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Volume 24 No. 156
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     The WTA Tour's decision to turn down Tampax's offer to be
title sponsor, which WTA Tour CEO Anne Person Worcester "had
considered a safe business decision, albeit a distinctly
nonfeminist message about just how unenlightened the marketplace
remains, appears to have backfired," writes Robin Finn in the
N.Y. TIMES.  One "unhappy tour executive": "Now we're hearing
that women are planning to boycott our tournaments because
they're ticked off that we walked away from the Tampax deal."  As
Finn writes, "Perhaps that will hurt worse than any comedians'
one-liners and male hecklers combined."  Worcester insists the
rejection of Tampax was "grounded in economic reality, not
backward thinking":  "Our research told us we unfortunately would
not be able to do that had we accepted this sponsor.  We're a
conservative sport with a high-profile sponsorship, and we've got
to represent ourselves in 22 countries, not just this one."
According to Tambrands spokesperson Bruce Garren, the
negotiations were "preliminary at best" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/18).
Tour Players Association President: "I have mixed emotions about
all of this.  On the one hand, you'd like to take a strong stand
for a product whose integrity is unquestioned, not to mention
that, unlike tobacco, it's a product we actually use.  But event
in the best of times, accepting and promoting this sponsorship
would be iffy, and these are not the best of times."  Navratilova
said she was convinced that the presence of Tampax would have an
"adverse impact on local event sponsorships," from which the Tour
derives its $35M in yearly prize money.  But according to
Advantage Int'l, who brought the Tampax offer to the table,
Navratilova's opinion was a "perfect example of the negative spin
placed on the prospective deal by its competing agency," IMG.
Advantage Int'l Exec VP Harlan Stone: "Anybody who talked to us
last felt the deal was a positive step, and anybody who talked to
IMG last felt just the opposite.  Martina had told us in November
that she felt good about the deal; she said she didn't eat
cheese, she didn't smoke, and she didn't drink soda, but finally,
with Tampax, the tour had a sponsor whose product actually helped
players perform 365 days a year" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/18).  Michael
Heistand gives the WTA's decision to nix Tampax a thumbs down:
"How can something so pedestrian become dangerously exotic?" (USA
TODAY, 2/21).  And KNIGHT-RIDDER's Meri-Jo Borzilleri thinks the
tour should have taken Tampax's offer, noting the company was
making a "title-less title sponsor offer": "The tour shouldn't
let snickers and puerile comments, which will grow tiresome after
a while, drive a decision like this" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,