USTA FOUNDATION TO SERVE AS THE OFFICIAL CHARITY OF THE
2015 BNP PARIBAS SHOWDOWN AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Feb. 24, 2015 – StarGames Inc. and MSG promoters of the eighth annual BNP Paribas Showdown and World Tennis Day today announced that the USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), has been selected as the official charity of the BNP Paribas Showdown for the second consecutive year.
The Showdown at Madison Square Garden (MSG) will take place March 10. This year’s event will feature 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, rising star Grigor Dimitrov and tennis legends Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini.
The BNP Paribas Showdown and World Tennis Day serve as an opportunity for the USTA Foundation to increase awareness and messaging for the sport through multiple means including video board signage, on-court presentations and PA announcements. With the help and support of its newly appointed chairman, former world No. 4 James Blake, the USTA Foundation will extend its reach to the thousands of MSG fans and supporters in attendance as well as those watching on ESPN2.
One of the major highlights of the evening yet again will be the development of a piece of artwork. This year the celebrated painter Cortney Wall will be the guest artist.
Ms. Wall is one of a very few women sports artists in the United States and has painted legendary athletes from Mickey Mantle to Michael Jordan. While the tennis stars produce their strokes on court, Ms. Wall will work her brushstrokes to paint the tennis players for the first time. Her method is very entertaining to watch with an original painting depicting various elements of the Showdown to be completed by the end of the event. Fans will have an opportunity to bid via an auction for the original and unique work.
Sports marketing and entertainment company StarGames along with MSG are donating an exclusive VIP opportunity for two to attend the 2015 BNP Paribas Showdown. The luxury package will be auctioned off for the first time in a worldwide auction and the proceeds will be donated to the USTA Foundation.
The package includes courtside, front row tickets, an opportunity to participate in a tennis clinic with one of the Showdown’s four players and an invitation to attend a pre-match hospitality party that is expected to attract Federer, Dimitrov, Seles and Sabatini. Also part of the package, the highest bidder will take home two tickets to attend the 2015 US Open.
Jerry Solomon, CEO of StarGames said: “We are very excited about this opportunity and to have Cortney Wall’s skills on show. The BNP Paribas and World Tennis Day have become firmly entrenched in the tennis calendar and this year’s events promise to once again be tremendous fun and yet another superb platform for tennis. StarGames and MSG are once again proud to be connected with the USTA and USTA Foundation.”
“The USTA Foundation is proud and honored to once again be a part of this spectacular event,” said Dan Faber, Executive Director of the USTA Foundation. “The BNP Paribas Showdown is a great opportunity for us to further our mission of impacting the lives of children through tennis and education programs.”
“The support of StarGames and MSG goes a long way in emphasizing the importance of our mission. This will truly be a remarkable night where we can come together and showcase to the incredible tennis fans of New York City the many elements that tennis can bring to those in need.”
The USTA Foundation supports programs nationwide that leverage tennis, education and life skills to prepare under-resourced youth for college and beyond. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $19 million, benefitting thousands of children and adults through tennis, education, and health programs and college scholarships.
Tickets for the BNP Paribas Showdown, March 10, are available the Madison Square Garden Box Office or through any Ticketmaster outlet.
USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the USTA, helps serve up dreams for under-resourced youth; individuals with disabilities; and wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families. The USTA Foundation supports programs nationwide that leverage tennis and education to help those in need, primarily through the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network, and other efforts to assist military personnel, veterans and individuals with disabilities. To date, it has awarded more than $19 million in grants and scholarships to hundreds of programs, benefitting thousands of children and adults through a tennis, education, and health curricula. For more information on the USTA Foundation, visit www.ustafoundation.com. Or stay connected through Facebook at www.facebook.com/USTAFoundation, and on Twitter at @USTA_Foundation.
