Honorees named for The Legends Ball
September 9, 2015
NEWPORT, R.I. – The tennis world goes glam off the courts during US Open Finals weekend when more than 500 guests will gather on Saturday, September 12 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City for The Legends Ball presented by BNP Paribas. The annual social event hosted by the International Tennis Hall of Fame celebrates tennis and honors some of the sport’s greatest champions and contributors. Proceeds of the event will benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame to support the organization’s mission of preserving and promoting the history of the sport.
The evening will pay tribute to the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2015, which features former world No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo, 6-time Paralympic medalist David Hall, and longtime tennis industry leader Nancy Jeffett. The Legends Ball presented by BNP Paribas is co-chaired by Jody and John Arnhold, Marjorie and Jon Pastel, Barbara and Gary Tolman, and Katie and Todd Traina.
More than 20 Hall of Fame tennis legends are expected to participate in the evening’s festivities including Chris Evert, Billie Jean King, Virginia Wade, Tracy Austin, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Pam Shriver, Gigi Fernandez, Nancy Richey, Rosie Casals, Maria Bueno, Peachy Kellmeyer, Jane Brown Grimes, Stan Smith, Vic Seixas, Owen Davidson, Brad Parks, Butch Buchholz, Charlie Pasarell, Donald Dell, and Ion Tiriac. Additional special guests will include 2013 Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli and American tennis great Jimmy Arias.
A special highlight of the evening will be a tribute to the Original 9, the nine women who famously signed $1 contracts to turn pro with the Virginia Slims Circuit, the forerunner to today’s WTA Tour.
ESPN SportsCenter anchor Cari Champion, formerly of Tennis Channel, will be the evening’s Master of Ceremony. The Legends Ball will feature a live musical performance by Jon Batiste, a New Orleans-bred, New York-based jazz musician, who made his debut as bandleader on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night.
Sports industry executives Mark Miles and Larry Scott will be guests of honor at the event, during which they will be recognized for their extensive contributions to tennis by presentation of the Eugene L. Scott Award. The award is given annually to honor 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 will be introduced by Hall of Famer Billie Jean King and Miles will be introduced by Hall of Famer Charlie Pasarell.
Mark Miles was CEO of the ATP Tour from 1990 – 2005, during which time he stabilized and significantly developed the Tour in the areas of revenue, marketing initiatives, prize money increases, and expansion, with new events in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. He has since gone on to be a successful leader in motorsports as President & CEO of Hulman & Company, which is comprised of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, INDYCAR, and other entities.
Larry Scott served as CEO of the WTA Tour from 2003 – 2009, during which time the tour achieved the long-sought goal of equal prize money for women at tennis’ grand slam events, signed the largest-ever sponsorship in professional tennis, and created a landmark global partnership with UNESCO. Scott also served in various leadership roles with the ATP Tour from 1989 – 2003. Scott currently serves as Commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference
Another highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award to The Tennis Media Company. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the company’s signature publication, Tennis Magazine, which was launched in May 1965. Next year, TMC will begin its third decade of producing daily content on Tennis.com, and, at the beginning of last year, the company launched Tennis Tuesday, which has since become the sport’s fastest-growing weekly digital publication.
The Legends Ball is proudly presented by BNP Paribas. In addition, major sponsors include Rolex Watch USA, EMC, Alex and Ani, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard, and Fila, which will debut FILA + UO, a new and exclusive women’s collection produced by the iconic sportswear line that is available only at Urban Outfitters.
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 serving as an important fundraiser for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.