CHASE AIMS TO ADD A LITTLE SPICE TO ITS TENNIS PACKAGE
The Corel WTA Tour Chase Championships begin today in
New York at Madison Square Garden. Tennis promoter John
Korff, an "unpaid business adviser" to the WTA Tour players'
association, was asked to provide a "blue-print for jazzing
up this week's Chase Championships, which has historically
been a drab, season-ending event" at MSG, according to
Harvey Araton of the N.Y. TIMES. Araton: "From the use of
music to dressing up the arena to fan interactivity to
introducing players in their home country's language,
Korff's memo stressed energy and originality. ... But now
has come an opportunity that should reverse what is at least
a perception of women's tennis as lagging and could even
lift it to commercial highs. Despite no tour sponsor beyond
next year, no tour chief executive officer beyond this year
and a sudden uprising by lower-ranked players for a bigger
piece of the revenue pie, women's tennis has a multitude of
marketable names." WTA Tour CEO Ann Person Worcester: "Some
of John's suggestions have been taken and some have not.
But no doubt this year's Chase Championships will be more
fan friendly" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/16). Chase's support of the
WTA Tour was examined by John Barrett of the FINANCIAL
TIMES. Chase VP/Sports Marketing Barbara Paddock said the
bank was targeting women in its advertising and said the
price of the WTA partnership "was right." Chase spends $5-
6M annually on sports marketing (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/14).
STAR QUALITY: Martina Hingis was profiled in Sunday's
N.Y. POST, and was the "Guest Columnist" in Sunday's N.Y.
DAILY NEWS. Hingis wrote in support of the WTA Tour's
modified "Age Eligibility Rule" (11/16). Amanda Coetzer was
profiled by Wayne Coffey of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS, who called
her "the biggest South African sports hero this side of
Ernie Els, and with her blonde hair, blue eyes and dazzling
smile, has an appeal that goes beyond the garden-variety
tennis fan" (Wayne Coffey, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/16).