BNP Paribas Showdown
Tickets for the 2015 BNP Paribas Showdown can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office or through any Ticketmaster outlet. New York City hosts the BNP Paribas Showdown for the eighth straight year and once again some of the greatest names in world tennis will sparkle, entertain and captivate an audience that has come to expect the best on this night of nights. World Tennis Day embraces nations from all over the globe in an effort to encourage people to try the great game of tennis and at the same time grow the sport. There are close to 2,000 participating locations in the USA alone; to find a participating location among the 50 states visit www.youthtennis.com. For more information on the various events, including the BNP Paribas Showdown, visit www.WorldTennisDay.com.
About the Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company is a fully-integrated sports, media and entertainment business. The Company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive the Company's overall business, which is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports owns and operates the following sports franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), the Westchester Knicks (NBADL) and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, bull riding and tennis. MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from the Company’s venues. MSG Media’s television networks consist of regional sports networks, MSG Network and MSG+, collectively referred to as MSG Networks. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in the Company’s diverse collection of venues. These venues consist of Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the Forum in Inglewood, CA, The Chicago Theatre, and the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.
Larry Torres, MSG, (212) 631-5178; firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Seles, here at her U.S. Open Hall of Fame induction, will bring some excitement back to the Garden with an upcoming exhibition match.
It has been nearly 25 years since Monica Seles outlasted Gabriela Sabatini in an epic WTA final at the Garden — the first five-set tennis match ever for women. The year-end tournament soon left New York for Germany, and the five-set format never caught on. But Seles thinks of both that match and her opponent in the fondest terms.
“I always loved playing three out of five, it’s more of an equalizer if you’re a slow starter, more of a true barometer,” Seles said Thursday, in a conference call. “I think the ladies are definitely fit enough to play best-of-five matches, and I think at Grand Slams it would be a lot of fun in the semis and final.”
Don’t hold your breath for such a radical change. In the meantime, Seles will play a best-of-three exhibition match at the Garden on March 10 against Sabatini, part of the BNP Paribas Showdown before Roger Federer takes on Grigor Dimitrov.
Seles was just 14 years old when she first faced the more established Sabatini at the Miami Masters in 1988.
Seles lost. The occasion was nearly as intimidating as Sabatini’s heavy topspin groundstrokes.
“She was already a star and it was my first night match,” Seles said. “I was absolutely star-struck with her. But she was such a lady on and off the court, if you won against her or lost against her.”
Seles ended up winning 11 of 14 matches against Sabatini, but what she remembers most about the glamorous Argentinian is Sabatini’s support after Seles was stabbed in 1993 by a madman in Hamburg. Upon Seles’ return to tennis two years later, Sabatini was the only top woman player who openly supported Seles’ bid to freeze her No. 1 ranking.
“She thought about a human being before a dollar amount,” Seles said. “That speaks about a tremendous amount of character.”
Seles, 41, said she is looking forward to playing at the Garden again, and would play as competitively as possible.
“For me, one of the saddest days was when the season-ending championships were moved to Germany,” she said. “The Garden was the perfect setting. You play at MSG, the stands are really close and you feel the energy. As a player, you just thrive on that.”
KAYLA HARRISON TO BE REPRESENTED BY STARGAMES
2014 Olympic judo gold medalist, Kayla Harrison, has signed a representation agreement with StarGames. "We are excited to work with Kayla as she prepares for Rio and the opportunity to defend her Olympic title" said StarGames' Jerry Solomon. "She is an inspiring personality and great champion."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONICA SELES vs. GABRIELA SABATINI
IN 25TH ANNIVERSARY REMATCH
ADDED TO BNP PARIBAS SHOWDOWN AT
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ON MARCH 10
New York, NY (December 8, 2014) – Tennis legends Monica Seles and Gabriela Sabatini will face each other in a 25th anniversary rematch of their famed 1990 five-set WTA Championship final in the 2015 BNP Paribas Showdown, it was announced today. Roger Federer, who last month led Switzerland to their first-ever Davis Cup championship, will face Grigor Dimitrov and headline the annual tennis showcase on Tuesday, March 10 at Madison Square Garden.
