Erasure's Andy Bell to Perform Gay Games Opening

Tue. June 20, 2006 12:00 AM

Chicago's Mayor Daley announces Gatorade and ESPN will sponsor Gay Games Chicago 2006; Andy Bell to Perform Opening

Chicago, IL - The City of Chicago announced today that British pop superstar Andy Bell of Erasure would perform at the July 15 Opening Ceremony for the 2006 Gay Games and that two of the world's most recognized brands - Gatorade and ESPN - had joined as major sponsors which now number more than 300 corporations and agencies signing to support the international event.

The announcement was made at the Mayor's annual Pride Reception, before more than 500 representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender (LGBT) community at the Chicago Cultural Center. (Event Photos)

* Chicago-based QTG (Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade) joins as a Global Gay Games Sponsor. Gatorade will be the Official Sports Drink of the 2006 Gay Games and will provide sideline hydration at all Gay Games sports. Tropicana and Quaker will be feeding the athletes and volunteers nutritious and wholesome breakfasts and snacks throughout the week.

* Erasure's Andy Bell will perform at the July 15 Opening Ceremony at Chicago's historic Soldier Field. Bell is just the latest star in the incredible lineup for the Gay Games VII Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Chicago organizers have previously announced performers include Cyndi Lauper, Margaret Cho, Megan Mullally, Jody Watley, Greg Louganis, M People's Heather Small, Kristine W, Star Trek's George Takei, Holly Near, Tony Award-winning Avenue Q, and dozens more talented performers and legends. Tickets are available online at

* ESPN, the leading international multimedia sports entertainment company, also joins in support of the Opening Ceremony, becoming the official sponsor of the Opening Ceremony Fireworks. The spectacular display will be visible throughout the Chicagoland area and will be videotaped by cameras aboard the MetLife blimp that will fly overhead. "ESPN respects the values that are intrinsic to athletic competition, and we are pleased to be a sponsor of this year's Gay Games," said John Skipper, ESPN Executive Vice President, Content.

About QTG (Quaker-Tropicana-Gatorade)
QTG (Quaker Tropicana Gatorade) is a division of PepsiCo, one of the world's largest consumer beverage and packaged goods companies. QTG brands rank among some of the most highly regarded and recognizable consumer products including: Quaker Oatmeal, Tropicana Pure Premium not-from-concentrate juices; Gatorade Thirst Quencher and Propel Fitness Water; Cap'n Crunch and Life ready-to-eat cereals; Rice-A-Roni and Near East side dishes; and Aunt Jemima pancake mixes and syrups.

About GatoradeĀ®
GatoradeĀ® Thirst Quencher, the nation's leading sports drink, is backed by 40 years of research. Gatorade is scientifically formulated and athletically proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and electrolytes and provide carbohydrate energy to enhance athletic performance. Gatorade is the official sports drink of the NFL, NBA, WNBA, AVP, NHL, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and numerous professional, collegiate and amateur teams and events throughout the world. For more information, please visit

About Andy Bell
Legendary U.K. synth pop pioneers Erasure, comprised of vocalist Andy Bell and keyboard wizard Vince Clarke, is among the most successful pop duos ever, selling more than 20 million albums and charting some of the most memorable hits of the last twenty years. The group got its start when Bell responded to a 1985 blind ad in a British music weekly seeking a singer that had been placed by Clarke, a founding member of the influential electronic groups Depeche Mode and Yaz. One of the first openly gay stars in pop, Bell's gender-bending performances, brilliant theatricality and soaring falsetto vocals have earned Erasure a special place in the heart and soul of its devoted fans. Bell recently released his first-ever solo CD, Electric Blue, which was soon followed by the release of Erasure's critically-acclaimed Union Street, its first-ever entirely acoustic album. Erasure has just completed a sold out tour of the U.K. and U.S. and plans to release and tour a new album next spring.

About ESPNĀ®
ESPN, Inc. is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN Today), ESPN and ESPN2 HD simulcast services, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (networks, syndication, radio, web sites), ESPN Radio,, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN360 (Broadband), Mobile ESPN, ESPN on Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

About Gay Games VII
Gay Games VII Sports and Cultural Festival will take place 15-22 July 2006. Over 12,000 athletes from more than 70 countries will compete in 30 sports ranging from softball to dancesport, swimming to tennis. The weeklong event will include band, cheerleading and color guard performances, chorus, an ancillary arts festival, and a series of community-organized social events and parties. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 15 July at Soldier Field, the lakefront home stadium of American-style football's Chicago Bears. Closing ceremony will be 22 July at Wrigley Field, the home of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs, located in the heart of Chicago's largest LGBT neighborhood. Tickets are available at

Global sponsors of Gay Games VII include Lexiva; Logo; PlanetOut/; Walgreens; Centaur Entertainment; Fleishman Hillard International Communications; Orbitz; McKnight Kurland Baccelli; The New York Times; Olivia Cruises & Resorts; Windy City Media Group; Absolut Vodka; American Airlines; Athletico; Chicago Free Press; Chicago Sun-Times; Ernst & Young; GLAAD; Genre; Human Rights Campaign; Lambda Legal Defense; QTG-Quaker/Tropicana/Gatorade; Sydney New Mardi Gras; Mate Magazine; Pink Magazine; RCN; Roosevelt University; and more than 270 additional business sponsors. is an All-Star Sponsor of the 2006 Chicago Gay Games.

About The Gay Games
The Gay Games was conceived by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, and was first held in San Francisco in 1982 with 1,350 participants. Subsequent Gay Games have been held in San Francisco (1986; 3,500 participants), Vancouver (1990; 7,300 participants), New York (1994; 12,500 participants), Amsterdam (1998; 13,000 participants), and Sydney (2002; 11,000 participants).

The Federation of Gay Games is the international governing body that perpetuates the quadrennial Gay Games and promotes the event's founding principles of Participation, Inclusion, and Personal Best(tm). For more information, visit

Chicago Games, Inc. is the host of Gay Games VII and is led by experienced civic leaders from Chicago's business, sports and non-profit sectors. For information about how to sponsor or participate in Gay Games VII in Chicago, visit, e-mail, or phone (773) 907-2006.

View photos from the Mayor's annual Pride Reception by Frank Failing (Male Image Photography)