed at leading casinos from Paris to Las Vegas, beginning with the broadcast of its fourth season in March 2006. Airing every Wednesday night in the U.S. at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Travel Channel, the WPT is the highest-rated series in the network’s history.
The sponsorship agreement was hailed by Steve Lipscomb, CEO and founder of WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: WPTE): “The WPT has become the gold standard in poker and the Budweiser brand is the same to beer. It’s a great match of two iconic brands.”
About WPT Enterprises, Inc.
WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: WPTE) is a company engaged in the creation of internationally branded entertainment and consumer products driven by the development, production, and marketing of televised programming based on gaming themes. WPTE is the creator of the World Poker Tour®, a television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments that airs on the Travel Channel in the United States and more than 100 markets globally. WPT Enterprises currently licenses its brand to companies in the business of poker equipment and instruction, apparel, publishing, electronic and wireless entertainment, DVD/home entertainment, casino games, and giftware. For show information, tools for improving poker play, and other WPT news, fans may log on to www.worldpokertour.com. The company is also engaged in the sale of corporate sponsorships. WPT Enterprises, Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment, Inc., a publicly held company. Photos and media information can be found online at: www.worldpokertour.com.