Key Biscayne Tennis Tournament Changes Name as Crandon Park Expansion Remains Tied Up in Court
Bye-bye, Sony. The tennis tournament on Key Biscayne has a different, slightly less commercialized name and a new sponsor.
Photo: Alex Lee | CC2.0 | WikiCommons
The tournament will now be known as the Miami Open Presented by Itau. Not sure what Itau is? It's one of Brazil's largest banks, naturally, which only makes sense considering the continued influx of Brazilian billions into Miami in recent years.
Originally known as the Miami Masters, the tournament has also been known over the years as the Lipton International Players Championships, the Ericsson Open, the Sony Ericsson Open, and, most recently, the Sony Open.
Itau has stepped in to sign a new five-year sponsorship deal.
"Our customers love tennis," Andrea Pinotti Cordeiro, the bank's institutional marketing director, said in a statement. "We have a very important office for private banking operations in Miami; we serve mostly Latin American and Brazilian customers here."
Of course the news comes amid uncertainty about the future of the tennis center at Crandon Park that hosts the tourney.
In 2012, a whopping 72 percent of county voters approved a referendum to upgrade the tennis facilities.
The land was donated to Miami by the Matheson family, and the family's heirs have long argued that building a tennis center in the park broke the original agreement. Descendant Bruce Matheson sued the county to overturn the referendum, but that suit was thrown out of court in January. However, Matheson has appealed the decision, and that appeal was brought before a judge just yesterday.