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January 15, 2003

Y.K. Chun

Ric Hull

Paul McNamee

Geoff Pollard


JOHN LINDSAY: Welcome to another morning at the Australian Open 2003. We have a significant announcement, very positive announcement, to make today. Without further ado, I'll hand it over to the President of Tennis Australia, Geoff Pollard, to introduce the members of the table.

GEOFF POLLARD: Thanks, John. With me on the table here, I've got Y.K. Chun from the Kia Motor Corporation, representing them, and Ric Hull from Kia Automotive Australia, representing the Kia operations in Australia, and, of course, Paul McNamee, chief executive of the Australian Open, who you all know. I'm delighted to be able to announce today that Kia has renewed the major sponsorship of the Australian Open for a five-year term. Our association with Kia Motors has seen a partnership develop between the two of us, which has been a tremendous asset to the Australian Open. Today's announcement of a five-year extension of this sponsorship is a major vote of confidence in the ability of the tournament to assist Kia Motors in achieving their longer term goal of becoming a Top 5 global automaker, and the goal of the Australian Open to strengthen its position as the Grand Slam of Asia/Pacific and as a global marquee event. As you know, we announced the initial sponsorship back in October 2001, which was initially for two years, with a two-year option. We're obviously delighted that in exercising their option, Kia have decided to go for a much longer five-year term which, as I said, is a sign that the Australian Open has been a successful partnership between Tennis Australia and Kia. I think it's a good fit. It's a good fit having a fast-growing major international car maker with our objectives to become the Grand Slam of the Asia/Pacific region and the global marquee event. The five-year announcement enables us to proceed with long-term planning for the further growth of the Australian Open. We're optimistic that this event will continue to grow substantially over that five-year period. I know you'll all want to ask me about dollar figures. I can say, obviously, from the beginning the dollar amounts are confidential for commercial reasons. You all know that there was a slight discount in the first year because we only began in October 2001, with the Australian Open less than three months after that. But we are pleased that the support since then has been at the full commercial value. It will be, it is, the largest sponsorship in Australia. In fact, it highlights the fact we are a worldwide event, not just an Australian event. So we look forward to a wonderful association with you both for another five years after this year.

JOHN LINDSAY: Thank you. I'll hand it over to tournament director, Paul McNamee, to really expand in more detail on what the sponsorship means for the Australian Open.

PAUL McNAMEE: I can't really expand that much. As Geoff said, it's a fundamental building block of the tournament, a major sponsor. We're delighted that Kia wished to go for five years instead of two years, which was their right. That was great news. It does underpin the future of this Grand Slam. As Geoff said, there is a lot of synergy there with our desire to grow, to become a global marquee event, as Kia has those aims as well. We had enormous support from Kia over the last couple years. ESPN International, which covers our South American market, announced the enormous support they've got from Kia Motors as a major sponsor of the TV coverage of the Australian Open. When you go in and out of Sydney Airport, you see the sign that Kia Australia have put up supporting the sponsorship. I think the symbolism of today is very important, with Andre Agassi, of course, one of his premium endorsements is Kia Sorrento. There's a great Korean player in Hyung-Taik Lee playing Andre Agassi today on Rod Laver Arena. The symbolism today is enormous. We're delighted to announce this sponsorship.

JOHN LINDSAY: Kia Day at the Australian Open. I'll now open the floor to questions for either representatives of Kia or the Australian Open. Questions from the floor.

Q. How long have you been working on it? Does it take a long time to close the deal?

GEOFF POLLARD: As we explained from the beginning, we announced a two-year sponsorship with a two-year option, which we addressed after the first Kia Australian Open. We've just been negotiating since then, really the two years, going up to a five years, which is a positive step I think for both of us.

PAUL McNAMEE: The interesting thing, when we went up to Korea, Kia suggested to look at five years. That really wasn't in our thinking at the time. We were talking about two years. That was a pleasant surprise, that Kia wanted to do that. Obviously with a major sponsor, that's where you want to be.

Q. When you talk about your development of the tournament, what do you have in mind? Have you started work on that yet?

GEOFF POLLARD: I think you've seen this year the change from this being Australia's biggest sporting event, which is no longer in dispute, to the Grand Slam of the Asia/Pacific region. We are determined to work with our Asian colleagues to grow this event and the whole sport of tennis in the Asia/Pacific region. We started on that many years ago, of course, with the Asian wildcards into the Australian Open. We went a bit further this year with an extra wildcard into the women's doubles. We will continue to work with our Asian neighbors to grow the sport, which I think will be good for us, but good for the whole sport of tennis, as tennis grows in Asia. We're excited in the first couple tournaments of the year, we've had two Asian winners of two of the five tournaments played in the first two weeks of the year.

PAUL McNAMEE: Can I add that KBS, which is the Korean Broadcasting System, which is a network in Korea, have come down, took Lee's first round, took Cho, they're taking the blockbuster with Andre and Lee today. KBS, I know you're here in the room, welcome. It's great that there's another market of 80 million people that tennis is cracking into. The President of Korea congratulated Lee. It's great for the sport. Any time you get an initiative, that's good news for tennis, cracking a market of 80 million people. I give our gratitude to Korea and the market and their support of our sport.

End of FastScripts….

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