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Sports Business

Lilly puts name on tennis title

February 26, 2008
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The local stop on the ATP Tour now will be known as The Indianapolis Tennis Championships Presented By Lilly. Eli Lilly-which will use the tournament to promote specific drugs such as Humalog and Cymbalta-signed a two-year deal, which sports marketing experts said is likely worth between $1.3 million and $1.6 million. In July 2007, tournament officials announced that Lilly had tripled its financial commitment to the tournament to help make up for the loss of the event’s title sponsor, Thomson’s RCA brand. Eli Lilly has been involved in the tournament for three decades, ITC Director Kevin Martin said. Martin and Lilly CEO Sidney Taurel began discussing the new title sponsorship deal 18 months ago, Martin said at a press conference today at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. Though sports marketers said the Lilly signing is a big announcement for the tournament, it likely doesn’t match the $1 million annually RCA paid to be title sponsor before it exited following the 2006 tournament.

Martin said the Lilly deal is a comprehensive sponsorship package that will include a multi-day health-and-wellness fair that Lilly and ITC officials will put on in conjunction with this year’s tournament, which will be July 12-20 at the Indianapolis Tennis Center on the IUPUI campus. Martin added that other sponsor announcements will be forthcoming, but he would not specify what those would be.
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