By Barry Janoff
March 1, 2014: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, John and Patrick McEnroe and Mike and Bob Bryan will be the focus of attention on the court during the BNP Paribas Showdown, but a roster of marketing partners, including a bevy of newcomers, will court the public prior to and during the friendly tennis matches in Madison Square Garden on March 3.
The 7th annual BNP Paribas Showdown, but the first since Madison Square Garden completed its billion-dollar renovation, will see world's No. 2 ranked and six-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic face No. 7 ranked and 2013 Olympic gold medalist and Wimbledon champ Murray face six-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic, with the McEnroe brothers facing the Bryans in a doubles match.
BNP Paribas, returning for the sixth consecutive year as the title sponsor, leads a roster of marketers that include first-time Esurance, Financial Times, Hangzhou Tourism, MTC Limo, Penguin, RADO and SAP; joining returning partners Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, Dominican Republic Tourism, Getty Images, JW Marriott Essex House, Kia Motors, Optimum, Sportime, Tennis.com, the U.S. Tennis Assn. and Wilson Tennis.
Marketing partners will receive multi-platform integration at the event, including on-site signage throughout Madison Square Garden, exposure on the new center-hung GardenVision, scoreboard, placement in the official event program in-arena PA reads and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
Select partners get added exposure through TV, national print and digital ads, as well as involvement in such pre-event activities as a USTA 10-and-under tennis clinic prior to the feature matches.
The Showdown, under the auspices of sports managment, marketing and entertainment firm StarGames Inc., will be broadcast live on ESPN 2 (Djokovic-Murray) and ESPN 3 (McEnroes-Bryans) and internationally in more than 130 countries, including nearly 50 nations via ESPN.
The 2014 BNP Paribas Showdown is being held in conjunction with the second annual World Tennis Day, which aims to bring the game to young players and raise tennis awareness among all ages.
“Madison Square Garden is proud to welcome an awesome lineup of new and returning partners for the BNP Paribas Showdown," Dave Howard, president for MSG Sports, said in a statement. “We look forward to delivering unmatched value for partners combining the power of 'The World’s Most Famous Arena' with this premier world-class tennis event that draws the international sports spotlight to the heart of Manhattan.”
Among other activations, Delta Air Lines will host a Sky Miles auction for a chance to attend a clinic with one of the players; Penguin will outfit the officials and ball kids; Kia Motors will display their new K900 flagship sedan; Wilson will provide the official tennis balls; RADO will supply the official clocks and radar; and JW Marriott will be the official hotel for the BNP Paribas Showdown and host the pre-match media day.
“The combination of world class tennis, the 'World's Most Famous Arena,' World Tennis Day, worldwide television coverage and New York City make the BNP Paribas Showdown a proven platform for sponsors,” Jerry Solomon, president for StarGames, said in a statement. “Perhaps what I like most about the event is seeing our elite list of corporate partners take advantage of everything the event has to offer from brand building to corporate entertaining to sampling to social media activation.”
Previous BNP Paribas Showdowns in Madison Square Garden have featured: current players and legends including Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Ivan Lendl, Juan Martin del Potro, Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.
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