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Tennis Marketers Eye Net Gain With Federer, Roddick, Sharapova, Wozniacki

By Barry Janoff

March 5, 2012: Four of the world's top-ranked tennis players will hit New York on March 5, and there will be no shortage of marketing partners welcoming them.

MSG Sports and StarGames, producers of the 2012 BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden, unveiled a roster of sponsors worthy of the players who will appear in two exhibition matches that night.

On the women's side, world's No. 2 ranked Maria Sharapova will face No. 4 Caroline Wozniacki; on the men's side, No. 3 ranked Roger Federer will take on No. 11 Andy Roddick. Both matches will be best of three sets.

For the 2012 event, title partner BNP Paribas is back for the fifth consecutive year. The list of official partners includes Commscope, Delta Air Lines, Fiji Water, Getty Images, Hugo Boss, Jumeirah Essex House, Mercedes-Benz, NASDAQ, Nespresso, Optimum Business, Rolex, Sportime, Sobieski Vodka, Tennis.com, Universal E-Business Solutions, USTA and Wilson.

According to the event promoters, marketing partners will receive multi-platform integration at the event, including on-site digital signage throughout the arena, video spots on the GardenVision center-hung scoreboard and in-arena PA reads. They will also be incorporated into a number of pre-event activities, including a Wilson 10 and Under Tennis demonstration prior to the matches.

The event will be telecast live nationally on ESPN3 and ESPN International, with a delayed broadcast on ESPN2. The event will then be rebroadcast on MSG Networks on March 16 and March 18.

The event also has been supported locally via TV, print, Internet and events featuring the four participants. This will be the first time playing in Madison Square Garden for Roddick, Sharapova and Wozniacki.

Federer is coming off a victory this past weekend at the Dubai Championship, where he defeated No. 4-ranked Andy Murray.

In addition, the BNP Paribas Showdown has been getting face time via tennis icon John McEnroe, who was a participant in the 2011 event along with Ivan Lendl, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. The tennis event is part of an umbrella campaign from the U.S. Tennis Assn., "Tennis Night In America," which is a national effort to raise awareness of and get more youngsters involved in the sport. McEnroe is the official spokesman for Tennis Night, and among other activations hosted a kid's clinic at his tennis academy, located at Sportime on Randall’s Island.

“Each year our partners seem to take the platform provided by the BNP Paribas Showdown to a new level, which is a real credit to their vision and creativity."

“Each year our partners seem to take the platform provided by the BNP Paribas Showdown to a new level, which is a real credit to their vision and creativity," Jerry Solomon, president for StarGames, said in a statement. "From my perspective, it is rewarding to see how what started as a simple one night event has grown into a multi-dimensional program with a preview show, Tennis Night in America outreach, the biggest cocktail party in all of tennis and corporate promotion in the Tri-state area and beyond.”

Among the variety of promotions and hospitality event integration:

• Delta will be the Official Airline and will have a presence in the pre-event VIP reception.

• Hugo Boss, which is displaying event signage in its Columbus Circle store, will formally outfit the officials and ball kids, host a post-event VIP reception and conduct a "Hugo Boss Best Dressed Fan" contest in-arena during the event.

• Optimum Business will brand both players benches and will have several unique GardenVision features, including a seat upgrade for a lucky fan.

• Sobieski Vodka, the official and exclusive vodka for the BNP Paribas Showdown and will have a presence in the VIP receptions.

• Mercedes-Benz will display the ML63 AMG and C63 AMG Coupe on the MSG Mall and will have signage on the net.

• Rolex will provide the official clock for the event.

According to Greg Economou, evp-corporate sales and solutions for MSG Sports. “With BNP Paribas leading the returning partners and several new additions, this lineup of industry leading brands is a testament to the strength of the event and power company’s see in aligning themselves with these world-class tennis players and 'The World’s Most Famous Arena.'”

Q&A: Advantage John McEnroe

Caroline Wozniacki Looking Out For No. 1

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