2014/04/24

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.

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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.
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WTA Inks Partnership Deal with Xerox

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(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.

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ATP Has New Partnership with Rolex

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(January 10, 2013) The ATP and Rolex have announced a new multi-year partnership from 1 January 2013, in which Rolex becomes the Official Timekeeper of the ATP World Tour. In addition, Rolex has extended its existing sponsorship of the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London.

Rolex has a long-standing relationship with tennis, sponsoring  some of the sport’s leading tournaments as well as players including Roger Federer. The new partnership sees Rolex become an Official Gold Partner of the ATP World Tour.

Brad Drewett, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Rolex, such a prestigious brand with an exceptional sporting heritage. This new partnership underlines the global appeal of our game to both fans and sponsors alike – it’s a very exciting time to be involved in men’s professional tennis.”

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Australian Open Inks New Five-year deal with Kia Motors

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(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.

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USTA Announces First “US Open Sportsmanship” Award

The USTA has introduced the “US Open Sportsmanship Award” which will be presented to one male and one female professional tennis player who best demonstrates excellence in sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open.  The award will be presented to each winner during the 2012 US Open.

 

“We believe that great sports make a sport great,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jon Vegosen.  “Professional athletes in our sport are viewed as role models by fans across the globe.  The US Open is a great opportunity to recognize the positive impact these athletes can make in promoting excellence in sportsmanship through the game of tennis.”

 

The USTA started a Sportsmanship Committee in 2011.  Its charge is to “educate and inspire youngsters and their parents to develop and exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and an attitude of fair play and mutual respect on and off the tennis court.  Underlying the charge is the ethical imperative that fairness is more important than winning.”  Todd Martin is the Honorary Chair, and USTA/Middle States Section President George Parnell, is the Chair of the USTA Sportsmanship Committee.

 

“The USTA believes strongly in the importance of good sportsmanship in making tennis more enjoyable for all,” said Todd Martin, Selection Committee Chairman.  “Players, parents, and coaches alike all share responsibility in ensuring that good sportsmanship always is an integral part of competition—regardless of the level of play.  When players adhere to the rules of fair play and parents and coaches encourage good sportsmanship by their own actions and examples, the sport benefits—and becomes more enjoyable and beneficial to all involved.”

 

Eligibility requirements for potential winners include participating in at least two Series tournaments, as well as the 2012 US Open.  In addition to a handsome trophy, each US Open Sportsmanship Award winner will receive a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice.

 

The USTA will promote this new award at all Series tournaments and in advance of the 2012 US Open by creating a “Great Sport” brochure, along with in-stadium messaging for fans and tennis players.

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Emirates Airline Inks 7-Year Deal to Sponsor US Open Series

From the USTA – The USTA announced on Thursday a partnership with Emirates Airline to sponsors of the US Open and US Open Series. As part of the agreement, Emirates becomes the “Official Airline of the US Open” and the title sponsor of the “Emirates Airline US Open Series,” whose 10 events combine to form the summer hardcourt professional tennis season and lead into the US Open.

 

The seven-year partnership includes sponsorship rights include integrated consumer experiential elements and substantial digital media assets and opportunities. Emirates will have a significant on-court presence and also receive global promotional rights. In 2011, the US Open Series collectively reached a U.S. viewing audience of 39 million and drew more than 800,000 fans.

 

“Our new partnership with the USTA and sponsorship of the prestigious US Open represents a further strengthening of Emirates’ presence within the United States,” said Sir Maurice Flanagan, Executive Vice-Chairman of Emirates Airline & Group. “With the launch of Seattle, our sixth U.S. gateway on March 1, Emirates will soon offer 59 flights a week to North America, connecting more U.S. consumers than ever to our vast global network spanning six continents.”

 

“Our continued expansion across the country and the advent of a new brand era for Emirates makes this the perfect time to embark on our first major, national sponsorship in the United States,” continued Sir Maurice. “Through this partnership, we hope to create a deeper connection with our customers through sharing in and supporting their passions. Emirates is a strong champion of North American sports and this sponsorship will enable us to enhance the fan experience at these tournaments while building a lasting relationship with tennis in the U.S.”

 

“This partnership truly is a combination of prestigious global brands and we’re thrilled to welcome Emirates Airline as a USTA Corporate Champion,” said Lew Sherr, Chief Revenue Officer, USTA. “While we look forward to supporting Emirates’ efforts to build awareness in the U.S., we’re also excited to leverage their global network and promote our events to an equally sophisticated, global clientele.”

 

Through the sponsorship, Emirates will enhance attendees’ experiences and engage with viewers through mainstream and digital platforms and an on-site presence during all US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series events. During the 2012 US Open in New York (August 27 – September 9), Emirates will create an integrated fan experience – both on and off the court – demonstrating the airline’s award-winning, world-class service, as well as opening doors to Emirates’ network of destinations across six continents.

Emirates will be integrated into all Emirates Airline US Open Series broadcasts across CBS Sports, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel through on-air billboards, interstitials and in-broadcast features. When combined, the 2011 US Open and US Open Series drew more than 1.5 million fans and provided more than $40 million in prize money to men’s and women’s professional tennis players.

 

“This sponsorship provides Emirates with a unique opportunity to engage with local communities across the United States through the USTA’s community initiatives,” added Sir Maurice. “By building bridges with local communities through sport, Emirates hopes to unite fans, engage in meaningful conversations and bring global cultures together.”

 

The 2012 Emirates Airline US Open Series includes:

 

(i)            Bank Of The West Classic, Stanford, California (Women’s)

Date: July 9 – 15

 

(ii)           Atlanta Tennis Championships, Atlanta, Georgia (Men’s)

Date: July 16 – 22

 

(iii)          Mercury Insurance Open, Carlsbad, California (Women’s)

Date: July 16 – 22

 

(iv)          Farmers Classic, Los Angeles, California (Men’s)

Date: July 23 – 29

 

(v)           Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Washington, D.C. (Men’s)

Date: July 30 – August 5

 

(vi)          Rogers Cup, Toronto and Montreal, Canada (Men’s & Women’s)

Date: August 6 – 13

 

(vii)         Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati, Ohio (Men’s & Women’s)

Date: August 12 – 19

 

(viii)        Winston-Salem Open, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Men’s)

Date: August 19 – 25

 

(ix)          New Haven Open at Yale, New Haven, Connecticut (Women’s)

Date: August 19 – 25

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