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ATP Unveils 2009, 2010 & 2011 Tour Calendars

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For first time ATP releases a three year calendar of events

Johannesburg, South Africa the final event confirmed for the new look ATP World Tour

New York, U.S.A. – The ATP, governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuit, today announced the 2009, 2010 and 2011 calendars, all of which will include a new event in Johannesburg, South Africa, the final city destination to be announced on the new-look ATP World Tour from 2009. Johannesburg joins 62 other tournaments in 31 countries.

ATP Calendars: 2009 | 2010 | 2011

As well as record breaking levels of prize money, a new revenue sharing programme for players, new tournaments and a healthier playing schedule, the ATP will next season introduce a new brand look and identity based on extensive consumer research and designed to make the Tour more fan friendly. The changes, the largest since the Tour’s inception in 1990, follow more than two years of analysis, consultation and extensive consumer research of more than 20,000 fans globally.

Following the recent announcements of the 20 venues awarded ‘Masters 1000’ and ‘500’ status, the ATP Board has announced the remaining 41 ‘250’ level events that will join the ARAG ATP World Team Cup and the ATP World Tour Finals in London to complete the revamped calendar. The changes to the ATP World Tour for 2009 will trigger over $1 billion spend committed to new facility builds and upgrades as well as increased financial commitment into men’s tennis over the next five years.

“The changes we are undertaking represent the biggest modernisation of the ATP Tour since its inception and highlight the growing appetite for men’s tennis globally, both in established and emerging markets. This series of bold changes and huge investment underlines the level of ambition and confidence that the sport has in the future. The $800 million of investment into facilities and record $100m in 2009 Tour financial commitments underlines that in the boldest way possible,” said Etienne de Villiers, Executive Chairman of the ATP. “Our aim has always been to ensure we have the best players playing in the best stadia, in the best markets at the right time. Our players, fans, tournaments, broadcasters and sponsors deserve a world class Tour and that is what we will be giving them from 2009 onwards.”

Indian Wells Tournament Director and ATP Board member Charlie Pasarell said, “The calendar changes announced are immensely important for the new ATP World Tour. This is change that is already unlocking the potential of men’s professional tennis with growing revenues, rising attendances and a number of new partners signing up to be involved in men’s tennis. Men’s tennis has never before experienced these kinds of levels of investment or the huge boosts in prize money that our sport will enjoy from 2009; these are exciting times for the ATP Tour.”

ATP Board member Ivan Ljubicic said: “The changes for the 2009 season are great news for players, tournaments and above all fans. With an enhanced calendar schedule, increased prize money and new world class stadiums this will be huge, positive change that will benefit all of us who are involved and follow the ATP World Tour.”

The new ATP World Tour calendar has been designed to enhance the potential of men’s tennis with key tournaments strategically placed to ensure 'swings' of events leading into the sport's five 'pillars' - the four Grand Slams and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Working together with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, in 2011 five of the nine ‘Masters 1000s’, the ATP’s top tier, will be major mandatory combined events.

In addition, post US Open, the calendar will now be strengthened by an Asian swing of three weeks that will showcase the world's best players at new tournaments - Shanghai "Masters 1000", and the Tokyo and Beijing "500s". This will be followed by an enhanced European indoor swing concluding at the new look Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London's iconic O2 Arena. The new Tour calendar ensures a healthier schedule for players, with less travel across continents and less congested sections of the season.

Tennis fans will be able to follow these ‘swings’ both live and on TV via new Premium Tour packages. Comprising 20 premier events that will include “Masters 1000’s“, “500’s”, the ATP World Tour Finals and other key regional events, the packages will offer fans a far more attractive proposition and will be sold by ATP Media to all major global broadcasters.

The new calendar will also be backed by unprecedented levels of marketing and promotional spend, designed to bring to life the unique attributes of the ATP World Tour and its star players. As well as the new brand identity and look, the ATP has already launched FEEL IT, a new multi million dollar advertising campaign, featuring ATP stars, to showcase the sport’s core values as a one on one gladiatorial battle, full of intensity and passion.

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©Neven Gerencir

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