Key Biscayne Tennis Tournament Renamed Miami Open, Itau Primary Sponsor
IMG yesterday announced that the ATP/WTA Sony Open in Key Biscayne will be renamed the Miami Open, and for "the next five years" the primary sponsor will be Brazil-based bank Itau, according to Michelle Kaufman of the MIAMI HERALD. Unlike previous sponsors, Itau decided to let the city’s name "lead the tournament branding." The logo for the Miami Open presented by Itau is a "rainbow-colored lower-case 'm' with a yellow circle, symbolizing a tennis ball, in the middle." It is "meant to look like a bouncing ball, and the colors symbolize Miami’s scenery and culture." Event organizers said that the tournament will make some "cosmetic changes to incorporate the new logo throughout the grounds." Itau Marketing Dir Andrea Piniotti Cordeiro said that the company will "advertise the Miami Open all over Latin America, offer ticket packages to its clients and invite top clients to its Stadium Court suites" (MIAMI HERALD, 8/20). Tournament Dir Adam Barrett said, "Our presenting sponsor has more of a South American influence which is so important to the culture of Miami." In Ft. Lauderdale, Harvey Fialkov notes Itau has been a "minority sponsor for the Key Biscayne tournament for the past six years," but after a meeting during the recently concluded World Cup in Brazil, the sides "decided to take the relationship up a notch." Cordeiro added that Itau will begin "designing a major advertising campaign to promote the tournament throughout Latin America and offer perks, such as the 4,000 seats they possess as well as their four suites on stadium court to its customers, possibly through their credit-card purchases" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 8/20).
EXPANSION PLANS ON HOLD? The AP’s Tim Reynolds noted organizers are “hoping to upgrade the tennis facility, with plans -- which have been met with some resistance and led to ongoing court battles -- calling for expansion of the main stadium and other improvements around the grounds.” Without those fixes, organizers “fear the event could lose some of its luster.” The sponsorship with Itau “is not contingent on any of the expansion and infrastructure plans being constructed” (AP, 8/19).