BB&T Agrees to Naming Rights Deal
For Atlanta Tennis Championships
BB&T ATLANTA OPEN TO BE PLAYED AT ATLANTIC STATION
IN THE HEART OF MIDTOWN ATLANTA JULY 14-22
ATLANTA, Monday, April 23, 2012 – The Atlanta ATP World Tour event has a new title sponsor in BB&T and the tournament is now called the BB&T Atlanta Open.
The BB&T Atlanta Open will be held at Atlantic Station July 14-22 and is the first men’s event in the Emirates Airline US Open Series. The player field is slated to include former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, current world No. 11 John Isner, young rising American star Jack Sock and an international contingent including current world No. 17 Kei Nishikori, Japan’s highest ranking male player in the Open Era, and current world No. 32 Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
“A solid sponsorship base is critical to the sustainable success of a professional tennis event in the Atlanta market,” stated Tournament Director Bob Bryant. “In BB&T, we gained a sponsor and a true partner in supporting this event and the avid Atlanta tennis community. We could not have found a better partner and look forward to BB&T’s active participation in the efforts of USTA Southern and the BB&T Atlanta Open.”
The partnership terms are for a minimum of three years and include official sponsorship of the USTA Southern Section, which represents approximately 25 percent of the national USTA membership. A study by the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the BB&T Atlanta Open economic impact on the city to exceed $10.3 million. The tournament is broadcast nationally on ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel, as well as globally via several international broadcasters. American Mardy Fish, a top 10 ATP World Tour player, has won the last two Atlanta tournaments facing Isner in the final both times. The tournament has also featured collegiate players from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia State.
“We are excited to partner with the Atlanta ATP World Tour event and look forward to supporting tennis in Atlanta for years to come,” said Brant Standridge, regional president of BB&T North Atlanta region. “The Atlanta market is very important to BB&T and this investment is a perfect fit. We believe our local community focus truly differentiates us from other banks. This is a significant event for Midtown Atlanta, and with our regional headquarters in Atlantic Station, we are ideally suited to participate in a marquis attraction for the area.”
USTA Southern President and BB&T Atlanta Open Tournament Chairman Mike McNulty said, “As we grow tennis in the South, our section’s partnership with BB&T is a major move forward in our nine-state section. BB&T is a major financial institution in six of those states. This is a win-win-win as the section and the tournament both get a new partner.”
The BB&T Atlanta Open is moving from previous suburban Atlanta locations to the heart of Midtown Atlanta for the first year of a multi-year partnership with Atlantic Station as the new host site. The tournament will be played on three new competition courts and three new practice courts being built on the site.
The 3,600-seat stadium court will be visible from I-75/I-85, offering an outstanding view of the Atlanta skyline. This is one of the few outdoor tournaments ever to be held in the middle of a city on the entire ATP World Tour. Atlantic Station is a mixed-use development featuring 12 restaurants, 30 retailers and a movie theater complex. Play begins with qualifying rounds on July 14 and 15 and first round main draw matches begin July 16.
The BB&T Atlanta Open is moving from previous suburban Atlanta locations to the heart of Midtown Atlanta for the first year of a multi-year partnership with Atlantic Station as the new host site. The tournament will be played on three new competition courts and three new practice courts being built on the site. The 3,600-seat stadium court will be visible from I-75/I-85, offering an outstanding view of the Atlanta skyline. This is one of the few outdoor tournaments ever to be held in the middle of a city on the entire ATP World Tour. Atlantic Station is a mixed-use development featuring 12 restaurants, 30 retailers and a movie theater complex. Play begins with qualifying rounds on July 14 and 15 and first round main draw matches begin July 16.
Weeklong tickets are available at www.bbtatlantaopen.com. Individual tickets will be available after May 1.
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About the BB&T Atlanta Open
Mardy Fish defeated John Isner in 2010 and 2011 to win the first two singles finals when the tournament was called the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Other top competitors included Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and Robby Ginepri, of Marietta, Ga. More than 72,000 spectators attended the tournament that offers $531,000 in prize money annually. Atlantic Station signed a multi-year deal to host the tournament starting in 2012. The 2012 Tournament is expected to provide an economic impact of $10.3 million to the city of Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. The ATP World Tour formally awarded the ATP 250 sanction to the USTA Southern Section in December 2009.
Visit us on www.bbtatlantaopen.com, www.facebook.com/BBTAtlantaOpen, twitter.com/BBTAtlantaOpen.
BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $174.8 billion in assets and market capitalization of $21.9 billion, as of March 31, 2012. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates approximately 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. A Fortune 500 company, BB&T is consistently recognized for outstanding client satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Greenwich Associates and others. More information about BB&T and its full line of products and services is available at www.BBT.com.
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.
About the ATP World Tour
With 62 tournaments in 32 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the ATP World Tour battle for prestigious titles at Grand Slams (non ATP members), ATP World Tour Masters 1000, ATP World Tour 500 and ATP World Tour 250 events. At the end of the season the world’s top 8 ranked singles players and top 8 doubles teams, based on their performance throughout the year, qualified to compete in the season’s climax - the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Held at London’s O2 arena, the event officially crowned the 2011 ATP World Tour Champion and determined the final South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.
About USTA Southern
The USTA is divided into 17 sections, of which USTA Southern is the largest. The 187,000+ USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up USTA Southern, and account for approximately 25 percent of the total USTA membership. The section owns and operates the BB&T Atlanta Open, an ATP World Tour 250 tournament. A professional staff housed in Norcross, Ga., carries out USTA Southern’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by USTA Southern, visit www.southerntennis.com.
About Atlantic Station
A national example for sustainable mixed-use communities, Atlantic Station (www.atlanticstation.com) transformed an abandoned industrial site into a thriving entertainment district at the heart of Atlanta’s vibrant Midtown neighborhood. Opened in 2005, Atlantic Station is home to some of Atlanta’s most popular restaurants, retailers such as H&M and Dillard’s and leading employers such as Wells Fargo and BB&T. Atlantic Station each year hosts dozens of community gatherings, charity walks and neighborhood forums. Susan G. Komen Atlanta Race for the Cure and other events at Atlantic Station have raised more than $50 million for Atlanta charities since 2005. A national leader in consumer engagement and technology, Atlantic Station has the No. 6 most followed Twitter feed among U.S. retail centers.
Visit Atlantic Station on Twitter at twitter.com/atlanticstation or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AtlanticStation
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For more information, contact:
Ron Cioffi, ATC Media Director, USTA Southern Director of Communications
Office: 770-368-8200 x112, Cell: 770-378-7856, Cioffi@sta.usta.com
Beth Carter, Marketing Inspirations
Office: 678-866-3572, Cell: 404-660-9887, BethC@marketinginspirations.com