NFL Franchise Executive Tapped to Lead One of World's Largest Professional Tennis Events
Officials for the Western & Southern Open announced today the hiring of new Tournament Director Vince Cicero.
Cicero joins the tournament after a 13-year tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. As Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing with the Bengals, Cicero oversaw critical franchise functions including corporate sponsorship sales, broadcast operations and league relations. He was instrumental in the opening of the award-winning Paul Brown Stadium in 2000, and implemented groundbreaking digital signage and fan-experience elements within the facility.
"Vince’s breadth of experience at his former position pairs nicely with our goals here at the tournament," said CEO Elaine Bruening. "The parallels are hard to deny − whether it’s launching a new world-class facility or promoting an event to a passionate and international fan-base, Vince’s knowledge will allow him to contribute immediately."
The hiring was a result of a broad executive search. "We were thrilled that the most qualified candidate was ultimately someone from the local community," added Bruening.
Cicero becomes the seventh Western & Southern Open tournament director since the Open Era began in 1968. The 2011 event in August marks a watershed year for the tournament, the first time Cincinnati will host top-tier men’s and women’s events simultaneously during the same week. To accommodate the upgraded format, the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, OH is currently undergoing a 3-year, $20 million development that will expand the grounds by 40 percent.
Cicero will be charged with guiding many of the tournament-related operations for the event, including relations with professional tennis governing bodies, the ATP World Tour and WTA. He will oversee marketing and corporate sponsorship sales, and assist with broadcast and volunteer management.
"The Western & Southern Open holds a prestigious place on the international sports landscape and is truly one of the crown jewels of our community, so I am extremely proud to join this world-class team," said Vince Cicero. "With a convergence of a rich tradition and a progressive approach, we expect the tournament to continue to grow and positively impact the community. This year’s tournament brings new excitement to what is already an amazing event."
Cicero’s appointment is subject to ATP World Tour and WTA approval. Decisions from both are expected before the beginning of the event in August 2011.