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CHICAGO EVENT SPONSOR AMERITECH NOT SOLD ON WTA RENEWAL
Published November 10, 1997
Ameritech "won't commit to an extension" of its three- year WTA Tour sponsorship, according to Len Ziehm of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. Brian Fitzgerald, Dir of the Ameritech Cup in Chicago, "spent considerably more time than usual" monitoring the event last week, "and "didn't like much of what he saw regarding the WTA's organizational efforts." Fitzgerald: "I look at it from a marketing point of view, and they're missing a lot. They make it so difficult to market their sport because they don't know who's playing when. Match times are always subject to change. They've got to bring some organizational sanity to it." Fitzgerald said that while IMG has "made significant inroads in attendance" this season, it may not be enough "to keep its tournament sponsor." Fitzgerald believes "far bigger crowds are possible." Fitzgerald: "If I could, I'd publish brackets with the time each match is going to be played. That's the prime reason we don't draw crowds early in the week. Monica Seles is the top draw in tennis, but for a tournament to properly market, it's got to be able to tell people when [Seles] is going to play" (SUN-TIMES, 11/9).