CHICAGO EVENT SPONSOR AMERITECH NOT SOLD ON WTA RENEWAL
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).