SBD/30/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

STRONG OPEN HAS TENNIS SPONSORS AND ADVERTISERS BACK

     The strength of the men's and women's field at the U.S. Open
-- especially "endorsement darlings" Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras,
and Monica Seles -- is "helping tennis score on Madison Avenue,"
according to Melanie Wells of USA TODAY.  Both Agassi and Sampras
appear in ads for Nike and the USTA while Nike has bought space
on 200 subway cars running between Manhattan and Flushing Meadows
for posters of the duo.  Nike is hoping to premiere their new ad
featuring Monica Seles this weekend.  In addition, Agassi with be
featured in a new TV spot for Canon cameras from Grey
Advertising.  Seles' comeback this year "helped cable TV's USA
Network attract advertisers," according to USA Network
spokesperson Dan Martinsen.  New advertisers, who are paying an
average of $15,000 for a 30-second spot include Xerox, General
Motors, Fuji Photo Film, and Tambrands.  USA's ratings were up
50% vs. the first night in '94 with Seles back (Melanie Wells,
USA TODAY, 8/30).  CBS commentator Mary Carillo:  "The ratings
are totally personality-driven.  Tennis is interesting when the
top players are interesting" (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 8/30).
     FROM TENNIS TO FITNESS:  Tennis Corp. of America recorded
record revenues of nearly $60M last year by acquiring "troubled
properties for a fraction of their replacement cost, then
recasting them with a tennis-rich formula," according to CRAIN'S
CHICAGO BUSINESS.  Now, Tennis Corp. is changing its name to The
Club Authority and "adding exercise equipment, swimming pools,
and basketball courts."  Founder & Chair Alan Schwartz:  "We
haven't lost our enthusiasm or confidence in tennis, but we have
to keep up with the times."  Schwartz, who sees a growing trend
of hospitals building health and fitness centers, has now
partnered with a hospital in upstate New York to build a 33,000
square-foot health club and physical therapy center (H. Lee
Murphy, CRAINS CHICAGO BUSINESS, 8/21 issue).
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Related Topics:

CBS, Nike, USA Networks, USTA, Viacom, Xerox

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