BNP Paribas Open Names Wildcards – Includes Nalbandian, Blake and Date-Krumm

(February 27, 2013) INDIAN WELLS, Calif., – Former top-five players David Nalbandian, Tommy Robredo, James Blake and Kimiko Date-Krumm; Americans Tim Smyczek, Steve Johnson, Madison Keys, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Maria Sanchez, Melanie Oudin and Taylor Townsend; and Shahar Peer and Kristina Mladenovic were granted wildcards into the main draws of the BNP Paribas Open, to be held March 4 – 17 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, it was announced today by Steve Simon, tournament director.

David Nalbandian has won 11 ATP World Tour titles since turning professional in 2000 and reached the 2002 Wimbledon finals in his first appearance at the event. The Argentine and former World No. 3 will be making his tenth appearance at the BNP Paribas Open. Last year in Indian Wells, Nalbandian equaled his best result, reaching the quarterfinals for the second time in his career.

Former World No. 5 Tommy Robredo is continuing his comeback to the ATP World Tour after an injury derailed much of his 2012 season. The Spaniard has won 10 career titles and has reached five Grand Slam quarterfinals. American James Blake, former World No. 4, also has 10 career titles and defeated then-World No. 2 Rafael Nadal to reach the 2006 BNP Paribas Open finals. Kimiko Date-Krumm turned pro in 1989 and is currently the oldest player in the top 100 at 43 years old. The former World No. 4 has eight career singles titles and four doubles titles, including one in 2013 at Pattaya City.

In addition to Blake, seven other Americans have been granted wildcards into the main draws including two-time NCAA Champion from USC Steve Johnson, who reached the third round of the 2012 US Open; Milwaukee native Tim Smyczek, who is at a career-high ranking just outside the top 100 and pushed World No. 4 David Ferrer to four sets at the 2013 Australian Open; 19-year-old breakout star Madison Keys, who has already defeated five top-50 players in 2013 and cracked the top 80 earlier this month; WTA veteran Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who won the 2012 Australian Open Mixed Doubles title; another USC standout – Maria Sanchez, who is at a career-high ranking after jumping 560 ranking places in 2012 – more than any other player in the WTA; Georgia native Melanie Oudin captured her first WTA title last year in Birmingham (UK); and 17-year-old Taylor Townsend, who turned professional in 2012 after reaching the top of the junior rankings earlier that year.

Two other international players receiving main draw wildcards are Israeli Shahar Peer, who was a BNP Paribas Open quarterfinalist in 2007 and 2011 and reached a career-high ranking of No. 11 and French teenager Kristina Mladenovic, who is at a career-high ranking after defeating three top-25 players to reach the Paris semifinals earlier this year.

“This year’s main draw wildcards span from seasoned veterans, to rising American and international stars to those returning from injury,” said Simon. “Awarding wildcards to players like David Nalbandian, James Blake, Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend add to the allure of early-round matches for fans and provide the potential for these deserving athletes to break through and make a move up their respective Tour’s rankings.

Qualifying wildcards were given to Americans Christian Harrison, Jack Sock, Rhyne Williams, Dennis Novikov, Grace Min, Jessica Pegula and Irina Falconi, German Andrea Petkovic and Croatian Ajla Tomljanovic.

Harrison, the 18-year-old younger brother of American No. 6 Ryan Harrison, reached the quarterfinals in doubles with his brother at the 2012 US Open and is making his debut to the BNP Paribas Open. Sock is at a career-high ranking after reaching his first ATP World Tour quarterfinal in Memphis earlier this month. Williams, a former University of Tennessee standout, is also at a career-high ranking after capturing the ATP Challenger tour title in Dallas. Novikov, who won the 2012 BNP Paribas Open pre-qualifying tournament, is now a sophomore playing at UCLA and won the 2012 USTA Boys Championships in Kalamazoo. Min won the 2011 US Open Junior Championship and three ITF titles in 2012. Pegula won two matches in the qualifying tournament to reach the 2012 BNP Paribas Open main draw. Falconi cracked the WTA top 100 in 2011 and has won 4 ITF singles titles.

Petkovic is a former World No. 9 and has reached the quarterfinals in every Grand Slam. She is returning to tennis after a series of injuries kept her from competing consistently for more than a year. Tomljanovic has three ITF singles and 3 ITF doubles titles.

In addition to the aforementioned qualifying wildcards, the winners of each pre-qualifying tournament, which takes place February 25 – March 2, will also be granted a berth into the 2013 BNP Paribas Open qualifying draw. Women’s qualifying starts March 4 and men’s qualifying begins March 5 at 10:00am.


