Sports marketer Brian Woods is bringing Andre Agassi and Marat Safin to Asheville, North Carolina later this month for an exhibition match.
Everything is set for the best of three sets matchup at the Asheville Civic Center on Aug. 28, except for the fact that Woods is still struggling to find a title sponsor for what is now called Grand Slam Asheville.
But Woods thinks he has the ultimate pitch to a company who might be hesitant to put down $75,000 in these times: Don’t pay me until the Dow -– currently hovering around 9,300 -- hits 10,000.
“It’s obviously tough to sell sponsorships in this environment,” said Woods, whose W Sports Marketing is based in Asheville. “So many companies have told me they would have done this if the time were right. So this is the only way to go.”
Woods says he expects at least 4,500 people to attend the event, which happens to be Agassi’s first match against an active player since he retired in 2006. Woods has also brought in women’s pro Ashley Harkleroad, who posed for Playboy, to take on a nationally ranked junior from the area.
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The event is not on television, but Woods says the company will get plenty of bang for their buck, including mentions on every piece of promotional material, logos around the court and on the net, 25 seats to the event, the opportunity to play a few points with Agassi and Safin and five autographed tennis balls.
Woods noted that he’s not going to accept a deal with any company.
Said Woods: “I have to feel like they’re going to be good for the money.”
The last time the Dow was above 10,000 was on October 7, 2008.
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