Nov 30, 2009 at 02:21 PM
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With No Title Sponsor, Indy ATP Stop To Atlanta in 2010?

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that rather than face the prospect of a fourth year without a title sponsor, the Indianapolis Tennis Championship (formerly the RCA Tennis Championships) will move to Atlanta in 2010.

Once one of the top stops on the Tour's summer hardcourt season, the ITC has struggled recently with its search for a title sponsor. Sources from the U.S. Tennis Association told the Indianapolis Business Journal that the tournament will move to Atlanta. IBJ says that the a new agency has already been obtained to secure sponsorship for the new Atlanta event, writing:

Amid speculation the tournament was moving, an Atlanta-based marketing firm, The Forward Agency, recently began soliciting sponsors for a new ATP Tour event this upcoming July on the dates previously held by the Indianapolis event.

“The focus right now has to be on protecting the large base assets of this community: Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium,” sports marketing expert Mark Rosentraub told IBJ. “Anything that takes consumer dollars away from those assets has to be given lower priority.

The hope was that Eli Lilly may step up their involvement to title the tournament in 2010. IBJ writes:

Officials for Eli Lilly and Co. Inc., which tripled its sponsorship commitment since RCA pulled out, said they wouldn’t be able to commit to the local tennis tournament financially until the first quarter of 2010.

“We’ve been busy with the reorganization of our company,” said Lilly spokeswoman Lauren Cislak. “We’re not in a position to commit to the sponsorship right now.”

Earlier this year, the College Football Hall of Fame moved from South Bend, Indiana to Atlanta after receiving a $5 Million commitment by Atlanta-based, Chik-Fil-A. Any guesses which Atlanta company might be the driving force behind the ITC's relocation?

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