It was November 19, 1990 and the two legendary women’s players were paired against each other in the finals of the season-ending Virginia Slims Championships at Madison Square Garden. After nearly four hours of tennis, the second-seeded Seles, a then 16-year-old from Yugoslavia, outlasted the No. 3 seed Sabatini 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in front of 17,290 fans. Seles became the youngest player to ever win the tournament and it was the first time two women played a five-set professional match since the 1901 U.S. Nationals in Philadelphia, where Elizabeth Moore defeated Myrtle McAteer, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.
"It will be great to be back on the court at Madison Square Garden, where I have so many fun memories from playing the WTA Championships,” said Seles. “The Showdown on World Tennis Day has become another event at The Garden that all of the players want to play so I look forward to an exciting night of tennis with Gaby, Roger and Grigor. It should be a great event."
Sabatini added, “New York has a very special place in my heart and to be back at Madison Square Garden will be such a special moment. I am very excited that I will see and play Monica again. Throughout my career I loved every time I travelled to New York. I am excited and I will look forward to be part of the World Tennis Day on March 10.”
Sabatini turned that historic 1990 match around by breaking Seles when Seles was serving for the second set at 5-4. Sabatini then held serve and broke Seles again to win the second set.
Sabatini won the third set breaking Seles for 5-3 and serving out that set with an ace. In the fourth set and after saving two set points to break Seles and pull to 4-5, Sabatini was broken herself forcing the fifth set.
In the final set both were still hitting big serves and ground-stroke winners from deep behind the baseline, but Sabatini had to save triple break point to hold her serve for 1-1. Seles' powerful forehands kept passing Sabatini at the net and, ultimately, kept her pinned to the baseline allowing Seles to capture the championship.
Seles is a former world No. 1-ranked player and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009. She won nine Grand Slam singles titles, eight before turning 20 years old, and became the youngest-ever French Open champion at the age of 16. She was the year-end world No. 1 in 1991 and 1992 and played her last professional match at the 2003 French Open, but did not officially retire until February 2008.
Gabriela Sabatini was one of the leading players on the women's circuit in the late-1980s and early-1990s. The Argentine won the women's singles title at the US Open in 1990, the women's doubles title at Wimbledon in 1988, two WTA Year-End Championships in 1988 and 1994, and a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games.
Seles competed in the WTA Championships at Madison Square Garden in 1988-1992, 1995-1998 and 2000, making the upcoming BNP Paribas Showdown her eleventh appearance at The Garden. Sabatini will be making her ninth appearance while playing in the season-ending tournament from 1987-1992, and in 1994 and 1995.
The BNP Paribas Showdown is produced by MSG Sports and StarGames. Tickets start at $50.00 and are currently on-sale. They can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden box office, online at www.thegarden.com and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Special VIP Experience packages are also available.
The 8th annual BNP Paribas Showdown, which consistently attracts the biggest names in tennis, will follow the likes of Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, Ivan Lendl, Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Mike and Bob Bryan, John and Patrick McEnroe, Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, who all took part in previous Showdowns providing unforgettable memories for New York tennis fans.
As in years past, the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden will once again headline a full day of international activities as part of “World Tennis Day,” a global tennis participation effort. All events celebrate the game, the players and the fans to promote more play and a healthy lifestyle.
