The USTA has announced a multi-year extension of their long-standing marketing partnership with Citizen Watch Company. With the current partnership agreement set to expire following the 2010 US Open, this new five-year extension will keep Citizen in place as a USTA Corporate Champion and as the Official Timekeeper of the US Open through the 2015 event. Citizen has been a partner of the USTA and the US Open since 1993. In addition to extending the current partnership agreement for the US Open, Citizen will become an Official Sponsor and the Exclusive Timekeeper of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters & Women's Open tournament, beginning in 2011.
As part of the agreement, Citizen will continue to receive significant on-site branding during each US Open, including branded Match Time displays on each of the five televised courts, including Arthur Ashe Stadium, as well as signage on the in-stadium videoboards. Citizen will also maintain its position as an Official Sponsor of Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, the interactive tennis and entertainment festival that serves as the unofficial kick-off of America's Grand Slam. Other key elements of the agreement include a television media component and a significant presence on USOpen.org, the official website of the tournament. USOpen.org enjoyed a record year in 2009 with total visits topping 63 million and unique visitors up 47% vs. 2008 levels.
In 2011, Citizen also will become an Official Partner and the Exclusive Timekeeper of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters & Women's Open, one of the tournaments that comprise the Olympus US Open Series. This prestigious event, which takes place in Mason, Ohio each August, will become a combined men's and women's professional event in 2011. In addition, Citizen will maintain its position as an Official Sponsor and the Exclusive Timekeeper of the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament in New Haven, Conn., another Olympus US Open Series event. For both tournaments, Citizen will have branded, television-visible Match Time displays positioned on the primary show courts for every match in addition to other branding and hospitality-related benefits.
"Citizen is one of our longest-standing partners and it is a testament to the power of the US Open—especially in these challenging times—that a corporation of Citizen's stature has decided to extend our partnership for another five years," said Harlan Stone, Chief Business and Marketing Officer for the USTA. "The USTA prides itself on maintaining long-term relationships, and we are extremely grateful that Citizen has decided to continue their investment in the US Open and continue to support the growth of tennis."
Laurence R. Grunstein, President of Citizen Watch Company of America, continues, "Citizen is also pleased to have renewed its longstanding relationship with the USTA as the Official Timekeeper of the US Open. Tennis is among the few sports that resonate strongly with women as well as men, and a majority of Citizen's customers around the world follow tennis. The US Open, which boasts the widest event attendance worldwide, also broadcasts in more than 180 countries, providing the additional benefit of international exposure. Citizen's association with the USTA has been great for our brand, and renewing the contract for another five years will enable us to continue to promote our brand on a global basis."
The 2010 US Open will be held Monday, August 30 through Sunday, September 12. Arthur Ashe Kids' Day presented by Hess, a full-day tennis and music festival for children and families, will take place Saturday, August 28. The US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world with more than 720,000 fans in attendance in 2009. More than 100 million viewers watched the 2009 US Open on CBS Sports, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel. International broadcasts of the US Open reached more than 180 countries. In 2009, Juan Martin del Potro won his first US Open singles title and Kim Clijsters, who is a brand ambassador for Citizen, capped her return to the game with her second US Open title.
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