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April 23, 1999

Daniel Beauvois

Mark Miles

The Signing

GRAEME AGARS: Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Could I have your attention, please. We'd like to thank you very much for coming here this morning for what is a very important announcement for the ATP Tour and our partner ISL. You can see a very impressive cast of characters assembled in front of us. I'd like quickly to introduce them. Firstly, I'd like to introduce you to our CEO, Mark Miles; to Daniel Beauvois, who is the managing director of ISL Worldwide; and to Patrice Dominguez, the tournament director here in Monte-Carlo. I'd like to thank them for coming. I'm going to run quickly through, if you'll indulge me, the Super 9 tournament directors who are here:

Charlie Pasarell from Indian Wells,

Butch and Cliff Buchholz from Key Biscayne,

Patrice Dominguez and Francis Truchi from Monte-Carlo,

Gunther Sanders is here from Hamburg,

Sergio Palmieri and Adriano Panatta from Rome,

From Canada, Jane Wynne and Richard Legendre,

From Cincinnati, Paul Flory and Elaine Bruning,

From Stuttgart, Mark Webster and Markus Gunthardt,

From Paris, Patrice Clerc and Christian Bimes.

I'd like to thank them for coming this morning. Without any further ado, I'd like to call on Mark Miles to begin the ceremony this morning.

MARK MILES: Thank you, Graeme. Thank you all for being here. Graeme, it really isn't necessary to thank us up here, we're delighted to be here. I can assure you it's a very good feeling for us this morning. "The most difficult and complicated operation ever to take place," that was actually Churchill's description of D-Day. It doesn't exactly apply to what we're here about today, but in our own realm - the realm of tennis and sport - certainly this is an historic day. I must say, we're here after a great deal of work on a very complicated topic. As you probably know, we're here to announce the execution, the signing, the actual completion of a $1.2 billion, ten-year agreement between all of us and ISL Worldwide. This agreement takes effect the first day of the new millennium, which we think is significant and appropriate, as we believe it will help to usher in a new era in men's professional tennis. More specifically, this agreement grants to ISL exclusive marketing, broadcast and licensing rights. More specifically yet, the agreement with respect to the Super 9 tournaments grants to ISL the electronic media rights, which is to say national and international television rights, all sponsorship to these great events, and all licensing rights. From the ATP Tour, the agreement conveys to ISL all rights related to our World Championships. They will also sell the international television rights which the Tour puts together to some 40 other Championship Series and World Series events. They'll also serve as the Tour's official marketing agency, helping to exploit the Tour's licensing rights. Before we explain all the details and strategy behind this agreement, let me just reflect for a second on how we got here. Really it goes back to a kind of self-evaluation process, which the Tour, the Tour board, our counsels engaged in beginning more than two and a half years ago. We asked ourselves, How do we broaden the appeal of the game? How do we make the circuit easier for fans to understand? How do we give so many fans, and yet fans to be attracted, more about what they love about tennis? We concluded that change was necessary, and many of those changes are already in place. Some of those changes are things which those of you in the tennis press are already well acquainted with. The decision to move our World Championships from year to year, perhaps I can give you a status report on that. We now have six finalists from three continents. We requested proposals. The proposals are in. We're in a period of evaluation. We hope that near the end of May, we may be able to announce the host sites for at least the first couple of years. We decided that we were going to create a calendar year points race in addition to the entry system - the ranking system which we have today - to make it easier for fans to follow the game, starting in January, culminating at the end of the year. We decided we needed to make improvements to our calendar. We needed to have a situation where there was only a Super 9 event in the week in which it occurs. We needed to make some adjustment so we could strengthen the series of tournaments we have in the South America and in Asia, and we needed to look for at least a few more opportunities to purchase back tournaments which wished to be acquired to give us more flexibility and strengthening other parts of the calendar. We also decided it was critically important that we use these Super 9 tournaments to project the vitality and growth of tennis and the Tour on a global basis. In order to do that, we needed to bring together all the necessary commercial rights, and we needed to find the perfect partners. We needed partners with just the right global marketing expertise, the right experience on a global basis, and the willingness and ability to make the right commitment of capital. In ISL Worldwide, we are absolutely convinced that we found just the right partners. They share our vision for the game, which is evolution, not revolution, constant improvement, and protection of our heritage. They share our approach to marketing, which is a fully integrated approach between television and sponsorship and licensing aimed at the further growth of the sport through greater exposure of the sport. The biggest change we're making with respect to the Super 9 in announcing today is the pulling together of the substantial package of rights. We believe that, as I said, it's a fundamental step in the way we project our game. I want to emphasize before we talk more about that that the Tour remains committed to all of our Tour tournament members. We believe that this is good medicine for the entire game and all of our events. We're determined to promote the entire game of men's professional tennis to the benefit of all. With that, it's a great pleasure to introduce somebody who over the last few months I've gotten to know very well, who has in constant conversations and hours of discussion earned our confidence and respect, who will explain more about the strategy and details of the marketing, Daniel Beauvois.

