By Liz Kobak
WTA Announces New Partnership with SAP
The WTA has announced a multi-year global sponsorship agreement with worldwide enterprise application software leader SAP.
Through the agreement, the WTA and SAP will collaborate to transform tennis, developing innovative solutions to further fan engagement, providing players with performance analyzing tools that optimize strategy and better service media. SAP is also now an official sponsor of the prestigious WTA Championships.
“Through our cooperation with SAP, we aim to provide revolutionary analysis for our fans, players, coaches and media,” said WTA Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster. “We are thrilled to be teaming with a global, innovative leader like SAP as international companies continue investing in women’s tennis.”
The SAP sponsorship announcement expands on the WTA’s continued business success off court with more than $200 million revenue generated for the organization since 2011. The WTA’s sponsorship portfolio continually grows with six new sponsors in the past three years, including signing global partner Xerox last February.
Hall of Fame Creating Enhanced Tennis Facility
The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport is adding new features to its illustrious roster: an extensive capital campaign in hopes of creating one cohesive campus and world-class tennis facility.
This will offer enhanced visitor experiences while supporting the organization’s goal of preserving tennis’ history and promoting the sport. Four primary campaign focus areas are: Upgrade the museum with new technology and enhanced exhibitions; create more tennis courts and facilities; improve campus-wide amenities including tennis stadium enhancements and overall strategic expansion of the Hall of Fame’s footprint.
“The campaign for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will ensure that we can achieve our mission of preserving the history of tennis,” said Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum Christopher Clouser, “That our facilities offer a world-class, one-of-a-kind experience for tennis enthusiasts, and that the property and our programs are a benefit to the local community.”
The campaign aims to allot $15.7 million toward renovation. In one year of fundraising, only $10,556,000 million has been raised according to the Board of Directors.
Adidas Quarterly Sales Target Falls
German sportswear group Adidas today cut its forecasted sales targets for 2013 on Thursday, blaming plummeting Q2 European sales and unfavorable currency impacts.
Adidas reported €3.38 billion in Q2 sales, significantly lower than effective sales. With €252 million in operating profit, currency sales would have hit €3.5 billion.
“[Adidas’] goals for the full year will be more challenging to reach than when initially announced,” the company said.
CEO Herbert Hainer said he expects the company to reach €17 billion in sales in 2015.
Lagardère Welcomes New North America Head
Sports agency Lagardère Unlimited has appointed longtime sports industry executive Andy Pierce as president and chief executive officer of its North American division.
Previously Pierce spent four years with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), where he established his sports consulting practice and golf division. Prior to that, Pierce represented IMG for 27 years, leading its consulting division.
“Andy is a trusted leader,” said a Lagardère spokesman. “His 30 years of experience in forming corporate partnerships and within the sports industry will enhance our existing business.”
Rising American Female Star Receiving Endorsements
The United States of America’s second highest ranked WTA female tennis player, Sloane Stephens, has lots to smile about in addition to her 2013 successes on court.
The 20-year-old American recently received endorsements from non-tennis brands, unusual especially for female athletes. American Express and Johnson & Johnson’s Listerine are giving Stephens $500,000 annually. UnderArmour is paying her $100,000 including bonuses and featuring her on billboards, where Stephens is the only female included in those advertisements.
“American tennis has been dying for a new star,” said Stephen’s agent and Lagardère Unlimited’s Director of Tennis John Tobias.
UnderArmour will raise Stephens’ endorsement pay to at least $750,000 annually should she continue excelling in tournaments.
USTA/NYJTL Announces Arthur Ashe Essay Contest Winners
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) named ten winners of the 15th Annual USTA/NJTL Arthur Ashe Essay Contest. These winners – ranging from 10 to 18 years old – were selected out of 1800 entries submitted earlier this month. Each winner receives one New York City travel package from August 23-August 25.
“Once again, the annual Arthur Ashe essay contest provides an opportunity for NJTL students to showcase their talents through written expression,” said USTA Chief Executive of Community Tennis Kurt Kamperman,. “This year marks the 20th anniversary of Arthur’s passing, and we are proud that his mission and legacy continues to thrive in NJTL programs throughout the country.”
Grammy Award Winner Headlining 2013 US Open Ceremony
The USTA announced that four-time Grammy Award winning rock artist Lenny Kravitz will headline the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 US Open on Monday, August 26. Kravitz, who has sold 38 million albums world-wide, is performing his globally acclaimed hit “Are You Gonna Go My Way.”
One of this generation’s most successful and versatile musicians, Kravitz uniquely incorporates ’60s and ’70s soul, rock and funk into his performance repertoire. The legendary musician has won more Grammy Awards in the “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” category than anyone else. He is recording another album that’s coming out in 2014.
This US Open ceremony will conclude with the performance of the “Star-Spangled Banner” by 11-year-old Frenie Acoba, who is also making her Broadway debut as Lavender in the hit musical Matilda.
The 2013 US Open is scheduled for Monday, August 26 through Monday, September 9.
PTR Offering Complimentary Youth Tennis Teaching Certification
The PTR (Professional Tennis Registry) is offering free 10 & Under workshops throughout August for anyone who joins the world’s largest organization of tennis instructors. Workshops usually cost at least $150, depending on whether it’s your first or second prospective certification.
Learn more about membership and workshops at http://www.ptr.org
Liz Kobak is a 2010 graduate of Columbia University and Northwestern University journalism master’s recipient. She is a former WTA ranked pro, #1 ranked United States junior tennis player who rates her 6-4, 6-1 win on Italian clay over Sara Errani as her best victory.