HEAD TO HEAD (Seles leads 11-3)
YEAR TOURNAMENT ROUND WINNER
1988 MIAMI R64 SABATINI
7-6 (1), 6-3
1990 VIRGINIA SLIMS F SELES
6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
1991 MIAMI F SELES
1991 ROME F SABATINI
1991 FRENCH OPEN S SELES
1991 VIRGINIA SLIMS S SELES
1992 ROME F SABATINI
1992 FRENCH OPEN S SELES
6-3, 4-6, 6-4
1992 TOKYO (NICHIREI) S SELES
1992 VIRGINIA SLIMS S SELES
7-6 (6), 6-1
1993 AUSTRALIAN OPEN S SELES
1995 TORONTO S SELES
1996 OLYMPICS R16 SELES
1996 MONTREAL R16 SELES
7-6 (4), 6-1
Tennishead announced as official partner of World Tennis Day Showdown; One Strings to introduce World Tennis Day string
World Tennis Day and the World Tennis Day Showdown has begun to announce some of its commercial partners. Jerry Solomon is used to brokering commercial deals and the American, who continues to be Ivan Lendl’s agent, has in recent years worked to develop significant momentum around World Tennis Day. March 10, 2015 is a date for your diary when along with initiatives all over the globe, there will be “Showdown” events taking place in the UK and the USA. Although the official announcement about venue and players for the UK event is scheduled for mid- December, Tennishead has been named as official sports magazine and official website. Solomon also announced a new licensing agreement with One Strings, the Italian string manufacturer, who will produce and distribute the Official String of World Tennis Day. Talking about the appointment, Bridget Marrison, Publisher of tennishead said: “We are delighted to have been appointed as official sports magazine and website for the 2015 World Tennis Showdown in the UK.Last year at Earls Court Arena tennis fans were treated to some great tennis when Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi took to court and we aim to ensure that next year tennis fans are aware of another opportunity to be part of some top level live tennis in the UK. ”As part of the deal, tennishead will be offering fans the opportunity to win VIP tickets to the event as well as following the event across all of its media platforms. “It is great to be part of this event as it grows in the UK and we will be using all of the tennishead media assets to lever this sponsorship and raise the profile of this exciting event,” Marrison said. “British Tennis is fortunate to have another major event on the calendar, and anything that extends the UK season outside of the traditional summer months is most welcome by our readers and followers.” "World Tennis Day continues to grow as a global platform and the event in the UK is a major piece of the program" said Solomon. "We are looking forward to working with tennishead and to being back in the UK where the history of tennis is so rich. We are also excited about our first global licensing deal with One Strings which will make the official string of World Tennis Day available to tennis players around the world."
“Bridgend” Documentary to Premier on Netflix
BOSTON, MA – (October 22, 2014) – The documentary film, Bridgend, premiering on Netflix on November 11th, shines a light on a story almost too unbelievable to be true. Over the past 5 years, more than 99 young people have been found hanged in Bridgend, South Wales, a small town just two hours north of London. Most of the victims knew each other. They were found hanged the same way. None of them left notes. They were friends, neighbors, family. The striking similarities between the deaths have confounded authorities and struck fear into the hearts of all who live there. Many residents believe the deaths are the result of a clever serial killer. Others believe it’s a suicide pact. Headlines splashed across the UK have earned Bridgend the nickname "Death Town”.
Bridgend is a groundbreaking documentary film that investigates the chain of gruesome events that has caused the sleepy town of Bridgend to become the subject of headlines across the United Kingdom. Through exclusive interviews with family members and friends of the victims, the filmBridgend traces the victims’ final hours, revealing the lives lost in this tragic story. One boy laid out his suit to attend his friend’s funeral, and only hours later, walked to a tree next to the one where his friend had died and hanged himself. Another girl was found hanging in a bathroom just hours after hearing of the suicide of her younger cousin. A young man, having attended several of his friends’ funerals, ended his life in a children’s park after a night at the pub (within weeks, two of his ex-girlfriends were also found hanged). The stories leading up to the tragic deaths are varied, but they are starkly alike in their endings. The victims are left hanging from jackets or cell phone cords or ropes, from playground slides or banisters or the back of a closet door.
