Polo Ralph Lauren and the USTA Sign Four-Year Global US Open Partnership; Designer to Become Official Apparel Sponsor–Will Outfit All On-Court Ball Persons and Officials
The USTA and Polo Ralph Lauren announced today a new global partnership, designating Polo Ralph Lauren the Official Apparel Sponsor of the US Open through 2008. This association is the most significant sports marketing partnership in the company's 37-year history. This four-year landmark partnership will include the creation of an official shirt designed by Ralph Lauren, which will outfit all on-court officials including ball persons and line judges.
Polo Ralph Lauren and the USTA will create a major retail presence to be open for the duration of the tournament, which will reflect the Ralph Lauren sensibility. Initial plans call for co-branded US Open/Polo Ralph Lauren merchandise to be sold at select retail stores.
At the US Open, line judge boxes in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium and the Grandstand will be branded Polo Ralph Lauren. Other on-site visibility will include ring signage in Arthur Ashe Stadium as well as a presence on the video and electronic message boards throughout the grounds.
The USTA and Polo Ralph Lauren will jointly develop broad marketing and activation programs to support their new partnership. Polo Ralph Lauren will have a major online presence on USOpen.org and will feature US Open apparel at Polo.com. Additional components of the advertising and marketing campaign will be announced shortly.
“We are very excited to be partnering with the USTA and to play such a key role in one of the most celebrated global sporting events,” said Ralph Lauren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation.
“This partnership creates a new, worldwide platform for the integration of fashion and sport – – all part of the unique appeal of tennis,” said Arlen Kantarian, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA. “Polo Ralph Lauren will bring a new dimension of style to the US Open.”
“We're thrilled to be working with Ralph Lauren, the legendary designer whose work embodies the American lifestyle,” said Pierce O'Neil, Chief Business Officer, USTA. “Athletic and artistic style on the court and in the crowd play a central role in the excitement of the US Open.”
As part of this initiative, Polo Ralph Lauren has signed a contract with Scott Oudsema, the three-time junior Grand Slam winner, to represent the Ralph Lauren tennis brand in their upcoming advertising campaign.
The US Open is the highest annually attended sporting event in the world with more than 625,000 fans. More than 86 million viewers watched the 2004 US Open on CBS Sports and USA Network, and international broadcasts reached 199 countries.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. It owns and operates the US Open, the largest annually attended sporting event in the world and, in 2004, launched the US Open Series, which links 11 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 96 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. A not-for-profit organization with more than 675,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grassroots to the professional levels. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For more than 35 years, Polo's reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company's brand names, which include “Polo by Ralph Lauren”, “Ralph Lauren Purple Label”, “Ralph Lauren” , “Black Label”, “Blue Label”, “Lauren by Ralph Lauren”, “Polo Jeans Co.”, “RRL”, “RLX”, “Rugby”, “RL Childrenswear”, “Chaps” and “Club Monaco” among others, constitute one of the world's most widely recognized families of consumer brands. For more information, go to www.polo.com.