MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA and NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- - 09/17/13 -- IMG, the global sports, fashion and media company, announced today that its IMG Tennis Division has purchased The AAMI Classic, an eight man singles-only tennis invitational event in Melbourne, Australia, from Colin Stubs Enterprises who started the event in 1988 in partnership with the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club (KLTC). As a result, IMG and KLTC will be equal partners in this venture. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The tournament, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, has been highly successful and over the years has attracted players such as Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer. It is widely considered the premier lead-up event for the world's top male players to the first Grand Slam of the regular tennis season, The Australian Open, and the only tournament to be held in the same city as the Open, in Melbourne.
"We are very pleased to now own this outstanding event with our partner KLTC," said Fernando Soler, Senior Vice President and Global Head of IMG Tennis. "It further strengthens IMG's role in tennis in this important and growing area of the world and continues IMG's long and successful role in the history of Australian Tennis."
"We could not ask for a better partner in this outstanding event than IMG," said Ian Hill, president of the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. Their expertise and global reputation for staging some of the world's greatest tennis events will surely take the AAMI Classic to new levels."
The tournament is held annually in January, a week before the Australian Open, on outdoor hard courts at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. Eight invited players participate in the tournament in a promotion/relegation format, playing three matches each over four days to determine the standings from the first place (won all three matches) to the eighth (lost all three matches).
"IMG is excited to take ownership and partner with KLTC on this important event," said Brian Cooney, Senior Vice President, Director of Tennis. "It is a privilege and honor to follow Colin Stubs as Tournament Director following his 25 years at the helm. The AAMI Classic plays a very important role in the Australian Open Series. In addition, The KLTC is the most prestigious tennis club in Australia and the perfect location for the tournament. I'm looking forward to putting IMG's stamp on the event."
This year's AAMI Classic featured Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Martin Del Potro, Marco Baghdatis, Janko Tipsarevic, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Juan Monaco and Thomas Berdych, with Hewitt beating Del Potro for the Championship.
IMG's involvement in the history of Australian tennis began when it signed its very first tennis client globally, the Australian Rod Laver. The company subsequently represented Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Pat Cash, Pat Rafter and in various ways have owned and operated events in Australia since the 1970s. Currently IMG is the exclusive sales agent for Tennis Australia for both the Australian Open and the Apia International -- Sydney.
About IMG IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with over 3,500 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG's areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG's Joint Ventures in China, Brazil, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis, IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at img.com. Follow us on Twitter:@IMG_Worldwide and Facebook: facebook.com/IMGWorldwide.
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