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Tennis Night in America names spokesman

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Seven-time Grand Slam tournament champion John McEnroe has been named the 2012 spokesperson for “Tennis Night In America,” a combined promotional effort between the United States Tennis Association (USTA), StarGames, Inc., and MSG Sports.

“Tennis Night in America” is an annual celebration of tennis that includes youth registration events at facilities around the country and is highlighted by the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on March 5.

McEnroe played Ivan Lendl in the 2011 BNP Paribas Showdown, which in 2012 will feature Maria Sharapova vs. Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer vs. Andy Roddick.

“The continued promotion of junior tennis across America is key to the future of our sport,” McEnroe said. “With the new 10 and Under rules now in effect, there is no better time that I can think of to get kids involved in tennis. Tennis Night in America brings focus to all of this so I am excited to be a part of it.”

As part of his role as spokesperson, McEnroe will lead a youth tennis clinic on Feb. 29 at Sportime on Randall’s Island in New York. Similar youth clinics will be held around the country in conjunction with “Tennis Night in America.”

Already more than 750 clubs nationwide have signed up to hold youth registration events throughout the month of March. Each facility will be signing up children for junior tennisprograms, including those that offer 10 and Under Tennis, which uses kid-sized equipment on kid-sized courts.

Youth tennis will be featured at the BNP Paribas Showdown during the Wilson 10 and Under Tennis demonstration that will begin the evening at Madison Square Garden on March 5. The 10 and Under Tennis blended lines will remain on the court during the matches featuring Sharapova, Wozniacki, Roddick and Federer.

McEnroe was a three-time champion at the ATP’s year-end championship when it was held at Madison Square Garden. The left-handed McEnroe spent 170 weeks ranked No. 1 in singles and 270 weeks at No. 1 in doubles. In singles, he was a four-time US Open champion and three-time winner at Wimbledon while compiling 77 career titles. He also claimed six career doubles titles at Grand Slam events.

“Tennis Night in America” began in 2009 and is a partnership between the USTA and BNP Paribas Showdown promoters StarGames and MSG Sports. In 2011, Pete Sampras became the first national spokesperson for “Tennis Night in America.”

“What was at first a one-night celebration of tennis has become a month-long series of events to showcase the sport,” said Jerry Solomon, President and CEO of StarGames. “The support of the stars of the game like John McEnroe and Pete Sampras is an indication of how important youth participation is to the growth of tennis. We look forward to John helping us spread the message of what tennis can offerkids and his participation cultivating greater interest in the sport.”

The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by StarGames and MSG Sports. Tickets remain available for the 2012 event and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office and all Ticketmaster outlets. BNP Paribas Showdown information can be found at www.tennisshowdown.com.

For more information on“Tennis Night in America,” fans around the country can visit tennisnight.com.

The Madison Square Garden Company

The Madison Square Garden Company is a fully-integrated sports, entertainment and media business. The company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive the Company’s overall business, which is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the Company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of owning and operating sports franchises, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Connecticut Whale (AHL). MSG Sports also features other sports properties, including the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, track and field and tennis. MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distributionplatforms, including content originating from the Company’s venues. MSG Media consists of the MSG Networks (MSG, MSG Plus, MSG HD and MSG Plus HD) regional sports networks and the Fuse Networks (Fuse and Fuse HD), a national television network dedicated to music. MSG Entertainment is one of the country’s leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacularfeaturing the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in the Company’s diverse collection of venues. These venues include:Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Theater at Madison SquareGarden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.

StarGames, LLC (www.stargamesinc.com) is a fullyintegrated sports marketing, management and entertainment company based outside of Boston, MA. Now in its 17th year, StarGames represents current and former professional athletes, produces original content for mass media distribution, operates its own broadband television channels and produces live and made for television events. In 2008, StarGames orchestrated the return of tennis to Madison Square Garden with the NetJets Showdown and has turned that into anannual celebration for the sport including two competitions for the Billie Jean King Cup. More recently, StarGames has launched the Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy in Hilton Head Island, in conjunction with Junior Sports Corporation, for elite junior athletes, produced the second season of World of Tennis presented by BNP Paribas and turned the Caesars Tribute figure skating show into an annual salute to the world’s most popular winter sport.

 

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