Mercedes-Benz, ATP Continue to Strengthen Acclaimed Commercial Partnership
ATP pre-eminent partner increases on- and off-court sponsorship efforts in 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Alison S. Kim
01/02/07 - Stuttgart and London – Mercedes-Benz and the ATP today refuted claims that Mercedes-Benz would be opting out of its acclaimed sports marketing partnership with the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuit. The longstanding commercial partnership between the two organizations, first formed in 1996 and extended last November through 2008, continues to be one of the most successful and visible in all of sports worldwide.
"The ATP values the longstanding relationship with Mercedes-Benz and DaimlerChrysler and clearly this unfounded speculation serves to both undermine the ATP and also harm the reputation of Mercedes-Benz as a good commercial partner. We regret that this has resulted in the unwarranted circulation of this inaccurate and unfounded story. Olaf Göttgens visited our successful year-end tournament in Shanghai and was most impressed," said ATP Chairman and President Etienne de Villiers. "It is particularly ironic that the speculation of Mercedes-Benz exiting the contract early comes at a time when tennis is surging in popularity and ATP is introducing a number of measures to improve the appeal and marketability of the tour."
"The article in 'Capital' is nothing but a wild guess. Mercedes-Benz is known for fulfilling its contracts as a reliable partner. As a matter of course that also includes our successful ATP partnership. Much to our regret we have to realize that Mercedes-Benz sports sponsorship activities are fertile ground for journalist speculation," said Dr. Olaf Göttgens, the recently appointed Vice President, Brand Communications, for Mercedes-Benz
As the 'Official Car of the ATP' and the main sponsor of the Tennis Masters Cup, Mercedes-Benz provides transportation at many of the ATP's 63 tournaments in 30 countries each year, showcases prominent car displays at tournament sites and positions its Mercedes-Benz 'star' signage on nets.
In 2006, Mercedes-Benz's displayed its on-going commitment to the ATP through its sponsorship of the player challenge system at the Tennis Masters Cup, as well as 'Stars for Stars: The Official Awards Party of Professional Tennis,' a red-carpet event last March in Miami recognizing the best men’s and women’s tennis players. Mercedes-Benz also contributed to ATP charity efforts during the Tennis Masters Cup, donating items for the on-site charity auction and pledging 1,000 RMB for each ace served during the Championship match.
The Mercedes-Benz/ATP partnership, initiated in 1996 with a four-year agreement after extensive research indicated to Mercedes-Benz that tennis was their customers' favorite sport globally, was first extended in 1999 and renewed for a second time in 2002. The third renewal of the partnership in 2005 ensured that Mercedes-Benz would remain the ATP's pre-eminent partner for at least 13 consecutive years.
With 63 tournaments in 30 countries, the ATP showcases the finest athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the ATP Rankings and the top tandems in the Stanford ATP Doubles Race contend for prestigious titles at ATP Masters Series and other ATP tournaments. The season's top eight singles players and doubles teams earn coveted berths at the elite Tennis Masters Cup, the circuit-ending championship held in China. For more information, please visit www.ATPtennis.com
ATP VP, Media Relations: Graeme Agars, firstname.lastname@example.org
DaimlerChrysler Head of Sports Communications: Claudia Merzbach, Claudia.Merzbach@daimlerchrysler.com, +49 (711) 179 5379