ATP Unveils New Top Tier Of Events for 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: S. Alison Kim
08/31/07 - New York, USA. – The ATP, governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuit, announced today eight additional venues that have been awarded “1000” status for the new-look 2009 ATP Tour. The eight are Indian Wells, Miami, Rome, Madrid, Cincinnati, Canada, Shanghai and Paris. The “1000” tournaments will replace the existing Masters Series, and these eight tournaments will join the ninth “1000” event, Monte Carlo, to make up the top tier of the new ATP Tour structure.
The eight tournaments named will attract a mandatory player field, ensuring guaranteed top player participation at all events. The commitment will be backed by new rules and sanctions that include suspension for missed mandatory tournaments.
Launching in 2009, the ATP Tour will undergo its largest set of changes since its creation in 1990. As well as new tournaments and a record breaking level of prize money, the ATP will also introduce a new brand look and identity based on extensive consumer research and designed to make the Tour more fan friendly by linking tournaments to their winners ranking point levels of either “1000”, “500” or “250”.
The new look 2009 calendar will also ensure increased investment into men’s tennis. Between them the “1000” tournaments alone will bring over $500m of facility investment into new stadia builds or existing facility upgrade. The new builds include the spectacular Caja Magica in Madrid, the proposed new indoor arena in Paris and the recently completed Qi Zhong stadium in Shanghai.
“The 2009 ATP Tour is about the world’s best tennis players performing in the world’s very best stadiums at the right times of the season and we have now created a top tier that will showcase our sport, deliver substantially increased investment into our facilities and will attract more broadcast and sponsor support,” said Etienne de Villiers, Executive Chairman of the ATP. “Additionally, by creating more combined events we are taking the sport to a new level. I believe we now have a standard of top tier event that the sport, its players, its sponsors and above all its fans truly deserve.”
The ATP also announced that by 2011 six of the nine “1000” level tournaments will be combined events. Cincinnati and Rome will become combined ATP and WTA tournaments and in addition Canada will have the ATP and WTA tournaments running simultaneously in Toronto and Montreal.
The ATP Tour has continued to work closely on its plans with all branches of the sport. Larry Scott, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Chairman said: "I applaud Etienne and the ATP Board for taking bold steps that are great for tennis. There is a shared vision for the future of our sport, including a focus on combined events at the top of both Tours."
In addition to the “1000s”, the ATP Board this week also announced that 22 applications have been received from tournaments wishing to become one of ten proposed events that will make up the second tier of the 2009 calendar – the “500s”. The successful applicants will be announced after further review.
Offering 500 points for each champion, the “500” level tournaments will attract increased prize money levels of $1m, will spark increased facility investment around the world and will attract more broadcasting partner opportunities globally.
The new look calendar, with revised scheduling and mini swings running into each Grand Slam and the ATP Tour Finals, will ensure the season is more understandable for fans and media, more appealing for sponsors and healthier for players. The 2009 calendar will be backed by a record multi million dollar global marketing and promotional spend. The final calendar will be announced in Shanghai at the Tennis Masters Cup.
The Tour will conclude in November 2009 at the new look ATP Tour Finals, to be held at the iconic O2 Arena in London.
ATP Media Contact: Kris Dent – +44 (0)7887 593660; firstname.lastname@example.org