By Barry Janoff
March 1, 2017: Tenth anniversary gifts are traditionally tin or aluminum.
For it’s tenth anniversary, the BNP Paribas Showdown is bringing tennis diamonds and marketing gold.
With the first Grand Slam event, the Australian Open, in the rear view mirror and the next major tournaments — the BNP Paribas Open (Indiana Wells, Calif. March 9-19) and the Miami Open presented by Itaú (March 22-April 2) — just over the horizon, the BNP Paribas Showdown in New York has become a premier exhibition event for top players on the men’s and women’s tours.
And a prime showcase for companies to market and activate, with title sponsor BNP Paribas, back for the ninth time, leading a roster of some 20 returning and rookie companies.
Now in its tenth season, the BNP Paribas Showdown in Madison Square Garden (March 6) will feature two of the top players on the WTA Tour — Venus Williams vs. Garbiñe Muguruza — and four of the top men on the WTA Tour: Juan Martin del Potro v. Kei Nishikori and Jack Sock v. Nick Kyrgios.
The exhibition event will also star two legends: Andy Roddick v. Lleyton Hewitt.
The BNP Paribas Showdown is part of a larger umbrella activation, this year marking the fifth anniversary of World Tennis Day, a broad-scope event in cooperation with the U.S. Tennis Assn. intended to "promote the sport of tennis and increase participation among young players."
"As we celebrate the 10th year of the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, we are proud to say that our lineup of marketing partners is stronger than ever," Ron Skotarczak, evp-marketing partnerships for The Madison Square Garden Co., said in a statement. "As always, this year has attracted a renowned roster of marketing partners who can once again showcase their respective brands at this first-class event in The World’s Most Famous Arena."
In addition to BNP Paribas, returning partners include Head Penn Racquet Sports, CAA Premium Experience, Imperial Bag & Paper, Coloredge, Crowd Rx, Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, Getty Images, JW Marriott Essex House, Kia Motors, SAP, Optimum, Tennis Magazine, Infor, USTA, USTA Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.
New to the event are Anheuser-Busch, EleVen by Venus Williams, Red Oak Transportation, Vince Camuto and Visit Orlando.
EleVen by Venus Williams will be the official apparel provider for female event personnel; Vince Camuto will be the official apparel provider for all male event personnel.
According to the organizers, all marketing partners will receive multi-platform integration at the Showdown, including on-site signage throughout The Garden, exposure on GardenVision, the center-hung scoreboard, placement in the official event program and in-arena PA reads.
"This year has attracted a renowned roster of marketing partners who can showcase their respective brands at this first-class event."
Select partners will receive added exposure through incorporation in national print, TV and digital advertising, as well as during several pre-event activities, such as on-court clinics and junior matches.
The BNP Paribas Showdown will be broadcast internationally in more than 57 countries, "providing partners additional value outside of The Garden." WatchESPN will cover the event live, with an encore on ESPN2 the next day. ESPN Classic plans to air BNP Paribas Showdown's from previous years, dating back to 2010.
According to Showdown creator, Jerry Solomon, "The 10th Anniversary of the BNP Paribas Showdown is as much a celebration of corporate support as it is of tennis itself proving once again the strong ties between tennis, corporate America and the fans.
"We are truly honored to have so many partners who have traveled this ten-year journey with us and look forward to working with them into the future," said Solomon.
Previous BNP Paribas Showdowns have featured Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, the Bryan Brothers, John and Patrick McEnroe, Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Monica Seles, Gabriela Sabatini, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils.
The BNP Paribas Showdown is owned and operated by GF Sports, a sports and entertainment content company based in New York.
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