August 29, 2006
NASDAQ-100 Open Becomes Sony Ericsson Open
Global mobile phone innovator increases investment in professional tennis as the new title sponsor of Sony Ericsson Open in Miami
NEW YORK, NY, USA – Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, a leading innovator in mobile phone technology and applications, today announces the signing of a four-year contract worth over $20 million to become title sponsor of the Sony Ericsson Open, formerly known as the NASDAQ-100 Open. The first Sony Ericsson Open will take place on the Island of Key Biscayne in Miami, Florida in March of next year.
The event will feature players from both the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and the ATP. As part of the agreement, Sony Ericsson will enjoy extensive on-court brand presence, global advertising and promotional rights, top level hospitality and tickets to the championship. Mirroring their commitment to raising the 'glamour factor' of women's tennis, Sony Ericsson will host an annual pre-tournament VIP party in Miami. A new logo identity that reflects the new sponsorship agreement is being unveiled today, Tuesday, August 29, 2006.
The Sony Ericsson Open is a mandatory tournament on the men's ATP Masters Series and the women's Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Played on hard courts, the tournament's reigning champions are Roger Federer and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Running over 12 days, 96 men and 96 women compete for the $6.9 million equal prize fund. As the leading international professional tennis tournament outside of the four Grand Slams, it attracts more than 270,000 spectators and is broadcast in over 150 countries. Owned and managed by IMG, it was founded in 1985.
Sony Ericsson will use this landmark sponsorship as a platform to further develop its brand profile in the Latin and North American regions. The prominent stature of the tournament and its glamorous location complement the Sony Ericsson brand proposition perfectly.
Sony Ericsson has been the global title sponsor of the Women's Tennis Association since 2005, and works with the Association to promote the Tour in over 80 cities during the year. Its involvement has created a natural platform for the convergence of technology, design, music and fashion allowing Sony Ericsson to bring a number of innovations to the women's game including, live scoring, instant replay, pre-match player interviews, interactive mobile phone content, music acts and the dazzling pre-tournament parties.
Dee Dutta, CVP and Head of Marketing for Sony Ericsson said: "Two years ago, we signed our first ever global sponsorship deal with the WTA. This partnership has proven to be successful in allowing us to grow our brand presence on an international scale. This success encouraged us to expand our involvement in professional tennis and to look at ways in which we could appeal to wider audiences, including those that follow the men's game. The announcement of the title sponsorship of the Sony Ericsson Open, one of the top five tournaments in the world, is a demonstration of our commitment to these objectives."
Butch Buchholz, Chairman and Founder of the tournament said: "We are proud to welcome Sony Ericsson as our partner. Sony Ericsson has been an incredible supporter of professional tennis; it is our intention to exceed their expectations with our event in Miami. I know the people of South Florida and the quarter of a million people that attend the Sony Ericsson Open each March will benefit from the buzz Sony Ericsson will bring to Miami and Key Biscayne. This partnership will take the Sony Ericsson Open to a new level on the international stage."
Etienne de Villiers, ATP Executive Chairman and President said: "Sony Ericsson has demonstrated its commitment and enthusiasm for tennis through its association with the WTA. We're delighted that they have chosen to sponsor the combined ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event in Miami. Their flair and understanding of consumers and entertainment make them perfect partners of the Miami event that has always been at the forefront in showcasing tennis in a new fashion and expanding its reach to fans. For example, Miami was the first tournament to introduce the new electronic line calling system which proved an instant hit with fans."
Larry Scott, the Tour's CEO, said "Since the signing of our landmark global title sponsorship agreement in 2005, Sony Ericsson has become a fantastic partner of women's professional tennis and played a pivotal role in both driving the growth of our game and supporting our plans to take women's tennis to the next level. It is thrilling that Sony Ericsson is today building upon their success in tennis and extending their partnership with us through the titling of their second major event, joining the Sony Ericsson Championships. The Miami tournament is one of the crown jewels of our sport, and Sony Ericsson's commitment to continuing to innovate and enhance professional tennis will only make it better."
George Pyne, President, IMG Sports & Entertainment commented: "Sony Ericsson has added so much to the sport of tennis since becoming the sponsor of the WTA Tour in 2005. We look forward to partnering with them to develop innovative programs and special fan events at this showcase tournament." [/QUOTE]