The Legends Ball - September 6, 2013

The premier social event during the US Open, The Legends Ball, presented by BNP Paribas, is always an extraordinary evening and serves as a beneficial fundraiser for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the mission to preserve the history of this great sport!

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About the Event Co-Chairs Honorees Awards Auction

 About The Legends Ball
During one of the most exciting weekends of the tennis calendar, US Open finals weekend, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will once again add to the festivities with The Legends Ball, presented by BNP Paribas, a gala event to be held on Friday, September 6 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The Legends Ball will pay tribute to the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 and will honor will honor several additional people and organizations who have contributed greatly to tennis by presentation of special awards.

Proceeds of The Legends Ball, which has been held annually since 1980, will benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and support the mission of preserving the history of the game, honoring the legends and inspiring the future.

Honorees
The Legends Ball will pay tribute to the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 which features former world No. 1 and 5-time singles Grand Slam champion Martina Hingis, Australian tennis legend Thelma Coyne Long and influential tennis industry leaders Cliff Drysdale, Charlie Pasarell, and Ion Tiriac 


Eugene L. Scott Award
2013 Recipient: Rod Laver

The Eugene L. Scott Award honors an individual who embodies Scott's commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Scott founded Tennis Week magazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, "Vantage Point" until his death in 2005. Past recipients have included Chris Evert, Dick Enberg, Andre Agassi, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe, Billie Jean King, and Arthur Ashe.

Rod Laver is the only person in history to have ever achieved two Grand Slams, having won all four major singles titles in both 1962 and 1969. In all, Laver won an incredible 200 titles and 11 major singles titles, and he was the world No. 1 player for seven consecutive years from 1964 – 1970. One of Australia’s most revered athletes, Laver played an integral role in leading the Australian Davis Cup team to victory four times. In 1981, he was honored for his great accomplishments with the highest honor in the sport, enshrinement in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Indisputably one of the greatest legends of tennis, Laver’s presence in the sport has far exceeded his titles and rankings. A gentleman through and through, Laver consistently graced the court with tremendous sportsmanship and humility, serving as a role model for so many. Universally respected and adored by tennis players, leaders, and fans, Rod Laver is one of the sport's most trusted voices and ambassadors.
 

 

Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award
2013 Recipient: ESPN

The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award is given in honor of the man who served as president and chairman of the Hall of Fame from 1982-88, and was responsible for elevating the organization to worldwide recognition. The award recognizes an exceptional company that shares Cullman's enthusiasm for tennis and has also made a significant contribution to society at large- both philanthropically and through outstanding generosity of spirit. Past recipients have included BBC Sport, Campbell Soup Company, Tennis Channel, and Mercedes-Benz.

On September 7, 1979 at 7 pm, the sports world was changed forever when a first-of-its-kind cable network dedicated strictly to sports burst onto the airwaves. Curious viewers tuned in to hear ESPN anchor Lee Leonard say, "If you love sports...if you really love sports, you'll think you've died and gone to sports heaven.” Moments later, his co-anchor George Grande announced the first score ever reported on SportsCenter-- Chris Evert's victory over Billie Jean King at the US Open.

Exactly one week later, ESPN aired their first tennis telecast, a Davis Cup tie between the United States and Argentina featuring John McEnroe and Guillermo Vilas with Cliff Drysdale on the call. In the 34 years since, the network has brought the sport’s biggest matches and most dramatic moments from tennis courts around the world into the living rooms of millions of tennis fans.

With each passing tennis season, ESPN has displayed its steadfast commitment to the sport, developing an astute on-air team, constantly adding more hours of coverage, creating innovative digital platforms, and celebrating tennis’ rich history through fascinating special programming. As with all sports it touches, ESPN harnesses the power of tennis to do great things off the courts as well, through Team ESPN’s “Fans Helping Fans” efforts, which features array of charitable giving programs.

The network that has done so much for tennis is showing no signs of slowing down. Already the complete rights holder for the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and a broadcaster of Roland Garros, in 2015 ESPN will add the complete US Open rights and coverage to their tennis repertoire. While tennis has undoubtedly benefitted from an exceptional relationship with ESPN since the network’s birth, the new opportunities brought forth with the US Open partnership means the best may still be yet to come.

 Co-Chairs

  • John & Jodie Arnhold, The Arnhold Foundation

  • Eric & Aerin Zinterhofer

  • Debra & Claudio Del Vecchio, Brooks Brothers Group, Inc.

  • Jim & Gigi Goldman, Godiva Chocolatier

 Auction
Always a highlight of the evening, The Legends Ball auction will feature an array of exclusive experiences and luxury items that will excite tennis fans and non-tennis fans alike. In the past, auction items have included hit sessions with tennis luminaries Pete Sampras and Monica Seles; ticket and travel packages to Grand Slam events; golf at legendary courses like Winged Foot; autographed tennis memorabilia from Roger Federer and Andre Agassi; exotic vacation packages; and golf, baseball, hockey, basketball and football tickets and memorabilia. 

To learn more about The Legends Ball contact Charles Kehres at 401-324-4072 or via email at ckehres@tennisfame.com  


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