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Volume 22 No. 35
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Software maker finds exposure off the court

Madison Keys’ coaching team wears Ultimate Software branded gear.
Photo: IMG

Ultimate Software is outfitting members of Madison Keys’ coaching team so that when the camera catches them in the player’s stadium box during matches, the company’s brand is front and center.


While using a player’s box to gain brand exposure is not unprecedented, the Keys deal may be the first in tennis where the point of a player endorsement is the box itself.


“They are not going to really use her in advertising or marketing or anything,” said IMG’s Max Eisenbud, her agent. “She is going to their headquarters before the Miami Open [later this month]; she will do some social media for them; but this is the main focus of their relationship. This is kind of unique.”


Ultimate Software, based in Weston, Fla., specializes in human resources and payroll software. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


At many of the Grand Slams now, a player’s box has its own cameras, better to show the celebrities often spotted there.


Keys’ two coaches are Dieter Kindlmann and Lindsay Davenport, as well as a physiotherapist, Aylin Seyalioglu, who travels with the U.S. Open finalist. They will wear caps and T-shirts with the Ultimate Software brand, as will Eisenbud. Guests and VIPs will be offered the caps, as well. No Ultimate branding will be on Keys’ apparel.


Ultimate pays Keys a fee as part of the multiyear contract, and she will then pay her coaches out of that, Eisenbud said. The relationship first started at the Australian Open.