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December 5, 1995

Andreas Barth

Daniel Beauvois

Axel Meyer-Wolden


ROBERT LUBENOFF: Well, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, welcome for this opening press conference, news conference, of our sixth Compaq Grand Slam Cup at the Olympiahalle in Munich. Before Thomas Muster and Byron Black start this tournament this year, the first match in some time from now, we would like to give you the most recent information about this tournament and share with you the philosophy of this tournament. Our guests, Dr. Axel Meyer-Wolden, I do not have to introduce. To his right, Mr. Daniel Beauvois, managing director of the new marketing company and organizer ISPR. And to the left of Dr. Meyer-Wolden is Andreas Barth, European president of our sponsor Compaq. To his left, Mr. Wilfred Spronk, managing director of the Munich Olympiapark Company.

DR. AXEL MEYER-WOLDEN: Well, good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am happy to see you again this year in Munich. Before starting, by way of introduction, could I ask you not to ask any questions about the tax case I would appear to be involved in. Please respect this. What I'd like to do here is answer any questions you may want to ask relating directly to this tournament. And to this fact I am glad to say that over these last five years this tournament which used to be a dream in the past has been what we wanted it to become. It has established itself among the great tournaments of this world. It has an acceptance nowadays with the players; with the Federations; with audience spectators, the business community, the sponsors. This, for me, is a major satisfaction after many years of developing this tournament. I am glad to state all this, and those of you who have been with me over all these years know quite well that there is always also peace for my heart in this tournament and I am glad to have it where it is today. Now, two important players, Andre Agassi and Michael Stich, are not here this time. They had promised to be here, but this is due to injury problems that we all know there is stomach muscle injury, pressed muscle injury of Andre Agassi who, as you know, couldn't play the Davis Cup final in Moscow; couldn't play the ATP final in Frankfurt and couldn't play Paris, Bercy. And in the case of Michael Stich, you know what happened to him during that tournament in Vienna, his injury. However, the reputation of this tournament is so general now that those players, once they are injured, would not play here being, but leave their place to those who are entirely fit which is very good; which means a lot of money they have to do without, these players. In the case of Andre Agassi, it is even a very high amount of money because being the winner of the Australian Open, he would have been entitled to a bonus of $250,000 which he is not going to get this time because he is not able to play this tournament. Now, if I am mentioning all this, it is in order to document the seriousness of this tournament. They could have come and play a match or two and then leave and take the bonus with them. They could have done so, but among players this is a very highly respected tournament. They are serious enough not to do so. I appreciate this and I wish to Andre and Michael all the best and good health and a very good coming season in 1996. As far as the tournament is concerned, it is entirely also accepted by the people of Munich. The tournament is very popular with the Munich people; with the people in all the places surrounding Munich and well beyond except a few hundred remaining tickets for Thursday and Sunday, the tournament is totally sold out. We are under such pressure, as far as tickets are concerned, that all those involved who would have other duties to tend to be not handling all the requests for tickets and hearing what do I have to do in order to get one and so on, this is incredible. It is an incredible joy to see this happen at a time where the acceptance of tennis tournaments is not always and at all places so great. We see many empty halls in many great tournaments, especially during the first days. It is only for the semifinal, for the final, that there is really a lot of desire for those tournaments. This tournament, in Munich, knows that it can be quite different indeed. Why? Because I believe there is an ideal sort of relationship here between sports, which, of course, is the main focus of this tournament - there is no doubt about that, but on the other hand, there is a lot of sport entertainment and social events and experiences here. People like coming to this Olympiahalle in order to get all they are offered independently of the play. In this connection I should again like to thank the old team Andreas Barth of Compaq, Mr. Spronk, the MOG Managing Company of this hall. I'd like to thank them because we have started all this together six years ago. They accepted a very high risk convinced that we all would turn this into something most positive. We took these risks and knew what we were in for and what we invested can be right today. Good investments have been made independently; a very high obligation of this prize money helping the ITF who we have been investing a lot into this tournament, indeed, in order to make it something special; in order to create this special atmosphere and in order to give the sponsors and those buying the VIP tickets, a sort of guarantee of entertainment which is recognized as being at the highest level of all tournaments in this world. I am very happy that we have reached this point. Before ending, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Daniel Beauvois and the ISPR and to wish them all the best of success in order to continue going this way as we have been doing for five years now. I will stay at their disposal helping to giving my advice and for certain functions and things and mainly coordinating things with the International Tennis Federation Grand Slam and so on. As far as the players are concerned, I am going to stay in this tournament, otherwise my advice is always at their disposal. And could I thank you again, the journalists, because you have accompanied me, myself, our team over the years. There have been some conflicts in the beginning with the tournament being very strongly criticized. But after these two years, you recognized what has been achieved here and you did right about this. Thank you very much.

ROBERT LUBENOFF: Thank you, Dr. Meyer-Wolden.

