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International Tennis Hall of Fame Presents Sony Ericsson With The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award

New York, NY -– Sony Ericsson will be honored for its ongoing contribution to tennis with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award by the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the annual “Legends Ball” on Friday, September 5, 2008 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Held during the final Friday of the 2008 US Open, the tennis world will come together for this premier social event of the tennis season to honor the 2008 Hall of Fame induction class, to celebrate the sport and to recognize its supporters and luminaries.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the International Tennis Hall of Fame,” said Hideki Komiyama, President of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. “Sony Ericsson is the biggest title sponsor of women’s sport globally, and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is at the heart of our sponsorship strategy. The International Tennis Hall of Fame and the entire tennis community have been great partners in helping us grow the Tour and we will continue to go from strength to strength as we strive to bring tennis fans closer to the passion, excitement and action of the game.”

The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award was created in honor of an individual whose passion and generosity for the game of tennis inspired others from all walks of life to contribute to the advancement of the sport. Joseph F. Cullman 3rd served as President and Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum from 1982-88, a tenure during which the organization was elevated to worldwide recognition. Cullman hoped that visits to the historic site would inspire young people to play tennis, learn and appreciate its history, and honor the great players of the past. Last year, Rolex was recognized with the Cullman Award and in 2006, the French company BNP Paribas received the inaugural award.

Sony Ericsson is a top global industry player operating in over 80 countries. Its phones, accessories and PC cards are synonymous with innovation and style. The company was established as a 50:50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson in 2001, with global corporate functions located in London.

In 2005 Sony Ericsson became the worldwide title sponsor of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in the largest and most comprehensive sponsorship in the history of tennis. Since then, the tour has grown to become the world’s premier professional sport for women with more than 1,300 players representing 75 nations and competing for $60 million in prize money. Sony Ericsson’s support of the 62 tour events covering 35 countries has helped lead to equal prize money at all four Grand Slam events, landmark television contracts, technological innovations such as electronic line-calling, pre-match player interviews and on-court coaching. In addition, numerous global brands have followed Sony Ericsson’s lead in supporting the women’s professional tour events.

“In just four short years Sony Ericsson has made a dramatic impact in the growth of women’s tennis,” said Mark L. Stenning, Chief Executive Officer of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “We are proud to recognize their efforts and to honor them for their tremendous support of the game.”

The Legends Ball, held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and to honor some of the sport’s great contributors all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. A legendary line-up of tennis greats will also be in attendance, including more than a dozen Hall of Famers, tennis dignitaries, the event’s Player Co-Chairs Jim Courier, Monica Seles and Owen Davidson plus Co-Chairs, Phil de Picciotto, President of Octagon Athletes & Personalities, Alexander M. Seaver, Managing Director of Stadium Capital Management, LLC and Peter Palandjian, Chairman and CEO of Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame board.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the third annual Eugene L. Scott Award to tennis icon and Hall of Famer Billie Jean King. The award honors an individual who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Scott founded the national tennis publication Tennis Week magazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, “Vantage Point.” Andre Agassi was honored last year, while John McEnroe received the inaugural award in 2006.

Guests attending the Legends Ball will have the opportunity to mingle with tennis royalty and enjoy the fabulous food and electric atmosphere at Cipriani, while bidding on once-in-a-lifetime experiences in a silent and live auction. Previous auction items have included: a hit session with Pete Sampras; golf with Jack Nicklaus; tickets to American Idol and The Grammy Awards; a weekend at the Wimbledon Finals; a one-week stay in a four-bedroom villa in Jamaica; and exclusive rounds of golf at some of the top golf courses in America.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about the event, call 212-843-1740 or e-mail legendsball@hgnyc.com. The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Newport, RI, is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide.

 

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