September 27, 2019 – [Greenville, S.C.] Dunlop today announced it has reached a multi-year agreement with the Miami Open presented by Itaú to become the Official Ball and Racquet for the tournament. Beginning in 2020 the world’s best tennis players will be competing with the Dunlop ATP Extra Duty ball (for the men) and the Dunlop Grand Prix Extra Duty ball (for the women) at the tournament widely regarded as the most glamorous in the sport. The partnership extends Dunlop’s global reach and dominance in the tennis ball market; it is currently the Official Ball of the ATP Tour and the Australian Open, in addition to being played at more ATP tournaments than any other ball, making it the Number One Ball on the ATP Tour. Official tournament merchandise including balls, rackets and souvenir autograph tennis balls will be available for retail sale during the two-week event.
“A key part of our global growth plan is developing partnerships with the most elite tournaments in the world,” said Masahiro Asahino, Dunlop’s Head of Tennis. “The Miami Open is one of those premier tennis events, and the exposure it generates amongst tennis fans in North and South America will help grow our brand in those important markets and beyond.”
“It’s fitting Dunlop’s largest sponsorship in the U.S. will be with the Miami Open, because, in many ways, we have much in common,” said Kai Nitsche, VP and General Manager for Dunlop Sports Americas. “We each have storied pasts, but it’s a recent commitment to the future that is most exciting to fans. In 2017 SRI bought the Dunlop brand, and it has made enormous investments at every level, while just last year the Miami Open moved into its brand new home, Hard Rock Stadium, where it will flourish for years to come.”
“One of my chief goals as Tournament Director is ensuring the players are happy with every aspect of their experience, and the tournament ball is at the top of that list,” said James Blake, Miami Open Tournament Director. “Since my time on Tour, the general consensus among the players is that Dunlop has always produced the best, most consistent ball on Tour, so I’m glad we now have it as the Official Ball of the Miami Open.”
An undisputed legend in the sport of tennis, Dunlop has produced iconic rackets for the game’s all-time best players and tennis balls worthy of the game’s most elite tournaments for decades. As the Official Ball for both the Australian Open and the ATP Tour, Dunlop’s global reach stretches to tournaments in Melbourne, New York, Shanghai, Rome, Madrid, Monte Carlo and London, home of the 2019 Nitto ATP Tour Finals. The Dunlop Tour Team is led by two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson, and also includes WTA stars Qiang Wang and Taylor Townsend. Dunlop is owned by Sumitomo Rubber Industries and is headquartered in Kobe, Japan. Learn more at www.dunlopsports.com.
About Sumitomo Rubber Industries
Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI) was founded in 1963 in Kobe, Japan and employs over 36,000 people across the world and has sales revenue of over $8.5 billion. SRI acquired the global rights to the Dunlop brand in April 2017 and owns fellow sports companies Srixon, Cleveland Golf and XXIO. SRI specializes in the tire industry but also in providing rubber-based products for many other industries such as medical, construction, marine, sports facilities etc.
About the Miami Open presented by Itaú
The 2020 Miami Open will be played March 23 – April 5 at Hard Rock Stadium. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Miami Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men’s and women’s tennis players in the world. The tournament is widely regarded as the most glamorous on the ATP and WTA calendars because of Miami’s unique personality, thriving nightlife, five-star hotels and restaurants, beautiful weather and beaches, and celebrity appeal, as well as its close proximity to both Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. For ticket information, call +1.305.442.3367 or visit www.miamiopen.com.