Tennis’ Sexiest Tournament
The Sony Ericsson Open Goes Social
The Sony Ericsson Open has finally arrived. From March 26 to April 6, the alluring athletes of the ATP and WTA will descend upon Miami to play in the world’s most prestigious tournament outside of the Grand Slams.
“Miami is about fashion, glamour and excitement,” says Dee Dutta, head of global marketing for Sony Ericsson Communications. “As title sponsor, we work to bring these elements to the Sony Ericsson Open. With the help of Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, as well as the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department, Miami-Dade has been a tremendous ally in creating this world-class event. Miami is also the gateway to Latin America, which is important to Sony Ericsson. I work very closely with Adam Barrett, who is one of the tour’s best tournament directors, to ensure that the social and entertainment elements of the Sony Ericsson Open are significant facets of the total experience.”
Of course, anybody who has attended the tournament during its 24 years in Key Biscayne would know that the social aspects off the court are almost as important as the tennis played on it. Never has this been more accurate than at this year’s tournament, where Dutta, Barrett and the entire IMG event-producing team have employed initiates to ensure that the tournament appeals to the fans that come out to Crandon Park as well as the fans who may not be able to make it.
“The Sony Ericsson Open is an event that combines sport, social activities and entertainment,” says Barrett, a Miami native who understands firsthand the expectations of the people who live in and visit South Florida. “Fans come out and see friends between the matches, and we work to create an environment that facilitates social activities. There are areas where people can sit and have conversation without fear of being interrupted. We also pay special attention to the food that is served. We understand that the people who come out expect quality. This quality can be seen in our concessions, as well as in our Box Holder’s Club and Collector’s Club.”
As part of the onsite entertainment, the Sony Ericsson Open will produce four evenings of fashion shows at their official Fashion Park. The first show will take place on March 28 and will feature Fila, the official apparel sponsor of the Sony Ericsson Open. On March 29, the EleVen clothing line from six-time Grand Slam champion and three-time Sony Ericsson Open winner Venus Williams will grace the runway. Taking center stage on Thursday, April 3, are the luxurious creations of Blumarine. And closing out the week on Friday, April 4, are the elite styles from the Village of Merrick Park. The show will feature the latest designs from their exclusive merchants including Adolfo Dominguez, Astoria, Carlos Miele, and Neiman-Marcus.
Adding to the social and entertainment experience are offsite venues that are designed to attract new audiences. “From March 29 to April 1, at the cross section of Pennsylvania Avenue and Lincoln Road, we’ll have large television screens that broadcast live action from the tournament’s world feed,” explains Barrett. “There will be complementary seating, player appearances, Power 96 live remotes and an interactive area featuring the Sony PlayStation. We’ll also have one night at CocoWalk on Thursday, March 27 from 8 pm until midnight.”
The positive experience of the Sony Ericsson Open is not merely for the patrons, but for the players, too. Under the leadership of Barrett, the Sony Ericsson Open has been the Tournament of the Year by the ATP eight of the last nine years and by both the ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in 2004.
“We strive to give the players the best place to do their jobs,” says Barrett. “Kim Hall is the head of player services and she does fantastic work. Plus, South Florida itself is a great incentive for players to bring their families and friends. We handle all of their hotel arrangements; the player’s dining room overlooks stadium court; South Florida’s restaurants like Joe’s Stone Crabs and Capital Grill are proverbial favorites and the players simply enjoy being here.”
In keeping with providing the players with the best, the Sony Ericsson Open will host its second annual Sony Ericsson Player Party at Opium Garden March 26. The red carpet ceremonies will begin at 8:30 p.m. Among the list of confirmed celebrity guests include 10,000 BC star Camilla Belle, Vogue supermodel Hanna Soukupova and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Quiana Grant. Last year’s celebrity appearances included Dwyane Wade, Kelly Rowland, Shannon Elizabeth, Stephanie Seymour and Jamie Foxx, to name just a few.
It’s tennis’ sexiest and most glamorous tournament in the world’s sexiest city, and for 10 days, Miami gives way to the Sony Ericsson Open. Ticket packages can be purchased by calling the Sony Ericsson Open ticket office at 305-442-3367 or online at www.SonyEricssonOpen.com.
Aaron Glickman is a writer, actor and filmmaker. Through his contributions to SocialMiami, he has had opportunities to document many fascinating people and organizations in the fields of philanthropy, the arts, fashion, design and real estate including Carolina Herrera, James Rosenquist, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Russell Simmons, Nicole Miller, Christian Louboutin, Lin Arison and many more. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Miami Theater Center (MTC) and is on the Executive Committee of the National YoungArts Foundation.