| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

MSG Sports and StarGames has announced a strong field of marketing partners for the Monday, March 5th BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden. An impressive array of marketing partners has signed on to showcase their brands at the fifth annual one-night only tennis event, which will feature four of today’s greatest tennis players. A huge night of tennis is in store for New York area tennis fans, with the world’s top players scheduled for the first tennis matches in The Garden since the completion of the first phase of the three-year transformation. The night starts with three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova against the former world’s number one-ranked women’s player, Caroline Wozniacki, followed by the most decorated player of all time, Roger Federer, against long-time rival, former world number one and U.S. Open Champion Andy Roddick. Both matches will be best of three sets.

Title partner BNP Paribas has returned for the fourth consecutive year and will be joined by Official Partners Commscope, Delta Air Lines, Fiji Water, Getty Images, Hugo Boss, Jumeirah Essex House, Mercedes-Benz, NASDAQ, Nespresso, Optimum Business, Rolex, Sportime, Sobieski Vodka, Tennis.com, Universal E-Business Solutions, USTA and Wilson. Partners will receive multi-platform integration at the event, including on-site digital signage throughout the arena, video spots on the GardenVision center-hung scoreboard, and in-arena PA reads. The event will be telecast live nationally on ESPN and rebroadcast on MSG Networks, providing additional value for partners outside of The Garden.

“As we celebrate the fifth year of the BNP Paribas Showdown, we are proud to say that our lineup of marketing partners is stronger than ever,” said Greg Economou, executive vice president of corporate sales and solutions, MSG Sports. “With BNP Paribas leading the returning partners and several new additions, this lineup of industry leading brands is a testament to the strength of the event and power company’s see in aligning themselves with these world-class tennis players and The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

Jerry Solomon, President, StarGames added “Each year our partners seem to take the platform provided by the BNP Paribas Showdown to a new level which is a real credit to their vision and creativity. From my perspective, it is rewarding to see how what started as a simple one night event has grown into a multi dimensional program with a preview show, Tennis Night in America outreach, the biggest cocktail party in all of tennis and corporate promotion in the tri-state area and beyond, all of which makes for a great kick-off to a big month of tennis in the United States.”

All Official Partners receive added exposure through incorporation into the event’s print, television, and digital marketing campaign; they will also be incorporated into a number of pre-event activities, including a Wilson 10 and Under Tennis demonstration that will kick off the festivities for the evening. Official partners for the Showdown are also leveraging the strength of the event through a variety of promotions and hospitality event integration. Delta will be the Official Airline and will have a presence in the pre-event VIP reception; Hugo Boss, who is displaying event signage in the Columbus Circle store, will formally outfit the officials and ball kids, host a post-event VIP reception and conduct a Hugo Boss Best Dressed Fan contest in-arena during the event; Nespresso will provide exclusive coffee machines for the VIP receptions; Optimum Business will brand both players benches and will have several unique GardenVision features, including a seat upgrade for a lucky fan; Sobieski Vodka is the official and exclusive vodka for the BNP Paribas Showdown and will have a presence in the VIP receptions; Universal E-Business Solutions will be hosting clients for a private on-court clinic as well as a pre-match VIP reception; Mercedes-Benz will display the ML63 AMG and C63 AMG Coupe on the MSG Mall and will have unique signage on the net; and Rolex will provide the official clock for the much anticipated event.

Additionally, Sportime Randall’s Island hosted a Tennis Night In America Clinic with John McEnroe; the USTA is kicking off its “March into Tennis” promotion to coincide with TNIA featuring actress Christine Taylor; Jumeirah Essex House will run an encore presentation of the 2011 BNP Paribas Showdown via their in-house channel; and BNP Paribas was the presenting sponsor for first-ever preview show on Tennis Channel along with Wilson and USTA.

The BNP Paribas Showdown, in partnership with the USTA, will continue their efforts to grow youth participation in the sport of tennis through “Tennis Night in America”, a national program which is among the largest ever grass roots initiative the sport has ever seen. To date, more than 750 clubs nationwide have signed up to hold youth registration events throughout the month of March. Each facility will be signing up children for junior tennis programs, including those that offer 10 and Under Tennis, which uses kid-sized equipment on kid-sized courts. To find a sign-up location please go to www.tennisnight.com.

Limited tickets are currently still available and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, all Ticketmaster outlets and online at www.thegarden.com.

The “BNP Paribas Showdown” is produced by StarGames and MSG Sports.