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BNP Paribas Open Announces New Owner

Indian Wells — The BNP Paribas Open, the most attended tennis tournament in the world outside of the four major events, to be held March 8-21, 2010, and its home, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, have been purchased by Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation, it was announced today by Charlie Pasarell and Raymond Moore of PM Sports Management.

Ellison, who formed Tennis Ventures, LLC, purchased 100% of the assets from the previous ownership group, which featured Pasarell and Moore, George Mackin and Bob Miller of Tennis magazine and Tennis.com, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), and tennis legends Pete Sampras, Chris Evert, and Billie Jean King.

“I am very excited to become the new owner of the prestigious BNP Paribas Open,” said Ellison. “Anyone who knows me knows that I love the game of tennis. I play it regularly, watch it frequently, and now look forward to being in Indian Wells every March to host the greatest players in the world. This tournament has an incredibly solid foundation, including one of the best venues and management teams, and I intend to build on that and continue the vision of being one of the greatest international sporting events worldwide.”

The tournament originally came to the Coachella Valley in 1976, and in 1981 Charlie Pasarell became Tournament Director. He and Moore formed PM Sports Management in 1985 and have since been owners and managing partners. They will continue to manage the event and the Indian Wells Tennis Garden for Tennis Ventures, LLC. Steve Simon will continue as Tournament Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and former owner George Mackin will be Director of Sponsorship Marketing.

“As we embark on the 35th anniversary of the BNP Paribas Open and the tenth anniversary of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Raymond, the previous owners and I are thrilled to have Larry Ellison as the new owner,” said Pasarell. “He is as passionate as we are and desires to continue with the vision and the goals we have established.”

For more information about the BNP Paribas Open, or to purchase tickets and travel packages, visit bnpparibasopen.org, call 800-999-1585 or 760-200-8000, or visit the box office, 78-200 Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA, 92210.

About the BNP Paribas Open

The BNP Paribas Open is held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and is the largest combined ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event in the world. The event will be celebrating its 35th anniversary March 8 – 21, 2010, with defending champions Rafael Nadal and Vera Zvonareva and more than 300 of the best men’s and women’s tennis players in the world. To purchase tickets visit bnpparibasopen.org, call 800-999-1585 or 760-200-8000, or visit the Indian Wells Tennis Garden box office, 78-200 Miles Avenue, Indian Wells, CA 92210.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas is a European leader in global banking and financial services and is one of the 3 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor’s. The group is present in 85 countries, with more than 171,000 employees, including 131.000 in Europe. The group holds key positions in three major segments: Corporate and Investment Banking, Asset Management & Services and Retail Banking. Present throughout Europe in all of its business lines, the bank’s two domestic markets in retail banking are France and Italy. BNP Paribas also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets.

About BNP Paribas and tennis

In 2008, BNP Paribas celebrated the 35th anniversary of its association with the tennis world. Since 1973, BNP Paribas has been actively involved in this sport, regularly increasing its support – both locally and internationally, for families, schools and the community.

Historically, BNP Paribas has had a special relationship with every facet of the tennis world: official global sponsor of Roland Garros for 35 years, sponsor of the Davis Cup since 2001, of the Fed Cup since 2005 and since the acquisition of BNL in 2006, the “Internazionali BNL d'Italia”, as well as actively supporting numerous other international competitions (WTA Bank of the West Classic in California, the Monte Carlo Masters Series, BNP Paribas Strasbourg Women's Open, Grand Prix de Lyon, etc.). BNP Paribas also supports tennis locally in France, and is involved in more than 550 tournaments, including the BNP Paribas family trophy, various training programmes set up by the French Tennis Federation and Yannick Noah’s “Fête le Mur” association.

 

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