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Family Circle Cup tennis tournament renamed to Volvo Cars Open

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By Ashley Heffernan
aheffernan@scbiznews.com
Published Sept. 1, 2015

The world’s largest women-only tennis tournament has a new name.

Volvo Cars of North America has become the title sponsor of the Family Circle Cup, the Daniel Island tournament that has seen such past champions as Serena and Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin and Chris Evert.

The Family Circle Cup tennis tournament on Daniel Island has been renamed the Volvo Cars Open. (Photo/File)The Family Circle Cup tennis tournament on Daniel Island has been renamed the Volvo Cars Open. (Photo/File)
The 2016 Volvo Cars Open is slated for April 2-10. According to the tournament website, the tennis center will remain the Family Circle Tennis Center and tennis operations will remain the same.

Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith Corp., the national media group that publishes Family Circle magazine, announced the change Monday to the tournament, which is a Women’s Tennis Association event.

“Family Circle’s commitment to women’s tennis began in 1973, and the tournament continues to be a premier event on the WTA tour. Our new relationship with Volvo is a great opportunity for both of our companies to build on and celebrate the tournament’s rich history while finding new and exciting ways to expand and grow its reach with our marketing partners,” Tom Harty, president of Meredith Corp.’s national media group, said in a statement.

According to the WTA, Family Circle magazine was previously the longest-running title sponsor in professional tennis. The tournament will continue to be owned and operated by Charleston Tennis LLC, a subsidiary of Meredith Corp., a news release said.

“It is a great honor to become the title sponsor of this world-class tournament; one that, like Volvo Cars, celebrates passion and performance,” Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, said in a statement. “As we are establishing our U.S. manufacturing footprint in the Charleston area, this is an ideal way for us to leverage our presence in the community.”

Volvo plans to build its first American factory in Berkeley County. The company expects the factory to cost $500 million and employ up to 2,000 people over the next decade.

Berkeley County supervisor Bill Peagler said the sponsorship announcement is “another example of the extraordinary commitment Volvo Cars has to continuing the incredible quality of life we enjoy in Berkeley County.”

“Volvo Cars has truly embraced and made a home in Berkeley County — a place to not only work and be successful but also to live and enjoy the amazing activities we offer,” Peagler said in a statement. “Berkeley County is grateful for Volvo Cars’ commitment to our county, our people and this most enjoyable tournament.”

The tournament averages 90,000 attendees each year and reaches more than 10 million television viewers worldwide, according to Meredith Corp. Tickets for the 2016 Volvo Cars Open will go on sale Sept. 15.

Reach staff writer Ashley Heffernan at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyBHeff on Twitter.

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