Fujifilm Blimp to Provide Aerial Coverage of 2003 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs Golf Tournament

GREENVILLE, S.C. - 01/28/2003

The Fujifilm Blimp will provide aerial coverage of the 2003 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament that will be played May 1-4, 2003, at Cliffs Valley and The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards courses.

“Fujifilm out of Greenwood has made arrangements to provide its famous blimp to provide aerial coverage of the tournament,” said Doug McGrath, General Chairman of the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs. “Having the blimp overhead during tournament week adds a special dimension to the tournament, and reinforces that this is the premier event on the Nationwide Series Tour. It is a terrific testimonial as to how Fujifilm views this event and is just one way they are supporting the tournament.”

One of the largest and most recognizable airships in the sky, the twin-engine blimp can hold 10 passengers (including flight crew), and cruise at 35-40 MPH, 1,000-3,000 ft. above sea level. Normal cruising altitude is 1,200-1,500 ft. The Fujifilm Blimp is 197-ft. long, 66.5-ft. tall, and weighs approximately 16,000 lbs. It is lifted by nonflammable helium gas, and powered by two turbocharged engines that produce 255 HP.

The blimp, which was first launched in 1984 in conjunction with the company’s sponsorship of the Los Angles Olympics, flies a total of 48 weeks per year throughout the country, and will clock anywhere from 20,000-30,000 miles annually (that’s enough to circle the globe 1.5 times). The Fujifilm Blimp travels with a 22-person crew that includes pilots, engineers, electricians, mechanics and ground handlers. A 15-ton mast truck moors the blimp when it is not flying.

The BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs was created to raise money for Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina charities, promote quality of life in Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, and increase community pride by involving thousands of residents as volunteers and spectators.

The first two tournaments have raised over $1 million for charity.

The tournament is the only Nationwide PGA TOUR Series (Nationwide replaces BUY.COM as title sponsor in 2003) event that features professionals paired with an amateur/celebrity partner in a two-day best-ball competition. The 14 best teams (10 best Pro-Celeb and four best Pro-Am) advance to play for the BMW Charity Cup on Saturday. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $103,500 from the total purse of $575,000, while the amateurs/celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice.

South Carolina Charities, Inc., a foundation supported in part by BMW Manufacturing Corp., is in the process of determining which celebrities will participate in the 2003 tournament.

General Admission tickets for the 2003 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs can be purchased for $20 by calling (864) 297-1660. Clubhouse and VIP tickets can be purchased for $100 and $300 respectively. Proceeds benefit local charities.

For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs golf tournament or sponsorship opportunities call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament’s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com or www.bmwcharityproam.pgatour.com.

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Sky Foster
MANAGER, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

BMW Manufacturing Co.
P. O. Box 11000
Spartanburg, SC 29304
864-989-5546
Sky.foster@bmwmc.com

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