While winter may still have a month to go, the new New Haven Open at Yale, a re-launched WTA-only event that is part of the Olympus US Open Series to be held Aug. 19-27, 2011 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, is already taking shape. First Niagara signed on as the Presenting Sponsor of the tournament for a minimum of three years, it was announced today by Tournament Director, Anne Worcester. The new tournament name will be New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara and in the coming months a new tournament logo will be unveiled.
First Niagara, a multi-state community-oriented bank providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses, joins Cornerstone Sponsors Aetna, American Express, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Yale University as major supporters.
“I am thrilled to announce that First Niagara will be our Presenting Sponsor for at least the next three years,” said Worcester. “When First Niagara President and Chief Executive Officer John Koelmel and I spoke in September, the future of the tournament was very much in doubt. John made it clear, at that time, that he understood the importance of the tournament to the New Haven community and that he intended First Niagara to play a significant role in supporting our future success.”
First Niagara’s sponsorship activation will have a strong emphasis on supporting and developing community outreach tennis programs such as:
- First Niagara Family Classic: A parent/child tournament which takes place from February-August across eight states, has more than 5,000 participants, and culminates during the New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara.
- First Niagara Free Lessons: An annual large scale clinic in May that introduces hundreds of New Haven school kids to the game of tennis. At the end of the lesson, kids are encouraged to sign up for affordable tennis lessons offered through New Haven Youth Tennis and New Haven Parks and Recreation.
- First Niagara Latino Day: A clinic and Q&A session with a professional tennis player which introduces New Haven Latino youth to the game of tennis during the New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara. At the end of the day, kids are encouraged to sign up for affordable tennis lessons offered through New Haven Youth Tennis and New Haven Parks and Recreation.
In addition, First Niagara is working with the tournament to expand mentoring and academic tutoring initiatives within tennis programs in New Haven and beyond.
“Adding First Niagara as Presenting Sponsor of the New Haven Open at Yale puts us in an extremely strong position moving forward,” continued Worcester. “We now have five major partners, which allows us to continue to deliver good value and terrific entertainment to fans. Furthermore, First Niagara’s commitment to supporting our Community Outreach programs is significant because our philosophies are completely aligned—it’s all about using this tennis tournament as a vehicle to provide opportunities for youth to engage in healthy activities that will improve their lives and give them a better chance to become successful adults.”
First Niagara will also receive tournament sponsorship benefits including signage which provides substantial branding exposure to more than 80,000 on-site spectators and millions of television viewers via eight hours of coverage on ESPN2, significant on-site exposure to connect with consumers, tickets and hospitality to entertain clients, and more.
Last year, Caroline Wozniacki won her third straight singles title in New Haven, and it is hoped that the Danish beauty and No. 1-ranked woman’s player in the world, will return to defend her title and join Venus Williams as the only four-time champion since the tournament moved to Connecticut in 1998.
For more information about the New Haven Open at Yale, visit www.newhavenopen.com.
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