Visit Orlando becomes sponsor of US Open [Orlando Sentinel :: ]
(Orlando Sentinel (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) June 20--One month after the U.S. Tennis Association announced it would build a national training facility in Lake Nona, the region's chief tourism-marketing agency says it has reached an agreement with the USTA to become the exclusive "global tourism partner" of the US Open.
Visit Orlando said Wednesday that the sponsorship deal means the agency's logo will be displayed on courts during the tournament, which runs Aug. 25 through Sept. 8 this year, and that it will have the opportunity to distribute other marketing merchandise to more than 700,000 tennis fans expected to attend the competition.
The agency has not decided what that merchandise -- or promotional material -- will be.
Visit Orlando also will host receptions at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, sponsor Arthur Ashe's Kids Day and participate in other marketing campaigns targeting 750,000 members of the USTA.
The agency and the USTA say the Open is the most-attended annual sporting event in the world and is now broadcast in 185 countries.
The amount Visit Orlando paid for the sponsorship rights is not known. The organization, which gets more than half of its $64 million budget from Orange County's tourist development tax, would not say how much it spent.
Working with the US Open "provides a unique forum for Visit Orlando to reach a global audience of potential travelers in all of our key markets," said Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel.
The deal builds on a relationship announced in May, when the USTA confirmed it would build a $60 million training center at Lake Nona, in southeast Orlando. The center, dubbed the "new home for American tennis" by USTA President David Haggerty, will include more than 100 courts, dormitories and seating for 1,200.
The association has said it will provide "coaching and player development for virtually every level of the game." The center is expected to open in 2016.
USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Gordon Smith said "it is important to form a longstanding partnership with Visit Orlando to ensure we create the greatest visibility for our sport, our facility and our new partner."
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