DANIEL BEAUVOIS: Thank you, Mark. I'd like on behalf of ISL, as a whole, its management, which is represented here by my colleague Jean Marie Weber, chairman of the board, and Heinz Schurtenberger, chief executive officer, to tell you how much we are delighted that we found an agreement with the ATP Tour and the Super 9 tournaments, and that they have chosen us to work with them on this exciting project. From the very beginning, as Mark said, we felt that we shared, indeed, the same vision on what needed to be done with the sport of tennis to make it fit better the demands of the decade to come. We announce today the conclusion of what is only a first step in an ongoing process. Just to use a tennis analogy, maybe we won a match today, but we still have the tournament to win. ISL over the years has invented, developed and introduced several innovative concepts in sports marketing which today are industry standards. I just want to name a few. The top program for the IOC for the Olympic Games, the Intersoccer program for the FIFA World Cup. Looking at the marketplace, at the sports marketplace, we were absolutely sure that tennis has all elements that appeal to a broad international audience. It's a global sport, it has a great heritage, attractive stars of many different backgrounds, great venues - you just have to look outside here - a professional organization. Tennis is an ideal sport for television: the format of the game, the playing field, the closeness to the players, the emotion, the unfolding drama. Tennis has all the potential it needs to be a perfect program for digital television through match selection by the viewers, allowing them to choose from different courts. Through our ongoing relationship with the major global sponsors of this world, we have received very strong indication that they would be very interested in entering in a relationship with the sport of tennis, provided we could offer them a global, coherent and integrated marketing approach. I don't think I need to say more about the deal as such. Mark has described it sufficiently. I'd like maybe to spend a few minutes with you explaining to you what our marketing strategy is. The three pillars of this marketing strategy are nothing revolutionary: sponsorship, media television, and licensing. In sponsorship, when we did the detailed analysis of the way the Super 9 and the World Championships were marketed until now, we realized that there were quite an enormous number of companies associated with this group of ten events. It brings, of course, a difficulty for any of these companies to cut through the clutter, as we say. We came with the suggestion to, in fact, reduce the number of sponsors involved with the Super 9 and the World Championships to something like 12 to 20 companies, Blue Chip global companies, that are fitting the image and the geographic spread of the sport. Another element that we intend to introduce is to phase out - obviously in full respect of the existing title sponsorship agreements - to phase out title sponsorship and replace them by presenting sponsorship. We are going to work and create a very specific look for the Super 9s, which will not mean, as I read I believe it was in the German media, that the players will have to play on blue clay. That's not what is meant by that. But there are lots of ways of making a look and feel so that each of the Super 9s will maintain its personality whilst at the same time enhance the feeling of belonging to a series, to the prestigious series of tennis tournaments. Obviously, the creation of attractive packages, not only in one of the nine, but at all ten of the events, is something that we believe will appeal very strongly to the global companies who want to recruit. From a television point of view, we intend to produce the basic feed for all of the ten events ourselves. That's another element that will enable us to create this feel of belonging to a series. Non-based subsidiary ISL production is going to be the host broadcast, if I may say so, at least the production company, of all the events. We intend to emphasize exposure rather than revenue. We believe that the two other pillars of the game, of the marketing plan, would be suffering if we would do the contrary. We want to go for the widest possible exposure. How do we want to do that? We want to combine the exposure on national networks, national television channels, with pan regional or national dedicated sport channels. The combination of both these elements is what we believe is going to bring the exposure we need. That doesn't mean that digital television, as I said in my introduction, will be out of the picture. We believe there is a complementary role to be played by digital television, especially on all the multi-court events, because it allows the spectator to choose a very particular match that he wants to follow, just like when you come here, you go on the site, go on one of the courts because you want to see a particular player playing. We obviously intend to continue what the ATP has introduced over the last few years, which is using the newest and the most innovative technologies in broadcast. The current relationship with Lucent is a good example of that. Obviously, we want to exploit the rights through the emerging new medias. From a licensing point of view, I spoke about the look and feel. Part of the look and feel will be the development of a new corporate identity for the series, for the Tour, and for the events. Obviously we will support the promotion of these brands through the development of a global licensing program. We're going to launch a Super 9 series product range for the global fan, as well as develop and market Super 9 and ATP World Championship event-related merchandise for the local fan and the visitor. We obviously want to ensure easy accessibility to all license merchandise for the consumers using the new media such as e-commerce. As Mark has said, we have been working very hard to get where we got to today. However, we have to get going. So on Monday we will immediately launch a fully integrated marketing program and building that exclusive group of partners committed to promoting the sport of tennis worldwide. I will be able to tell you more, I hope, in the very next few weeks or months. We will finalize the development of an appealing branding concept over the coming weeks and make some announcements there. As Mark has indicated, we hope that the ATP will be in a position to announce very soon the location of the 2000 ATP World Championships, maybe also a couple of years following that. ISL has created a dedicated tennis division. We will have a group of 12 to 15 people whose sole job will be to work with the ATP and with the Super 9 to make of this program what we hope will be the first success story of sports marketing in the 21st Century. Thank you, very much.

