Western & Southern Open Brings World-Class Tennis, Business to Cincinnati
Photography by Tony Tribble
There was magic in the air at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament this year. Roger Federer remained perfect in Cincinnati finals, winning an astounding seventh championship, while Serena Williams defended her title with a second Cincinnati win.
But Federer and Williams weren’t the only winners. Cincinnati businesses also capitalized on the home court advantage, while our hometown shined on the international stage.
“The Western & Southern Open is truly a special world class event that brings incredible national and international recognition to Cincinnati,” says John F. Barrett, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Western & Southern Financial Group, the tournament title sponsor since 2002. “Our ultimate goal, through not only the tournament but our other community involvement, is to make Cincinnati great. And what better way than to have one of the greatest tennis tournaments in the world take place right here in our hometown.”
The Western & Southern Open is one of the top nine tournaments in the world and just one of five outside Grand Slam events to feature both top-level men’s and women’s tournaments at the same event.
Attendance hit an all-time high this year, with nearly 200,000 tennis fans taking part throughout the week. Records included a new weekly high of 199,217 fans, and a new single day record of 26,338 Thursday for daytime sessions and 12,557 for Thursday night sessions.
“In addition to a worldwide viewing audience,” says Will Sikes, director of marketing and communications for the Western & Southern Open, “the tournament brings roughly 200,000 people to Mason, representing all 50 states and many countries from around the world. With more than 30 hours on ESPN and 200 hours on ESPN3 (and more than 65 domestic broadcast hours in total), we reach more than 67 million viewers worldwide. It’s a great opportunity to connect with tennis fans everywhere.”
On site, fans spend an average of 6.5 hours on the grounds per visit. With each moment of broadcast and each minute on site, there is a positive impact on Cincinnati’s economy and on the city’s international reputation.
“Tennis is a truly international sport,” says Sikes. “Partnering with the tennis tournament is a chance to be seen on an international stage and also be part of an event that is uniquely Cincinnati.”
Among the sponsors are Dayton International Airport, Skyline Chili, American Express, Apex by Sunglass Hut and more.
But title sponsor Western & Southern truly makes the event special.
“We are grateful to have a great partnership with Western & Southern,” says Sikes, “and the support helps us do great things in and for our city.”
“We’re proud to continue our title sponsorship and help keep this terrific tournament such a valuable part of our community,” Barrett says.
With this year’s tournament one for the history books, it’s exciting to think about what next year holds in store. Plans are already in the works, with dates set for August 13 through 21, 2016. While tickets will go on sale early next year, now is the time for those interested in business partnerships or other involvement with the Western & Southern Open to serve one over the net.
For more information about Western & Southern Open sponsorship, visit www.wsopen.com and select “sponsorship” or call Shawn Leibold at 513.651.0303. For more information about Western & Southern Financial Group and its community sponsorships and initiatives, visit