Mercedes-Benz to be Honored with Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award at The Legends Ball

Mercedes-Benz to be Honored with Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award at The Legends Ball

Company's Worldwide Support of Tennis to be Recognized at 30th Annual Legends Ball on September 10 in New York City

NEW YORK, NY, August 4, 2010 - Mercedes-Benz will be honored for its ongoing contribution to tennis with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award by the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, at the 30th annual Legends Ball on Friday, September 10, 2010 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. This special night of celebration will also honor a host of tennis luminaries including Martina Navratilova, who will receive the Eugene L. Scott Award and the Hall of Fame Class of 2010 - Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde, Gigi Fernandez, Natasha Zvereva, Owen Davidson, wheelchair tennis pioneer Brad Parks and Derek Hardwick, former chairman of the British Lawn Tennis Association

The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award honors an exceptional company that shares Joe Cullman's enthusiasm for tennis and has also made a significant contribution to society at large - both philanthropically and through outstanding generosity of spirit. Cullman served as President and Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum from 1982-88, a tenure during which the organization was elevated to worldwide recognition. He hoped that visits to the historic site would inspire young people to play tennis, learn and appreciate its history, and honor the great players of the past. Previous recipients of the award have been: BNP Paribas (2006); Rolex Watch U.S.A., Inc. (2007), Sony Ericsson (2008), and Tennis Channel (2009).

"The wise investment that Mercedes-Benz has made in tennis has been integral to the growth of the sport around the world," said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. "They have been and continue to be avid supporters of tennis. For that we are proud to honor them alongside the other great champions and legends of the game."

Over the past 16 years, Mercedes-Benz provided support for professional tennis with hundreds of tournaments taking place that featured the Mercedes-Benz star on the net alongside the sports' past and present champions. Its commitment continues by kicking off 2010 with a multi-year marketing partnership with the USTA that designates Mercedes-Benz the "Official Vehicle of the US Open" and the "Presenting Sponsor of the US Open Men's Singles Championship."

"As the inventor of the very first automobile, Mercedes-Benz commitment to preserving heritage is core to its values," said Ernst Lieb, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.  "Celebrating the history of tennis, honoring the sport's great contributors, and promoting the overall game of tennis are endeavors the company is proud to carry on."

In addition to honoring Mercedes-Benz and recognizing the Class of 2010, the International Tennis Hall of Fame will present Martina Navratilova with the Eugene L. Scott Award. Presented annually to 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, the honor has previously been awarded to: John McEnroe (2006); Andre Agassi (2007); Billie Jean King (2008) and Arthur Ashe and his wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (2009).

The Legends Ball, held annually since 1980, brings the tennis world together to celebrate the history of the game and honor some of the sport's great contributors all while raising money for the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum.  A legendary line-up of tennis greats will also be in attendance, including more than a dozen Hall of Famers and tennis dignitaries.

Guests can also bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences and unique items in a silent and live auction. In the past, auction items have included hit sessions with tennis luminaries Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Monica Seles; ticket and travel packages to Grand Slam events; golf at legendary courses like Winged Foot; and autographed tennis memorabilia from Roger Federer, James Blake and Andre Agassi.  

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about the event, call 212-843-1740 or e-mail legendsball@hgnyc.com. The mission of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, based in Newport, R.I., is to preserve the history of tennis, inspire and encourage junior tennis development, enshrine tennis heroes and heroines and provide a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. 

# # #

About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, enshrining tennis heroes and heroines, and providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum was recognized as the sport's official Hall of Fame in 1986 by the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners, such as BNP Paribas. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.