MSG Sports and StarGames Inc. Expand Partnership and Join Forces with Evenko to Present the Montreal Rendezvous
Andre Agassi vs. Michael Chang
Jimmy Connors vs. Ivan Lendl
Bell Centre - Montreal, Canada
March 2, 2012 @ 7:30pm
New York, NY (December 7, 2011) - MSG Sports and StarGames Inc. announced today that the companies have expanded their partnership and tennis platform and will join forces with evenko to present The Montreal Rendezvous on March 2, 2012 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada.
The Montreal Rendezvous, a collaboration between the Bell Centre's production arm evenko, MSG Sports and StarGames Inc. is a new tennis event saluting the great past and current champions of the game which will make its debut in Montreal, Canada March 2, 2012 and showcase tennis icons Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang competing in the inaugural winter tennis classic.
The Montreal Rendezvous adds to MSG Sports and StarGames Inc.'s tennis platform which includes the annual BNP Paribas Showdown, the world's most unique one-night tennis exhibition which debuted in 2008. The 2012 event is scheduled for March 5 at Madison Square Garden featuring matches between Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova as well as Andy Roddick against Roger Federer. Past participants have included Federer, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Lendl, John McEnroe, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
"Expanding MSG Sports to include partnerships and events outside of our venues is a key part of the growth strategy for our business," said Scott O'Neil, president, MSG Sports. "We have produced and promoted tennis events for more than 80 years at The World's Most Famous Arena, and most recently had great success with the annual BNP Paribas Showdown produced in partnership with StarGames. We are excited to partner once again with StarGames, and new partner evenko, to expand our presence in the tennis world with The Montreal Rendezvous, which is sure to be another must-see night of tennis."
"The growth of our partnership with MSG Sports opens up exciting new opportunities for us in tennis and other sports," said StarGames President and Rendezvous Executive Producer Jerry Solomon. "Having MSG as part of the Rendezvous will help us establish it as an important annual event and a "must-have" ticket."
Jacques Aubé evenko's Executive Vice-President and General Manager added, "evenko is proud to present this prestigious tennis event at Montreal's Bell Centre, for the very first time, in collaboration with StarGames – and now Madison Square Garden has joined us as co-promoter. This illustrates just how the Bell Centre has become an uncontested destination for world-class events. This represents the association of two of North America's biggest and most well-attended arenas."
The unique partnership between MSG Sports and StarGames Inc, also includes Tennis Night in America, a national USTA effort to attract more young people to the sport and kickoff the outdoor season as well as the first class television program World of Tennis presented by BNP featuring the ins and outs of the sport of tennis airing on the Tennis Channel and MSG Plus.
Agassi, Connors, Lendl and Chang are four of the sports greatest stars, winning a combined 25 Grand Slam titles and 297 ATP tour titles. All have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, with Agassi, Connors and Lendl also recognized into the Canadian Hall of Fame. The four tennis legends tout 10 Canadian open titles with Lendl winning six, Agassi three and Chang one.
The Montreal Rendezvous will feature matches that highlight two of the game's great rivalries. The evening will open with Jimmy Connors taking on Ivan Lendl in an 8 game pro-set. Connors and Lendl faced each other 35 times in their careers with Lendl having bested Connors 22 times. Andre Agassi and Michael Chang will follow in a best of three set match between the two Americans who have been competitors since childhood, a point Agassi made clear in his recent autobiography. Agassi leads their rivalry 15-7.
Tickets starting at $45.00 as well as hospitality and VIP packages are currently on sale and can be purchased at www.evenko.ca.
About the players:
Andre Agassi, a former World No. 1 player, is the only male player in history to have achieved a Career Golden Slam, and, just one of six men who achieved a Career Grand Slam (Rod Laver, Don Budge, Fred Perry, Roy Emerson, and Roger Federer). He retired with eight Grand Slam singles tournaments tying him fifth in Grand Slam singles tournament wins for male players. In addition to his Grand Slam and Olympic singles titles, he won seventeen ATP Masters Series tournaments, a record from 2004-2010. He won the 1990 ATP Tour World Championships and was part of a winning Davis Cup team in 1990 and 1992.
