Olympus America and USTA Announce New Title Sponsorship For US Open Series

January 14, 2008 07:43 AM

New Six Year Partnership Set to Significantly Elevate US Open Series and the US Open

New Agreement is the Most Comprehensive Sponsorship Partnership in the Company’s History

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., January 14, 2008 – The USTA and Olympus America Inc. today jointly announced the signing of a landmark multiyear deal, which makes Olympus the first-time worldwide title sponsor of the US Open Series, and a US Open Corporate Champion. The six-year deal represents the most comprehensive sponsorship partnership in the company’s history and associates one of the fastest-growing precision technology companies with two of tennis’ fastest-growing brands - - the US Open and the US Open Series.

As a cornerstone of the expanded relationship, Olympus will become the first title sponsor of the US Open Series -- the eight-week North American summer season linking 10 tournaments to the US Open. Since its launch four years ago, the Series has doubled television viewership, and continues to bring new sponsors and more fans to the sport.

Under the deal, Olympus will be integrated into all television broadcasts of the Olympus US Open Series and will receive prominent on-court presence at all Series events as well as at the US Open. The Series currently receives more than 75 hours of live national television on ESPN, CBS and NBC, with additional coverage on Tennis Channel.

“This new partnership represents another milestone for the US Open Series and the sport of tennis in North America,” said Arlen Kantarian, CEO, Professional Tennis, USTA. “Olympus is a blue chip brand indigenous to our sport, with a strong commitment to growing the game. This partnership further validates that the US Open Series concept of packaging a summer season of tournaments linked to the US Open, continues to generate new enthusiasm, bringing new sponsors and broadcasters to the sport.”

“For the last five years, Olympus has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the USTA, the US Open and millions of tennis fans around the country and beyond. As a major sponsor of the US Open and now the premier sponsor of the Olympus US Open Series, we have witnessed first-hand the passion and participation of these millions of fans,” said F. Mark Gumz, President and Chief Operating Officer, Olympus America Inc. “Further, we have seen that both photography and active healthy lifestyles are important to them, so the connections between this audience and what the Olympus brand stands for are very strong.”

"The US Open Series has contributed to the growth of the game,” said Andy Roddick, a two-time USOS men’s champion. “It’s been great for the players, but more importantly, it has made it easier for fans to follow the road to the Open on television and really create a summer season. I think it’s huge that Olympus has stepped up to contribute to the game.”

“I’ve been a fan of the US Open Series since it started and have marveled at its growth” said Lindsay Davenport, who won the inaugural USOS women’s title in 2004. “The elevation of Olympus to title sponsor is great news which should help the Series continue to grow the popularity of the game.”

As part of the landmark partnership, the US Open Series Bonus Challenge, which tracks the weekly standings of players in the race to qualify for bonus prize money at the US Open, will be renamed the “Olympus US Open Series Challenge.” Since its launch in 2004, the US Open Series has paid out an additional $4.4 million to players in US Open bonus prize money.

Olympus will use its broader relationship with the summer tennis season in North America to feature the E-System, its Digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera platform, designed with revolutionary features that expand the frontiers of digital photography.

The Olympus US Open Series brings together the 10 summer tournaments in North America, three television networks, tennis’ sanctioning bodies and top corporate sponsors during the summer tennis season. In 2007 the Series continued its enhancements to the sport, including more national TV hours, live back-to-back Finals every Sunday, bonus prize money at the US Open, new court colors, and a significant national marketing campaign.

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Olympus is a precision technology leader, creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products. Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its affiliates worldwide to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:
• Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;
• Advanced clinical and research microscopes;
• Lab automation systems, chemistry-immuno and blood bank analyzers and reagents;
• Digital cameras and voice recorders.

Olympus serves healthcare and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers to efficiently, reliably and more easily achieve exceptional results. Olympus develops breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality for the consumer and professional photography markets, and also is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.