STAMFORD, Conn. and NEW YORK, April 7, 2008 -- Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI), the world's leading mailstream technology company, and the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) are coming together to raise awareness and funding for literacy across the United States. Six WNBA teams will participate in the season-long initiative to engage fans while raising funds for local, community-based literacy programs. Pitney Bowes's participation with the WNBA will help build or renovate a Reading and Learning Center at the end of the season in the community of the team that raises the most funds for literacy.
The Chicago Sky, Connecticut Sun, Los Angeles Sparks, New York Liberty, Seattle Storm and Washington Mystics are the six participating WNBA teams in the national literacy program. Each team will kick-off a local literacy program when the WNBA season starts in May. Fundraising efforts will include a donation supporting literacy when fans purchase special tickets, as well as additional activities. Fans who participate in the program will be seated in a special section at designated home games and kids will also have opportunities to participate in reading sessions with WNBA players at "Reading Time Out" events.
Pitney Bowes will also support the WNBA's Read to Achieve events throughout the season with the six participating teams. Read to Achieve is a year-round, league-wide initiative that promotes the value of reading and on-line literacy and encourages families and adults to read regularly with young children.
To introduce the national literacy program, Pitney Bowes and the WNBA are holding a Youth Reading Rally in Tampa, Florida today with young students from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Tampa. Participants will include a WNBA legend and current players, local dignitaries, and WNBA and Pitney Bowes executives. The event will be held at a local Reading is Fundamental (RIF) location.
"Reading is the foundation upon which all other learning is based and having this foundation can help prepare children with the skills necessary to succeed in school and outside of school," said Juanita James, Chief Communications Officer, Pitney Bowes. "We are delighted to work with the WNBA, its local teams and RIF to help educate youth around the country on the importance of reading and literacy."
"The WNBA is pleased to work with Pitney Bowes as we align our commitment to improving the lives of our youth," said WNBA President Donna Orender. "Through this new literacy program, our young fans will have a great opportunity to interact with their favorite WNBA stars and at the same time, learn about the importance of education and reading."
For additional information on the Pitney Bowes and WNBA literacy program, please visit: www.readingisyourticket.com.
About Pitney Bowes:
Pitney Bowes is a mailstream technology company that helps organizations manage the flow of information, mail, documents and packages. Our 35,000 employees deliver technology, service and innovation to more than two million customers worldwide. The company was founded in 1920 and annual revenues now total $6.1 billion. More information is available at www.pb.com.
About the WNBA:
Comprised of 14 teams and entering its 12th season, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women's professional team sports league in America. The 2008 season tips off May 17 with ESPN2 again providing appointment viewing in the form of its "WNBA Tuesdays" telecasts. Combined coverage on ABC and ESPN2 will include 21 national telecasts, while NBA TV, the league's 24-hour television network, will offer 70 regular-season contests.
The WNBA is deeply committed to WNBA CARES programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on promoting health and fitness, breast health awareness, reading and youth basketball programs. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.