BNP Paribas Extends Sponsorship of Indian Wells Through 2018

Indian Wells, Calif., Feb. 26, 2013 – BNP Paribas, the leading sponsor of tennis globally, has extended its title sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Open through 2018, it was announced today by Steve Simon, tournament director. The BNP Paribas Open, which will take place March 4-17, 2013, is the most-attended ATP World Tour and WTA tennis tournament in the world and is held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
BNP Paribas began its five-year title sponsorship of the tournament in 2009, adding it to a stable of prestigious tennis tournaments that the company already sponsors. This year marks the 40th anniversary of BNP Paribas’ association with the sport.
“The title sponsorship of the BNP Paribas Open has been a fantastic fit for our company, and BNP Paribas is excited to continue in that role through 2018,” said Michele Sicard, Managing Director, Head Corporate Communications for BNP Paribas Americas. “Throughout the past four years the event has seen exponential growth, and with our 40-year history of supporting tennis at all levels, we embrace partnering with Mr. Ellison and the tournament for another five years to make this event unquestionably one of the premier tournaments in the world.”
“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with BNP Paribas through 2018,” said Simon. “As the longest supporter of tennis worldwide, at both the professional and amateur levels, we feel very fortunate to have not only their brand on our tournament, but their belief and support of our goals to further continue our tradition of being the place to be in March.”
BNP Paribas is also the official Sponsor of Roland Garros (French Open), title sponsor Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, sponsor of four ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (the BNP Paribas Open, BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, and the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters), the year-end WTA Championships (TEB BNP Paribas in Istanbul), as well as numerous other ATP World Tour and WTA tournaments, exhibitions, amateur events and wheelchair tennis initiatives.

BNP Paribas Open – Emirates, Fila & Bulova Extend Premier Sponsorships; Xerox Joins As Premier Sponsor

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 (February 11, 2013) Indian Wells, Calif. – Emirates, Fila and Bulova have extended their Premier Sponsorships of the BNP Paribas Open through 2015, it was announced today by Steve Simon, tournament director. The BNP Paribas Open, which will take place March 4-17, 2013 is held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
These three sponsorship extensions are indicative of the BNP Paribas Open’s commitment to long-term sponsor relationships: Emirates Airline, the Official Airline of the BNP Paribas Open, came on board in 2010; Fila, the Official Apparel of the BNP Paribas Open joined in 2000; and Bulova, the Official Timepiece of the BNP Paribas Open, began its partnership in 2005.
Additionally, Xerox has signed on to become the “Official Supplier of Office Document and Technology Services” through 2015. Xerox was also recently announced as the WTA’s new global marketing partner for business services and office document technology. At the BNP Paribas Open, the media center, which hosts hundreds of international journalists over the fortnight, will be renamed the XEROX Media Center.
“We are excited to extend the partnership between the BNP Paribas Open and three of our Premier Sponsors – Emirates, Fila and Bulova – through 2015 and welcome a new Premier sponsor, Xerox, onboard,” said Simon. “The on-site activation of Emirates, Fila and Bulova has elevated the fan experience at the event, and we look forward to continuing on this path of success. Additionally, we welcome Xerox as a new Premier Sponsor and are eager to work with them to continue to enhance the event.”
Emirates will once again host the Emirates Garden Club, a premium hospitality area that highlights Emirates brand accents. On Emirates Day, Saturday, March 9, fans can participate in stadium promotions to win great prizes including tickets to the finals or round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Dubai. In addition, this year fans can visit the Emirates “Lifestyle Booth” to give visitors an authentic Emirates experience by bringing the world-class service and exquisite hospitality characteristic of the brand to the tournament grounds.
Fila, the official apparel and footwear sponsor of the tournament, has designed an exclusive uniform collection for more than a thousand volunteers, ball kids, line judges, umpires and staff since 2000. At the Fila shop on-site, fans can pick up the latest in tennis, fitness and lifestyle fashions and BNP Paribas Open branded merchandise. This year, Fila will debut a licensed accessory collection, as well as tournament branded footwear. Fila’s on-site activation includes text to win promotions, daily drawings and a social media campaign to leverage Fila-sponsored athletes using the hashtag #TeamFila on Twitter.
Bulova, the official watch of the BNP Paribas Open, sponsors the service speed clock on all match courts; engages with fans throughout the event with an on-site store selling the latest styles in watches offers many as prizes in text giveaways on Main Stadium and a few select fans will participate in the “Precisionist Challenge” on Main Stadium court ; Bud Collins and Wayne Bryan host the popular Tennis Talk presented by Bulova at the Village Stage, where the days matches are discussed and legendary guests make appearances.
In addition to these renewals esurance will become a Champion Sponsor and Hertz will become a Contributing Sponsor of the 2013 BNP Paribas Open.

