ISL appoints marketer to tennis brief

Sports marketing company ISL has appointed Malcolm Crease as vice-president of sales and marketing for its tennis division with a brief to secure exclusive sponsorship deals.

The appointment comes after a deal agreed earlier this year when ISL paid $1.2bn (£727m) for the broadcasting, marketing and licensing rights for the ATP Super 9 and World Championship tennis tournaments.

Crease, previously head of sponsorship and sales at the FA Premier League, has the task of securing a core group of nine official partners and four official suppliers as the global sponsors of the competition.

The competitions will now have consistent branding and marketing across the ten tournaments, while changes to schedule will ensure key players take part. In the past, because of other commitments, some high profile players have not been involved in every tournament.

The changes to the competitions are part of a long-term strategy by ISL and the ATP to reposition tennis as a cutting-edge sport attracting a young, affluent audience.

Sportswear company Fila has signed up as an official sponsor for the next three years.

Crease, who joined ISL this month, left the Premier League in May at the same time as Stephen Pearson, the then commercial director. The pair were to set up their own sports sponsorship consultancy, but the launch was abandoned because of difficulties in raising finance.

Pearson was recruited by Arena 2000 as commercial director in August.

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