DANIEL BEAUVOIS: I'd like to take the opportunity to thank Dr. Meyer-Wolden for his trust, the trust he placed into our company to take the over the marketing and of this tournament which is a major challenge for myself, for my team. We are very glad to be at the beginning of the 1996 Compaq Grand Slam Cup. The marketing has developed very positively last year. There have been five new sponsors for this tournament. Could I mention them, the Beck's Brewery, the Faber Company, TV Spielfilm, television magazine, Gerling Insurance Company and Nike, last but not least, and I think this was the case last year. I could repeat that we have been very glad to sign another five years of our contract with our title sponsor, Compaq, and the host broadcaster contract with Sat 1. As far as tickets are concerned, we were very lucky. We had an excellent result in advance booking this year. The hall would be complete today and of course, the television marketing, which is what it is all about. The ISPR is a television marketing company founded in 1991 and of course, we are looking forward to an excellent worldwide coverage of this event, which is something I am especially proud of.

ROBERT LUBENOFF: Thank you, Daniel Beauvois.

ANDREAS BARTH: Good morning. On behalf of Compaq and all the other sponsors, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to extend our best greetings to welcome you here. It is a special year. The first year of our new sponsoring period going until the end of this decade, and we are following a most successful first period, the first period we are together with the organizers and the players, we have been pushing this tournament forward and carrying it on to the importance it has got today. Our relationship to sports has always been defined in a somewhat different way compared to other sports sponsoring. We have been trying to invest our know-how, our specific resources in order to make this tournament even more attractive. As you know, there has been a database in previous years and this year for the first time the tournament is on the Internet. We have been an on-line service called "Baseline" for this tournament and internally here for you, the journalists, but also worldwide, people can communicate over the Internet life and interactively. As you know, Internet is right now the great novelty, the great communication tools of the future as people used to use the telephone 20 years or more in order to communicate. Hundreds of millions of people are going to communicate via the Internet in order to exchange information; book trips; do their banking business and their shopping. And this is where our database covering all the players statistics, health information about the players, style of play and so forth, all this can be found in this database, but also the most topical information on each and every match. On the Internet there are 40 million people, maybe 100 million next year. It is growing at a tremendous speed and I do not think that they are all going to follow and watch the tournament, but we should think that around 100,000 people are going to follow this tournament. We, in fact, have got some very positive feedback from people that have locked in worldwide in order to get this information. In your pressroom there are 50 personal computers so you can use the Internet. You can use all the normal features of Internet. If you have some electronic mail you want to send around the world, you can do so, pages of the Australian Open, all the results of the U.S. Open, or an interesting offer for a new tennis racket can be obtained over the Internet and even ordered. All this goes to show that we really try to make this sport ever more attractive for the audience, for the crowd, for the journalists, which is, by the way, not the only feature. We have co-developed with Benetton a computer system for their fleet of Formula I racing cars, which may have helped Michael Schumacher for the Tour de France. We have given our computers in order to transmit live data via satellite; not only for TV networks, but also for the management of the Tour de France which has got to do with all this on the road everyday. We believe that makes the sport more attractive, and if tennis is supposed to be the top professional sport in the future, the organizers, the players, and the sponsors have got to be very innovative, indeed. I think we are making our contribution in this sense for tennis and this tournament to be really at the front edge of progress in sports in the future.

ANDREAS BARTH: Well, ladies and gentlemen, being your host, it is my pleasure to welcome you again in the Olympiahalle. We are very proud, indeed - Dr. Meyer-Wolden mentioned it - to have been with the tournament for six years. We helped the tournament to get started and although the basis is somewhat different, the tournament is going to stay for another five years here, a tournament that has developed over the years in size, in importance, and turned into an absolute highlight of the events. There are quite a few ones I can show you here at the Olympic Hall in Munich and people not only coming here, but watching the tournament worldwide, of course, learn a few things about the site of this tournament too. So this tournament is a very important event for the Olympiapark Company in terms of awareness, image and so on. After 23 years, this park would still attract millions of visitors every year as we created for the Olympics in 1972, the five million visitors have been surpassed again this year, so there is not any Olympic area, worldwide, which is so popular and so flourishing. And as we close this century, of course, we need these major events in order to show our position of -- as one of the major large event organizers in Europe. So we are glad to be again the site for another five years of this tournament.

ROBERT LUBENOFF: Thank you very much. Could I ask you to ask your questions and just raise your hand and you will be handed a microphone.

Q. Dr. Meyer-Wolden, Boris Becker said in Frankfurt that that crowd was his crowd in Frankfurt. And that they happen to be behind him like a wall. Can this still take place in Munich? Is he going to talk about his crowd here or what did that mean in Frankfurt?

DR. AXEL MEYER-WOLDEN: Well, as we have been able to see in the past, the Munich crowd isn't second to any crowd in Germany or the world. Boris Becker has been a child of this city. He lives here and I suppose that the crowd is going to support him at least as they did in Frankfurt.

Q. What is the capacity of the hall?


ROBERT LUBENOFF: Are there any further questions? There has been a lot of information given to you, of course, so if there are no questions, everything is on Baseline; everything is in the press file, the program magazine, so I would like to wish you, on behalf of the press bureau, a very nice day in Munich. Could I ask you to note the following: Every time you want a press conference with a player after the match, you just let us know at the press office with our ITF ladies, so we can get you the player into this room. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts….

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