Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 21 No. 1
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Powershares QQQ names Courier’s tennis tour

In what might be described as the ultimate “up sell,” the Powershares QQQ exchange-traded fund is increasing its support of the Champions Series tennis tour from an event sponsorship in Chicago to title sponsorship of the entire 12-city tour of players over the age of 30, beginning in 2012.

An average of 5,000 to 7,000 came out to see Andre Agassi and others on the U.S. tour.
“They were very excited about their Chicago event [on Oct. 20], so we were talking to them about [sponsoring] other cities as a way to expand their visibility and things just snowballed,’’ said four-time Grand Slam men’s singles champion Jim Courier, who along with former SFX executive Jon Venison owns and operates the six-year-old tour through their InsideOut Sports & Entertainment company. “They just got revved up with what they were doing locally and saw there was an opportunity nationally, especially with our TV package.”

Courier described the package as a seven-figure deal annually.

With their three-year title sponsorship, Powershares QQQ gets net-post, player-chair and umpire-chair signage at each event, along with tickets, hospitality, player access and four ad units in each two-hour weekly telecast of the tour on Fox Sports Net. Those are taped broadcasts that begin after the tour’s last stop, which is Saturday, and run for 12 weeks.

The association with the Champions Series, which includes Courier competing with the likes of Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and John McEnroe, is the first major sports marketing platform for Powershares QQQ, although its parent Invesco had naming rights to the Denver Broncos’ home field until recently, when Sports Authority took over the deal.

Outback Steakhouse was the tour’s last title sponsor, from 2007 to 2009.

The Champions Series U.S. tour includes 12 one-day stops. Courier said that while scaling host venues for only their lower bowl, the tour was drawing between 5,000 and 7,000 per night “which is excellent for us,” he said. “We are very happy with that.”