Investing In The Game: Financial Institutions Throwing Support To U.S. Tennis Events
The U.S. Open Series will “get a shot in the arm this week with title sponsorship deals from three financial institutions,” according to Daniel Kaplan of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The ATP World Tour event in DC plans to announce tomorrow Citi "as its new title sponsor for the next five years.” Also being announced is the fact the smaller WTA Tour Citi Open previously held in College Park, Md., is “merging with the men’s tournament.” Legg Mason had backed the men’s event for 18 years. The Citi deal also means that U.S. Open Series sponsor AmEx will have a “minimized role" at the DC event, given the companies’ "business overlap.” BB&T is also “putting its name” on the ATP’s Atlanta event, which “has not had a title sponsorship” since moving there in ’10 from Indianapolis. Meanwhile Western & Southern Financial Group, which has been title sponsor for the men's and women's combined tournament in Cincinnati since ’02, is “renewing as title sponsor” though '14. Financial terms of the deals were unavailable, “but it is customary in tennis that title sponsors are expected to cover event purses.” The three deals “are a signal that tennis, while not as popular in the United States as elsewhere globally, remains strong enough to draw significant corporate interest” (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/23 issue).