Michael Chang was a top 10 player for six consecutive years between 1992 and 1998, and he is most remembered as the youngest-ever to win the French Open at the age of 17 years and 110 days as well as the youngest male player ever to win a Grand Slam title. He defeated Stefan Edberg in a five-set final, winning 6–1, 3–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–2. His is equally remembered for an epic five-set encounter with Ivan Lendl in the fourth round. Chang became the first American man to win the French Open since 1955. And in August 1989, Chang became the youngest player to be ranked in the world's top-five on the men's singles rankings. Chang reached three further Grand Slam finals after his 1989 French Open triumph--the 1995 French Open, the 1996 Australian Open, and the 1996 US Open. He won a total of 34 top-level professional singles titles.
Jimmy Connors, a former World No. 1 held the top ranking for 160 consecutive weeks from July 29, 1974 to August 22, 1977 (record at that time) and an additional eight times during his career (a total of 268 weeks). He won eight Grand Slam singles titles and two Grand Slam doubles. He was also a runner-up seven times in Grand Slam singles. In 1974, Connors became the second male in the open era to win three or more Grand Slam singles titles in a calendar year, and he is one of only five men to have won Grand Slam singles titles on all surfaces. Connors is also the only man to win U.S. Open singles championships on grass, clay, and hard courts, which is a feat that will never be duplicated. Connors is the first male player to rank No. 1 for more than 200 weeks in total and the first male player to be No. 1 for more than 5 years (268 weeks) in total. Connors and Lendl faced off in the finals of the 1982 and 1983 US Open finals with Connors coming out on top each time.
Ivan Lendl, a former World No. 1, was one of the game's most dominant players in the 1980s and remained a top competitor into the early 1990s. Lendl captured eight Grand Slam singles titles. He competed in 19 Grand Slam singles finals and reached at least one Grand Slam final for 11 consecutive years, including reaching the US Open final for eight consecutive years. He was ranked the World No. 1 for a total of 270 weeks, breaking the record previously held by Jimmy Connors. He retired with 94 singles titles overall on the tour and was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2001.
About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company is a fully-integrated sports, media and entertainment business. The company is comprised of three business segments: MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned to work together to drive the company's overall business, which is built on a foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the company creates, produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and other media assets. MSG Sports consists of owning and operating sports franchises, including the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Connecticut Whale (AHL). MSG Sports also features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including professional boxing, college basketball, track and field and tennis, as well as MSG Action Sports, an action sports and lifestyle division. MSG Media is a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution platforms, including content originating from MSG's venues. MSG Media consists of the MSG Networks (MSG, MSG Plus, MSG HD and MSG Plus HD) regional sports networks and the Fuse Networks (Fuse and Fuse HD), a national television network dedicated to music. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in MSG's diverse collection of venues. These venues include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and the Wang Theatre. More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com.
About evenko: March 25, 2010, the Gillett Entertainment Group became evenko. Since its' creation in 2002, they have promoted and managed 5177 music, sporting and family events throughout Canada and the United States and attracted more than 15 million spectators within its nine years of existence. In January 2011, Pollstar, the most respected industry source, ranked evenko13th worldwide amongst international promoters. The Bell Centre is ranked the 4th best arena in North America and 10th worldwide. evenko presents shows throughout Quebec, the Atlantic Provinces and the northeastern United States. The evenko trademark is the property of L'Aréna des Canadiens Inc.
About Star Games: StarGames, LLC (www.stargamesinc.com) is a fully integrated sports marketing, management and entertainment company based outside of Boston, MA. Now in its 17th year, StarGames represents current and former professional athletes, produces original content for mass media distribution, operates its own broadband television channels and produces live and made for television events. In 2008, StarGames orchestrated the return of tennis to Madison Square Garden with the NetJets Showdown and has turned that into an annual celebration for the sport including two competitions for the Billie Jean King Cup. More recently, StarGames has launched the Ivan Lendl International Junior Tennis Academy in Hilton Head Island, in conjunction with Junior Sports Corporation, for elite junior athletes, produced the second season of World of Tennis presented by BNP Paribas and turned the Caesars Tribute figure skating show into an annual salute to the world's most popular winter sport.