Memphis Open Seeking a Title Sponsor

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Memphis Open Tennis News

The Memphis Open is seeking a title sponsor for $700,000 to $750,000, and has launched an unusual initiative to find one.

The long-running tournament signed a presenting sponsor a year ago, but has not had a title sponsor since Regions Morgan Keegan decided not to renew its agreement four years ago.

The tournament has also changed ownership multiple times, with SG Sports, a group led by promoter and agent Jerry Solomon, buying the event from the USTA, which had purchased it from the previous owners to stop it from leaving the country.

“It’s a huge priority,” Solomon told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Professional tennis around the world is based on major sponsorship support.”

Tournament director Erin Mazurek has formed a group called the Courtsiders Club, formed with 20 local business leaders, which she hopes will help expose the tournament to potential sponsors.

Attracting good publicity and attendance, she said, would “help us have conversations for a title sponsorship that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
“That would be huge,” she added. “The title sponsorship is key.”

Ticket sales for the event have increased, according to their figures.

A member of the Courtsiders Club, Kevin Kane, who is president of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the publication, however, that the event might look at another location if it does not gather community and sponsor backing.

“I don’t think [SG Sports] is here for the long term if the tournament doesn’t turn around from a fan base or financial standpoint,” he said. “There are bigger cities – St. Louis, Chicago – that don’t have a pro tennis tournament.”

Three-time champion Kei Nishikori is the top player at the event.

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.