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'Showdown' Serves Up a Strong Marketing Partners

New York, NY — Madison Square Garden and StarGames announced today a strong lineup of marketing partners for the upcoming “BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup” at Madison Square Garden on Monday, March 1, 2010. The marketing partners will align their brands with the top women in the world of tennis at the one-night, single elimination event. The semifinal matchups feature current World No. 1 and defending champion Serena Williams against 2009 US Open champion Kim Clijsters, and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams taking on 2009 French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. The champion will receive the one-of-a-kind Billie Jean King Cup, designed by Steuben Glass.

Title partner BNP Paribas has returned for a second year, continuing their strong commitment to support the sport of tennis. As part of their partnership BNP Paribas will host a pre-event VIP reception on-site at Madison Square Garden for over 500 guests, including appearances by the four players and other tennis legends. In addition, BNP Paribas has supported their title sponsorship with dominate event signage at Grand Central Terminal in NYC, including Metro-North trains and platforms and street banners in the surrounding neighborhood.

BNP Paribas will be joined by Official Partners Caesars Atlantic City, Delta Air Lines, FIJI Water, Fila, FXDD, Jumeirah Essex House, Lexus, NASDAQ OMX, Optimum, Rums of Puerto Rico, Sportime Tennis Clubs, Steuben Glass, Tennis.com, Travelers Insurance, Ubisoft and Wilson. Partners will receive multi-platform integration at the event, including on-site static and digital signage throughout the arena, video spots on GardenVision center-hung scoreboard, and in-arena PA reads.

“Women’s tennis excellence and Madison Square Garden have been synonymous for decades, and the current partner roster for the BNP Paribas Showdown is a testament to that legacy and the strength of this event,” said Greg Elliott, senior vice president of marketing partnerships for MSG Sports. “Partners have recognized the amazing opportunity to strategically align their brands with the world’s top women’s tennis players and the World’s Most Famous Arena.”

Added Jerry Solomon, president of StarGames: “We are fortunate to be joined by a group of outstanding partners headed by BNP Paribas, the biggest sponsor in all of tennis. There is so much activation going on around the event, from the extensive Grand Central promotions to Ubisoft’s Racquet Sports for Wii™ video game launch to FIJI Water’s ticket discount promotion at Duane Reade. The Showdown has really proven that it provides a great marketing platform for our partners, and it is really rewarding to see these major companies employ the event to their advantage.”

All Official Partners receive added exposure through incorporation into the event’s print, television, radio and digital marketing campaign; they will also be incorporated into a number of pre-event activities, including a tennis clinic hosted by Ivan Lendl and a chalk talk with tennis legends. Official partners for the Showdown are also leveraging the power of the event through a variety of promotions. The Tennis Industry Association held a promotion offering fans the chance to serve for $1 million at the Showdown; FIJI Water will have a ticket discount with purchase promotion at Duane Reade stores in NYC; Kim Clijsters and Svetlana Kuznetsova will debut Fila’s Center Court Collection and play Ubisoft’s Racquet Sports for Wii video game at a special “Match before the Match” event at Madison Square Garden the day before the Showdown; Sportime Tennis Clubs will have special ticket discount offers for members; and Caesars Atlantic City will offer one free night’s stay to all Showdown attendees.

The “BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup” is the featured element of the national “Tennis Night in America” promotion. Through “Tennis Night in America”, the USTA will continue its efforts to grow youth participation in the sport of tennis. “Tennis Night in America” is among the sports largest ever grass roots initiatives. The USTA has made this event a major component for its Youth Registration Night, where youth from all over the country can begin signing up for spring and summer league play.

Limited VIP tickets and additional tickets for $250.00, $125.00, $75.00, $50.00 and $25.00 are currently on sale and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, all Ticketmaster outlets and online at thegarden.com. The “BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup” is produced by StarGames and Madison Square Garden.

MSG Sports Properties, which includes world championship boxing, college basketball, tennis, track & field, and all other sports events, is part of Madison Square Garden, a fully-integrated sports, entertainment and media business. The company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Entertainment and MSG Media, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive its overall business, and built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that MSG creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Hartford Wolf Pack (American Hockey League). MSG Entertainment is a leader in managing and creating concerts and events at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the legendary Chicago Theatre, the Wang Theatre in Boston, and produces the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Media is comprised of leading television networks MSG, MSG Plus, MSG HD and MSG Plus HD, as well as MSG Interactive, which oversees all company wireless and online initiatives, and Fuse and Fuse HD, the national television network dedicated exclusively to music. The company owns and operates the Madison Square Garden arena complex located in the heart of the New York metropolitan area. More information is available at msg.com.

StarGames, LLC (stargamesinc.com), which, in partnership with tennis great Ivan Lendl, promoted the Sampras/Federer match in March of 2008 at the Garden, is a full service sports marketing and production company based outside of Boston, MA. Now in its 14th year, StarGames produces programming for television, broadband and DVD home distribution, and, in association with Champagne Tennis Etcetera, procures sponsors for major sports and entertainment events. In addition, StarGames creates and produces live sporting/entertainment events, represents professional athletes and operates its own broadband channels through affiliations with YouTube and TVUNetworks.

 

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