Pilot Pen will drop its sponsorship of the annual New Haven professional tennis event, the New Haven Register reported, putting one of the only professional sporting events in Connecticut’s second largest city in jeopardy.
The event will go on next year, August 20-28, but the pen company will drop its sponsorship when its contract is up after that.
The register reported that Pilot Pen has been sponsor of the annual event, which features a men’s and women’s tournament, since 1996. It is held in downtown New Haven, near the Yale Bowl and Yale Field in the 13,000-seat Connecticut Tennis Center. The newspaper reported that Pilot Pen put up $1.4 million annually for the tournament.
“We firmly believe that Pilot Pen Corporation’s long-term support of the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament has helped us grow the sport of tennis in the Northeast and put us in a solid position to attract a new title sponsor," tournament director Anne Worcester said in a statement "This tournament has developed into an entertainment event featuring some of the world’s best professional tennis players as well as many off-court events which have expanded our reach to all types of fans. A combined men’s and women’s tournament is a very desirable sports property and will appeal to national and regional partners alike."
"We have enjoyed being the title sponsor of the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament" said Dennis Burleigh, President and CEO of Pilot Pen Corporation of America in the same statement. "Unfortunately, the economic recession has severely impacted our consumers and the office products industry in particular, necessitating this difficult decision."