In Bridgend, Director/Writer John Michael Williams brings our attention to a difficult topic. Williams spent 5 years filming and investigating a story that he believes was intentionally hidden from most of the world. “The inextricable links between the deaths can't be denied, but officials tasked with the investigation can offer no answers or solace to the families left behind. Bridgend puts a lens on the macabre story still unfolding in a town haunted by one hundred lives lost to suicide,” said Williams. “This was not an easy film to make, but this story needs to be told.” At one point last year Williams was so distraught over the suicides that he was compelled to write and perform music that reflected the anguish of what he was experiencing. His trilogy of songs garnered 75 million views on YouTube, and Williams’ song, “A World Without Love,” plays over the film’s closing credits. Williams also directed the documentary film, “The Gloucester 18,” and the animated feature, “The Easter Egg Escapade,” which Williams also wrote. He also composed the music and performed the love theme with Natalie Cole.
More people committed suicide in the United States last year than were killed in auto accidents. Over 34,000 people in the United States commit suicide every year; about one person every 15 minutes. It’s the third leading cause of death for teen-agers. For 10-14 year-olds, the suicide rate has doubled in the last ten years. Williams believes because of the stigma that exists around suicide, too little is said or written in the media on the issue.“Kids should be taught in school not to kill themselves just as they're taught not to take drugs or to drink and drive or to get in cars with strangers.”
While debate still rages over the cause of the Bridgend hanging deaths, the numbers continue to rise. One thing is for certain: there are innumerable friends and family members in Bridgend who have been directly affected by these tragedies. Bridgend probes the chilling drama unfolding in a town that will be haunted by the one question those are forever cursed to ask: Why?
For more information, please visit bridgendthemovie.com or johnmichaelwilliams.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Enterprising Women 2014 to feature keynoter Nancy Kerrigan
August 1, 2014 –– Women are making great strides in the business world – increasingly earning advanced degrees, growing their presence in boardrooms, and founding and running companies of all sizes. Cape & Plymouth Business’ Enterprising Women 2014 will provide a forum for entrepreneurial businesswomen to explore and embrace their unique experiences and perspectives. Bringing together varied experts to provide advice and inspiration, Enterprising Women is the premier women’s business event in the region. From financial planning to leadership, this event will offer edification to help every woman achieve more.
This year’s luncheon keynote speaker will be Olympic medalist and motivational speaker Nancy Kerrigan. Following the 1994 Winter Olympics, two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Kerrigan turned her attention from international competition to exhibitions, benefits and corporate endorsements. Kerrigan has authored two books on skating, and in 1999 she established the Nancy Kerrigan Foundation, in honor of her mother, to help nonprofit organizations that support the vision impaired. In addition to her role as wife and mother of three, Kerrigan has appeared in and hosted numerous television shows and ice skating events.
Enterprising Women 2014, brought to you by Cape & Plymouth Business, will be held November 5, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis and offer a multitude of opportunities to network and learn from prestigious speakers and other prominent businesswomen in our region.
In addition to keynoter Nancy Kerrigan, the roster of speakers will include Nancy Hunter Denney (nancyhunterdenney.com), author of ZING! Your Interactions with Difficult People, who will share her insights on maximizing your influence.
There will also be a panel discussion on Reinventing Yourself with the Seven Pearls of Financial Wisdom, led by moderator Kristen Oliveri (institutionalinvestor.com) and featuring the authors of the book The Seven Pearls of Financial Wisdom: A Woman's Guide to Enjoying Wealth and Power – Camilla Webster (camillawebster.com) and Carol Pepper (pepperinternational.com).
New this year will be the Cape & Plymouth Business Enterprising Women Awards, which will be given to area women in the following categories – Businesswoman of the Year, Nonprofit Leader of the Year, and Rising Star. To nominate deserving women for these awards, go to www.capeplymouthbusiness.com/nominations.
Sponsors to date for Enterprising Women 2014 include Presenting Sponsor Cape Cod Healthcare and Event Sponsors Convention Data Services, SCORE and Bobbi Brown. Enterprising Women 2014, brought to you by Cape & Plymouth Business, will be held November 5, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis. The cost of $75 includes lunch and all sessions. Learn more and register at www.capeplymouthbusiness.com.
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