It's The Miami Open Now. Obrigado, Itaú.
The big pro tennis tournament that starts Monday on Key Biscayne has had four different corporate names since its debut 30 years ago. But now the event is free of a commercial label. And that may be the smartest corporate move yet.
It was most recently the Sony Open. Now – and many hope from now on – it’s the Miami Open.
For that you can say obrigado – thank you – to Brazil’s BancoItaú.
Itaú, Latin America's largest privately held bank, is the new lead sponsor of the tournament. The Open, played at Key Biscayne's Crandon Park Tennis Center, has become one of the biggest events on the pro tennis circuit. But Itaú is not exercising its naming rights. It’s decided instead that it’s better business to let the Miami brand speak for itself.
“Miami has evolved as a very well-known and a very desirable place, cultural, financial,” says Andrea Pinotti Cordeiro, Itaú’s marketing director in São Paulo. “As a global marketing strategy, we truly believe this is the best way to go.”
Itaú, whose international private banking is headquartered in Miami, also believes that keeping the Miami Open’s name commercial-free lends the tournament more prestige. Think Wimbledon. And that cachet, it reasons, rubs off on the tournament’s sponsors.
Cordeiro says she hopes this will start a trend in sports sponsorship: “You don’t need the naming rights to really do a good [marketing] job.”
Itaú will be the Miami Open’s lead sponsor through at least 2019.