WTA Inks Partnership Deal with Xerox


(February 4, 2013) ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced a multi-year, multi-million dollar global partnership with Xerox, Under the agreement, Xerox will become the WTA’s exclusive supplier of business services and office document technology.


“Xerox is one of the world’s leading iconic brands, and to have them not only as a sponsor but as a partner is a real plus to the WTA family,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA. “Through their services and products, Xerox will add significant business value to the WTA and our tournaments, and as a marketing partner we know they will build on the popularity of women’s tennis and work with us to take the WTA to the next level of success. 2013 is a milestone year for the WTA as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of women’s professional tennis and the announcement of this worldwide partnership with Xerox is a fantastic way to start the season.”


“Since its inception in 1973, the WTA has fostered a long-held commitment to innovation, which has seen our organization grow to become the world’s leading professional sport for women,” added Allaster. “Partnering with Xerox, a brand with a heritage of innovation, a strong commitment to excellence and unrivalled global business services is a perfect fit for the WTA.”


“While on the court fans are witness to outstanding competition, off the court the Women’s Tennis Association is running a complex business with multiple stakeholders – fans, players, tournament officials, sponsors, media, and more,” said Christa Carone, Xerox’s chief marketing officer. “The future success of the WTA depends on operational discipline and ingenuity in meeting all their stakeholders’ needs. That’s where Xerox comes in. As a WTA partner, Xerox plans to be behind the scenes helping to simplify the WTA’s various operations – from IT support and HR services to communication and marketing services – so the WTA can focus on serving up world class tennis and remarkable fan experiences.”


During the first year of the agreement, Xerox will activate at 18 WTA tournaments around the globe, accessing significant global marketing, digital, broadcast and content rights throughout the WTA season, including ePlayer, mobile and social networking applications.


Additionally, Xerox will become a partner of theTEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships-Istanbul, which in 2012 set records for attendance, broadcast coverage and digital fan engagement.


The announcement marks the sixth new sponsorship agreement secured by the WTA over the last two and a half years, including BNP Paribas, Rolex, Oriflame, Peak and Jetstar. The WTA Board is expected to approve the Xerox deal this week.


Mary Heath Named Chief Marketing Officer for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum


NEWPORT, R.I., January 29, 2012 – The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum has announced the promotion of Mary Heath to the new position of Chief Marketing Officer.  Heath has been the Senior Director of Sales & Partnership Marketing for the Hall of Fame since 2008.

Heath brings more than 30 years of experience to the new role, having previously held positions as a Vice President of IMG’s Tennis Division and as an ATP World Tour and WTA Tournament Director. For more than a decade, she was the co-owner of Rhode Island based Perennial Events, a firm that handled sponsorship sales and event management for clients including Target, Peter Jacobsen Productions, CVS Caremark, the Preservation Society of Newport County, and Swarovski.


Mary Heath “I am very pleased to announce Mary’s well-deserved promotion to Chief Marketing Officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum,” said Mark L. Stenning, CEO. “In recent years, she has successfully developed the Hall of Fame’s relationships with sponsors, resulting in increased awareness for our mission and development of the Hall of Fame’s programs. With Mary’s great talents and expertise, and her dedication to the sport, she is the right person to lead our sales and marketing efforts as we look to grow the organization in the future.”


In her new role, Heath will be responsible for sponsorship sales and activation of sponsor programs for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, as well as the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, an ATP World Tour tournament, and the annual Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend. She will also continue her role as event director for The Legends Ball, the Hall of Fame’s annual gala fundraiser hosted during the US Open in New York City. In addition, Heath will have oversight of all sales, marketing, and public relations initiatives of the organization.




Australian Open Inks New Five-year deal with Kia Motors


(January 10, 2013) Tennis Australia has announced that it’s deal with Kia Motors has been extended for an additional five years in a multi-million dollar deal through until 2018.

The new deal cements Kia as the longest running major sponsor in the tournament’s history, with 17 continuous years of commitment to the first Grand Slam of the year.

Tennis Australia Chief Executive Officer Steve Wood said the deal was a major boost to the event.

“Tennis Australia is thrilled to have Kia signed on as major sponsor of the Australian Open for a further five years. Kia is a tremendous and long-standing supporter of the event, and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership through until 2018,” he said.

The sponsorship rights of the renewed agreement will remain largely the same, with a host of new marketing programs to be introduced by Kia at the Australian Open over the next five years.