WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN IN CINCINNATI RENEWS TITLE SPONSOR THROUGH 2014
Three-year, multimillion-dollar deal extends Western & Southern Financial Group’s
CINCINNATI, OH (April 23, 2012) -- The Western & Southern Open has extended its relationship with the Western & Southern Financial Group for three more years to keep the Cincinnati-based company as title sponsor of the city's prestigious professional tennis tournament through 2014.
The parties did not disclose the specific terms of the three-year, multimillion-dollar deal. The Western & Southern Financial Group has been the tournament’s title sponsor since 2002.
"The Western & Southern Open is a world-class event that brings national and international recognition and incredibly positive economic impact to Cincinnati. We’re proud to continue our title sponsorship and help keep this terrific tournament such a valuable part of our community," commented John F. Barrett, President, Chairman and CEO of the Western & Southern Financial Group.
As title sponsor, the company receives a number of benefits including tournament naming-rights, court signage and television broadcast elements. In recent years, the company has launched popular fan activation programs such as the Coin Toss where fans win the chance to flip the coin on court before a match, and the Western & Southern Experience, which presents fans with the opportunity to receive an autograph from a star player face to face.
"Western & Southern has been a true partner of the event for more than a decade," remarked tournament Chief Executive Officer Elaine Bruening. "It’s a perfect marriage between an iconic Cincinnati company and our historic event, first played here in 1899."
"The Western & Southern Open is the marquee event during the Emirates Airline US Open Series which brings the biggest names in the game to a passionate tennis audience," said Gordon Smith, USTA Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director. "With such an active and committed title sponsor in Western & Southern, this great tournament is poised for even more success in the years to come."
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is a majority owner of the Western & Southern Open, which is one of only five events in the world, outside of the Grand Slams, to host a top-tier men’s and women’s event during the same week at the same venue. The other events of this stature are in Indian Wells, Madrid, Miami and Rome. The tournament is played at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH, which is the only tennis facility in the nation outside of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to have four permanent stadiums. The facility is in the final year of a three-year, $24 million expansion.
The event is the nation’s oldest professional tennis tournament still played in its original city. Past champions include legends like John McEnroe, Virginia Wade, Bill Tilden and Margaret Court. More recently, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova have captured titles.
"It's always been one of the most important stops on the tour each year," said 4-time champion Federer. "They have a great history and some of the most passionate and knowledgeable tennis fans in the world."
Sharapova, the defending women’s champion, added: "I've experienced great success in Cincinnati and I'm excited to see the event continue to grow."
Tickets are on sale now at www.cincytennis.com for the 2012 event.
About the Western & Southern Open
The Western & Southern Open will be held August 11-19, 2012 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, 20 miles north of Cincinnati in Mason, OH. It is the nation’s oldest professional tennis tournament still held in its original city. The tournament is one of the prestigious ATP Masters 1000 events on the men’s tour and a Premier 5 event for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) – making it one of only five events in the world outside of the grand slams with events of that caliber occurring during the same week at the same venue. The event is seen by more than 59 million people in 160 countries worldwide and is broadcast domestically on Tennis Channel, ESPN2 and CBS. The tournament is also one of the last stops on the Emirates Airline US Open Series prior to the US Open in New York.
Since 1974, the tournament has contributed more than $8.7 million to its beneficiaries: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the Barrett Cancer Center and Tennis for City Youth.
About the Emirates Airline US Open Series
Now in its ninth season, the Emirates Airline US Open Series continues to serve as a true regular season of hard court tennis, linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. Fans follow the action throughout the summer during national broadcast coverage while players battle for $40 million, including a chance for bonus prize money at the US Open. The Series collectively reached a U.S. television audience of 39 million and drew more than 800,000 on-site fans in 2011. In 2012, Emirates Airline became the title sponsor of the Series, as well as the official airline of the US Open. The Emirates Airline US Open Series is also supported by sponsors American Express, Chase, Citizen Watch Company, Esurance, evian and Gatorade.
Americans Mardy Fish and Serena Williams swept the 2011 Emirates Airline US Open Series men’s and women’s titles. In 2007, Roger Federer collected the biggest paycheck in tennis history – $2.4 million – for winning the US Open and the Emirates Airline US Open Series. In 2005, Kim Clijsters also captured both the US Open and the Series, winning $2.2 million – the largest purse in women’s sports history – and equaled that amount in 2010, winning the US Open and finishing the Emirates Airline US Open Series in second place.