Mubadala signs on as title sponsor, reinforcing company’s commitment to tennis and the Bay Area; WTA Premier event moves to new, world-class facility at San José State University beginning 2018
SAN JOSÉ, CA - IMG today announced that the longest-running women’s professional tournament on the WTA tour has signed Mubadala Investment Company as its new title sponsor. IMG has also entered into a long-term agreement with San José State University to host the event beginning in 2018, reinforcing its commitment to keeping the WTA Premier event in California’s Bay Area.
Through this partnership, Mubadala expands its robust sponsorship portfolio in tennis, which includes title sponsorship of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, an invitational event held in Abu Dhabi in late December, and the Rio Open, an ATP 500 event held in Brazil each February.
"Mubadala is proud to support this tournament, which has such a tremendous heritage in the Bay Area and women’s tennis,” said Nadine Saleh Hassan, Senior Vice President for Communications at Mubadala. “Silicon Valley is associated with innovation and great thinking, and we want to play a part in keeping such a championship-level sporting event in this area for fans and players alike.”
“IMG has a long-standing global relationship with Mubadala and we’re looking forward to leveraging their expertise in technology and innovation to raise the entertainment value at this event for our fans,” said WME and IMG Co-President Mark Shapiro. “Mubadala’s commitment to the growth of tennis is inspiring and makes the company an ideal partner.”
The 2018 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic will take place July 30 - August 5, 2018 and is the first event in the US Open Series, a five-week sequence of hard-court tournaments that lead up to the US Open.
It will be played at the newly opened Spartan Tennis Complex, which currently includes a 15-acre complex featuring six fully illuminated outside courts, with plans for a further six indoor courts. As part of the agreement, San José State University will build a custom stadium court adjacent to the Spartan Tennis Complex with temporary seating for 4,000 fans. The overall facility will include a state-of-the-art locker room, player’s lounge and administrative offices. Players competing in the event will also have full access to other world-class Spartan athletic facilities during the event.
“Once we were notified that we would have to move the event to another location, our top priority was finding a way to keep the tournament in the Bay Area,” said Vickie Gunnarsson, Tournament Director of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic. “When we met with San José State University, we could tell right away that they would be a great partner willing to invest in and help us grow the tournament.”
“Northern California is known for its outstanding tennis at all levels and its support of professional tennis tournaments. It will be a privilege to host a world-class event like the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic. We look forward to welcoming some of the most elite women’s tennis players in the world at our new Spartan Tennis Complex with the same hospitality, energy and service as when we hosted the Carolina Panthers for Super Bowl 50 and Lionel Messi and the Argentina national men’s soccer team for Copa Americano 2016,” says Marie Tuite, San José State University’s director of athletics.
First played in 1971, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic is a Premier WTA event and features a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women's event of the US Open Series. Its list of past champions reads like a who's who of women's tennis including Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.