MIAMI (AP) — It's not uncommon for the top stars in tennis to refer to South Florida's premier tournament simply as Miami, even though that has never been in the event's official title.
That is, until now.
The annual event on Key Biscayne will be known for the next five years as The Miami Open, with the Latin American bank Itau is taking over as the event's presenting sponsor. The tournament had most recently been called the Sony Open and Sony had been in the event's name since 2007.
"Leveraging the Miami brand is a great effort to strengthen Miami's reputation as an epicenter for sport and entertainment," said Andrea Pinotti Cordeiro, Itau Unibanco's Institutional Marketing Director.
The name switch is one of many changes that might be coming to the event, which draws the top men's and women's players in the world to South Florida each spring. Organizers are hoping to upgrade the tennis facility, with plans — which have been met with some resistance and led to ongoing court battles — calling for expansion of the main stadium and other improvements around the grounds.
Without those fixes, organizers fear the event could lose some of its luster. The sponsorship with Itau is not contingent on any of the expansion and infrastructure plans being completed.
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