NEW YORK, April 25, 2006 —
1987 Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash to Participate in Event with The Tennis Channel’s Open Access Host Murpy Jensen, Destination Tennis Host Mieke Buchan
58 Doubles Teams set to Compete in Ad Agency Tennis Tournament
The Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it, begins its third annual Spring Smashoff this week in New York, with first-night play underway tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET. The event, an advertising agency doubles tournament designed to highlight the network’s programming and brand during upfronts, will once again feature players from Mediaedge, the agency that has won both of the previous titles. This includes the tournament’s inaugural winners: 2004 champions Kinsley Howe and Martin Dehler, who advanced to the quarterfinals in 2005.
Also on hand will be 1987 Wimbledon winner and tennis Hall of Famer Pat Cash, who will sign autographs and mingle with guests during the event’s opening evening. Cash, among Australia’s long list of tennis greats, will be joined by a pair from The Tennis Channel’s original series talent department: Open Access host Murphy Jensen (himself a French Open doubles champion in 1993) and Destination Tennis host Mieke Buchan.
Overall, 58 doubles teams representing 19 agencies have registered for this year’s competition. For the third consecutive year, agency response was next to immediate upon The Tennis Channel’s offer to participate, with the field set in slightly more than 24 hours. Since 2004, each year The Tennis Channel has invited New York-area ad agencies to participate in the Spring Smashoff, which in 2006 takes place at Long Island City’s Tennisport April 25, 27 and May 3. The tournament offers tennis fans and players who work in the advertising industry an opportunity to play against one another in a friendly, competitive atmosphere during television’s annual upfront season. Each night the network offers food and drink alongside the competition.
Most of the action takes place in a round-robin format, giving every team the opportunity to play every other team in its particular group, with eight groups overall. By the end of this week the field will be whittled to four teams, which will return next week for the semifinals and championship May 3.
Though last year’s inaugural tournament was won by Mediaedge’s Jessica Levine and Jim Malhame, they are unable to play this year and defend their 2005 championship. However, the
combination of 2004 winners Howe and Dehler keeps Mediaedge among the favorites to retain the Spring Smashoff trophy which, like hockey’s famous Stanley Cup, is passed annually to each new tournament champion, with the winners’ names engraved for posterity.
Date: Round-robin group matches April 25 and 27; semifinals and final May 3
Time: 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m.
Venue: Tennisport, Borden Avenue & Second Street, Long Island City, New York
(the event is not open to the public)
The Tennis Channel (www.thetennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it. As the most concentrated single-sport network on television, the brand combines comprehensive sports coverage with health, fitness, pop culture, lifestyle and travel programming. Fifty-two week tournament telecast rights include the US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup, offering compelling coverage of the game’s most dramatic rivalries and energetic personalities.
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