Common Ground Alliance Members Partner to Extend Sponsorship of Jockey Victor Espinoza, Rider of Kentucky Derby Winner California Chrome, for Preakness and Belmont
Sponsorship will again feature promotion of ‘Call 811 Before You Dig’ safety message
WASHINGTON, May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them, today announced that a collation of nearly 40 CGA members have partnered to extend the sponsorship of Victor Espinoza, jockey for Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, for both remaining Triple Crown races – the Preakness Stakes on May 17 and Belmont Stakes on June 7.
As part of the sponsorship, Espinoza will continue to wear the “Call 811″ message – which promotes the national “call before you dig” phone number – on his pants, turtleneck and boots. Additionally, Espinoza will continue to wear a purple 811-logoed hat in media interviews. The free 811 service helps homeowners and professionals who plan to dig notify multiple utility companies with one free phone call.
Everyone who calls 811 a few days before digging is connected to a local one call notification center that will take the caller’s information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional utility locating technicians will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint or flags. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.
Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities increases the likelihood of an unintentional damage, which can cause serious injuries, service disruptions and repair costs.
The organizations that pooled funds to extend this sponsorship are: Alliant Energy, Avista, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Buckeye Energy Services, CalPine, Cascade Energy, ConEd, Colorado 811, Dig Safely New York, Energy Transfer, Enterprise Products, Georgia 811, Kansas One Call, Kentucky 811, Magellan Midstream Partners, Miss Utility of Maryland/D.C., Montana 811, National Grid, Nebraska Pipeline Association, New York 811, North Dakota One Call, Ohio Utilities Protection Service, Okie 811, One Call Concepts, ONEOK, Pacific Gas and Electric, Pennsylvania 811, Phillips 66, Premier Utility Services, Public Service Electric and Gas, Rhino Marking and Protection Systems/Infrastructure Resources, Spectra Energy, Texas811, TransCanada, Underground Service Alert of Southern California (DigAlert), USA North 811, Virginia 811, Williams Northwest Pipeline and XTO Energy.
“I’ve only been wearing the ‘Call 811′ message for a few weeks, but I’ve quickly been educated on how important it is for the safety of everyone who digs,” said Espinoza. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to remind millions of horse racing fans about how important it is to know what’s below and call 811 before they dig. A buried utility is damaged every six minutes because someone decided to dig without calling 811, and I hope my involvement with the ‘Call 811′ campaign can help improve those figures.”
An estimated TV audience of more than 15 million people saw the 811 logo during NBC’s race coverage of the Kentucky Derby, leading to a near-record day for visits to Call811.com. Additionally, traffic on the 811 website on Derby Day 2014 was up 71 percent compared to Derby Day 2013, when there was not 811 exposure at the race.
“The continuation of this partnership for the remaining two Triple Crown races was one of the easiest decisions our members have ever had to make as a group,” said Bob Kipp, Common Ground Alliance President. “It’s clear that California Chrome is a special horse, and to have the chance to remain associated with a talented jockey like Victor Espinoza gives us the opportunity not just to earn more exposure for the 811 phone number, but to potentially be associated with history.”
For more information about 811, please visit www.call811.com.
CGAis a member-driven association of 1,500 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through shared responsibility among all stakeholders. For more information, visit CGA on the web at www.commongroundalliance.com.
SOURCE Common Ground Alliance