MARK MILES: Now on behalf of the Super 9 tournament directors, Patrice Dominguez.

PATRICE DOMINGUEZ: I'll speak French and try to translate to you as quickly as possible. I'd like in the name of Francis Turchi and the Monte-Carlo Country Club to wish you a warm welcome. It's a great day for us. We knew all the tournament directors of the Super 9 and all the negotiators who have been working on that project for a long time. We share great moments on court together. We share also emotional moments. I'll tell you, it was not easy to make these people come together and talk about this together. It's never easy to bring back together ex-tennis players to talk about something special between them. I would like to thank for their support and their help Paul Flory and Ion Tiriac. I just remember, and it's always in my mind, that I was a ball boy when he was playing. Thanks also to the lawyers that have been working all night - some of them didn't sleep - to make this ten years' contract possible. Thank you very much to all of you. We wish you a pleasant day. There's still some matches to go on the centre court.

MARK MILES: Patrice mentioned Ion Tiriac, who worked with us through the night last night, but would probably want you to know that he's not with us here today only because he thought it was appropriate to go to Germany to be with the Becker family today, which I'm sure we all appreciate. With that, I think, Graeme, we're happy to take any questions.

GRAEME AGARS: That's right. Any members of the panel would be happy to take any questions at this stage. I know it's a lot to digest. It's an important happening for the ATP Tour and ISL.

Q. Can you tell us, please, does ISL have the marketing rights for the Internet?


GRAEME AGARS: More questions? I should point out at this stage, that Tim Henman was going to be here with us this morning as a player rep, was here until moments before the ceremony started. He has a court booked for practice, so he is there right now. He's going to be available later in the day if anybody wants to talk to him on behalf of the players about this morning's announcement. Any other questions from the floor?

MARK MILES: I suppose we've given a few hints about this previously, so I'm not totally surprised.

GRAEME AGARS: It hasn't been a mystery, that's for sure. If there are no further questions, what we'd like to now do is distribute some champagne to the gentlemen at the table, and the lady at the table. I'm going to call on Jean Marie Weber to propose a toast to properly celebrate this occasion, then I'm going to ask the members on the stage to sign this board, then we're going to invite everybody on the floor to put their signature as well on what is going to be a very historic document.

End of FastScripts....

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