It’s game, set and match for sponsors

David G. Wilkinson is president of The Wilkinson Group, a Toronto-based international event marketing, education and strategic planning company.Donna LeBlanc is research co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column, which appears in each issue. Contributions, ideas, media releases and feedback should be...

David G. Wilkinson is president of The Wilkinson Group, a Toronto-based international event marketing, education and strategic planning company.

Donna LeBlanc is research co-ordinator for the Event Marketing column, which appears in each issue. Contributions, ideas, media releases and feedback should be directed to Donna at (416) 510-1692, or fax (416) 510-1694.

With more than 70 sponsorship opportunities available from children’s grassroots programs to international tournaments, Tennis Canada announces the return of world class tennis at the Player’s Ltd. International (Canadian Open men’s championships) in Montreal and the Matinee Ltd. International (Canadian Open women’s championships) in Toronto.

Making up the strongest player lineup since 1984, Pete Sampras, the 1993 Wimbledon champion, and the runner-up, Jim Courier, compete with defending Player’s Ltd. International champion Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Michael Chang and Ivan Lendl for a $2.1 million purse in the Player’s Ltd. International from July 24 to Aug. 1 at Jarry Tennis Stadium.

As one of four North American stops on the IBM/ATP Tour, and part of the exclusive ‘Super Nine’ series, this tournament offers sponsorship opportunities from the local to the international level.

Along with the title sponsor, Player’s Ltd., La Presse newspaper has signed on as media sponsor.

The venue will also play host, for the fifth year, to the men’s ATP Senior Tour. Sponsored for the first time by Xerox, the Xerox Legends of Tennis will run from July 22-25, and boasts an impressive field of tennis greats including Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Ilie Nastase and Vitas Gerulaitis.

The $950,000 Matinee Ltd. International women’s tennis championships take place Aug. 14-22 at the National Tennis Centre at York University in Toronto.

Promoted as one of the new ‘Blockbuster’ events on the Kraft Tour Tier I series, entrants in this year’s tournament includes 1993 Wimbledon champion Steffi Graf, defending Matinee Ltd. champion Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Gabriela Sabatini, Jennifer Capriati and Jana Novotna.

As part of their participation, Kraft will promote its Crystal Light drink for the first time at this event.

Based on the strength of the two players’ fields, attendance for both events is expected to be in the area of 100,000-plus.

Packages and categories for these events vary depending on a company’s marketing needs and budget.

National and international tv exposure from court signage, on-site product displays, consumer-oriented promotions, additional signage around the facilities and product exclusivity are a few of the ways that sponsors can reach their target market.

Along with the title sponsors, associate sponsors for both events are bmw, Canadian Airlines International, Esprit, Evian, Reebok, Seagram and Xerox.

Host broadcasters are the CTV Television Network, Societe Radio-Canada, tsn and rds, and men’s coverage also includes seven days on espn.

For more information, contact Michael Fenton, Tennis Canada’s director of corporate sales, at (416) 665-9777, ext. 304.