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Ten Sports ropes in IBM as title sponsor for US Open
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MUMBAI: Ten Sports has roped in five sponsors for the US Open, the last in the year’s cycle of tennis Grand Slam events.

IBM is the presenting sponsor while HP, Vodafone, Maruti and Cadbury have come in as associate sponsors.

“We have sold out half the inventory. IBM is the title sponsor and spot buys have been taken by Intel so far,” Taj Television India GM Rukin Kizilbash tells Indiantelevision.com, while refusing to disclose financial details.

Industry sources say IBM has coughed out around Rs 3.5-4 million while associate sponsorship has gone for Rs 2.5 million. Spot rates are being sold for around Rs 15,000 per 10 seconds.

The core target audience for the event, which takes place this year from 31 August-13 September, is SEC A, males 15+. "Generally we sell the US Open separately from the other sports events due its marquee status," says Kizilbash, while admitting that apart from the Grand Slams it is difficult to get in good revenues from other tennis properties.

Last month, IBM renewed its deal with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) for the US Open for four years despite the economic downturn. Staying with the event since 1992, IBM reportedly will spend $20 million in rights fees, advertising and back-office infrastructure over the 4-year period.

The USTA, which positions the US Open as the ultimate convergence of sports, celebrity, business and entertainment, earlier this year said that last year's edition set a new all-time attendance record of more than 720,000 fans. Arthur Ashe Stadium was sold to a record 99 per cent of capacity for the first time, with 23 of 26 sessions sold out. Attendance, the USTA said, climbed by 180,000 versus 10 years ago, and by 100,00 versus five years ago.

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