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Volume 26 No. 65
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Visit Orlando Continues To Take Heat Over Not Releasing USTA Sponsorship Contract

Visit Orlando has been "taking heat over not releasing a contract" on its confidential USTA sponsorship, according to Gabrielle Russon of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. When Tourist Development Council member Dale McDonald asked Visit Orlando President & CEO George Aguel to weigh in on the controversy, he "defended the USTA deal." Aguel said that it "'was an opportunity that we didn’t want to lose,' and that it gave Orlando considerable international exposure at the popular U.S. Open." McDonald "warned Aguel he did not want the council’s credibility to be undermined in light of Visit Orlando refusing to release information." Aguel and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs "reiterated their stance that Visit Orlando will not disclose the contract unless the USTA lifts the confidentiality clause." Jacobs expressed concern about Visit Orlando releasing its marketing deals to the public because it "could tip off competitors." Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency, "released its portion of the USTA agreement last month" and that showed in '15 and '16, the statewide agency paid up to $1M to "sponsor tennis events in exchange for online advertising, radio ads and luxury suites to the U.S. Open." Jacobs last month said that she "wanted the details of Visit Orlando’s corporate sponsorship agreements worth at least $500,000 to be released" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/30).