SBJ/August 20 - 26, 2007/This Weeks News

Chase signs mega renewal with Open

JPMorgan Chase has renewed its sponsorship of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships for six years at around $90 million, sources said, making it the largest deal in the sport. The bank also will title the event’s instant replay challenge, which will be dubbed the Chase Review on both the in-stadium video boards as well as on television.

Chase’s deal includes sponsoring the
Chase Review instant replay challenge,
shown in the rendering.

This year’s Open begins next Monday.

At roughly $15 million a year, the Chase contract slightly edges Sony Ericsson’s six-year, $88 million pact naming the WTA Tour. Separately, Chase is launching a seven-figure ad campaign in the New York City area touting an Open ticket-giveaway promotion.

“Over the years, Chase has expanded more in utilizing the Open from primarily for hospitality purposes to being more of an active sponsor as far as leveraging their investment,” said Pierce O’Neil, chief business officer of the U.S. Tennis Association, which owns and operates the Open. O’Neil declined to comment on terms of the new deal.

Next week’s Open will be Chase’s 26th as a sponsor and seventh as the lead backer. The bank, which is the event’s exclusive banking and financial services provider, was paying more than $10 million annually under a three-year deal that would have expired after this year’s fortnight. The new contract carries through 2012.

Chase typically hosts thousands of employees and clients at the event, the premier sports luxury entertaining opportunity of the summer season in New York City. Two years ago, the bank began a more concerted effort to promote its ties to the event at retail and started a ticket-giveaway program. This year, the bank expects to give away 8,000 ducats.

“We feel what is very important is that this is in our backyard in New York,” said Barbara Paddock, a JPMorgan Chase senior vice president who manages the bank’s sponsorship. “However, being a global institution and the [Open’s] global reach, it is actually a perfect fit for us.”

Paddock declined to comment on terms of the sponsorship.

While the bank always had brand visibility with its signage on the baseline walls, naming the popular instant replay challenges should enhance that exposure.

Tennis and the Open introduced instant replay last year, and it has proved to be a hit with fans. Chase’s sponsorship of the technology at the Open is believed to be the first commercial deal surrounding instant replay.

As part of its Open extension, Chase had to do media buys with tournament broadcasters USA and CBS Sports. Previously, Chase had only bought ad slots that aired locally, so the Chase Review feature essentially represents the bank’s first national advertising on the telecasts.

The bulk of the roughly $90 million, six-year deal is rights a fee paid to the U.S. Open, but some of the amount reflects the USA and CBS spending, a source said.

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