WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept 15, 2021) -- Today, MDE Sports announced that Citi will continue its title sponsorship of the historic Citi Open® Tournament, held annually in Washington D.C.’s Rock Creek Park, through 2023. True to Citi’s mission of enabling progress, this extended partnership reaffirms the bank’s commitment to the D.C. community and the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF).
WTEF, the primary beneficiary of the Citi Open, works to improve the lives and prospects of low-income, under-served children and youth in the District of Columbia through athletic and academic enrichment. With the support of the Citi Open, the WTEF has created over 1,000 tennis and education slots filled through virtual and in-person instruction in 2020-21 alone.
“We are thrilled that Citi has not only renewed its commitment to the tournament, but also to the students of WTEF,” said John Borden, CEO of WTEF. “The Citi Open has provided the core financial support for our organization since our founding, as well as a unique experience for our students and families that allows them to immerse themselves in a one-of-a-kind event and be inspired firsthand and up close by the best professionals in the world. We could not be happier that this relationship will continue!”
In addition to financial support, the tournament hosts hundreds of WTEF kids every summer offering them opportunities to meet players, participate in group instructional clinics with top pros, conduct coin tosses before matches and more. Together these experiences help spark even more aspirational fire in these kids to supplement the lifelong impact that WTEF’s programming has on them, inspiring them to dream and giving them the tools to pursue those dreams.
“Our team at MDE Sports and the entire D.C. community is deeply grateful to Citi for their continued support of our tournament and belief in our expansive vision to continue to build the tournament as one of the best in the world so that we can touch as many lives as possible,” said MDE Sports CEO and Citi Open chairman Mark Ein. “Citi’s continued support will help us take the Citi Open to the next level and support the next generation of young Washingtonians through WTEF and our other charitable partners.”
Recognizing everyone deserves to see themselves represented, the Citi Open Tournament has a proud history of strong female representation. Last year, the Citi Open and Citi expanded its charitable partners to include the Women’s Sports Foundation. Moving forward, they share a commitment to ensuring a women’s event remains a significant element of the tournament for years to come.
“Citi wants everything we do, including our sponsorships, to represent the communities we serve and reflect the value we place on diversity,” said Ed Skyler, Head of Global Public Affairs, Citi. “We are proud to extend our sponsorship of the Citi Open Tournament as it not only demonstrates our continued support for the D.C. community and their youth but leverages our combined scale to further gender equity in sports.”
Founded in 1969 to support Arthur Ashe’s vision of playing a pro tennis tournament in a public park fully accessible to everyone, Citi became the title sponsor of the event in 2011, ushering in the Citi Open Era of the tournament. Today, the Citi Open is the only ATP 500 event in the US as well as the longest running US pro tournament in its original location.
In recent years, the Citi Open has made a substantially increased investments to support the elevated fan and player experience, which means world-class matches featuring the some of the best US and
international tennis superstars will continue in Washington for years to come.
“We congratulate our Washington D.C. ATP 500Tournament and thank Citi for extending their title sponsorship through 2023,” said Eric Starelli, EVP of the Americas ATP Tour. “Citi’s continued support of this key stop on the ATP tour highlights the strength of the ATP’s summer swing in one of the largest and most important markets in the US and provides affirmation of the significant fan and player enhancements that MDE Tennis has made since taking over running this historic ATP tournament.”
The 2021 Citi Open was the most successful in the tournament’s history shattering all previous attendance records with all 11 sessions selling out over the event’s eight days as well as unprecedented TV exposure in the US on Tennis Channel and around the world. The tournament grounds were filled each day from when the gates opened until the last ball was played by fans enjoying a wide variety of new highly curated, on-site dining and entertainment venues featuring world renowned chefs including Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio and David Chang as well as other leading food and beverage partners from D.C. and around the country. Players enjoyed a similarly elevated experience at the event with new facilities and many of the same food partners as well as one of the only ATP events to offer full prize money in 2021.
In 2019, MDE Sports, owned and led bv D.C. philanthropist and entrepreneur Mark Ein, took over management and reimagined the historic tournament experience for players and fans. Ein was a ball boy at the tournament as a kid and frequently says the experience changed his life.
“My own personal experience as a fan, ball boy, and now CEO of the tournament, convinced me long ago of the awesome power of tennis to transform kids’ lives,” said Ein. “The Citi Open really is Arthur Ashe’s dream come true. And I hope that spirit shines through for the players and fans who take part in this special event in our nation’s capital.”
About Citi Open
The Citi Open® tournament has been Washington, D.C.’s premier tennis event since 1969 and benefits the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), the tournament’s non-profit owner and beneficiary. Beginning in 2019, MDE Sports, founded by venture capitalist and entrepreneur Mark Ein, took over management and operation of the tournament under an agreement with WTEF. The organization provides underserved children in the D.C.-area with a safe environment to learn critical life skills both on and off the courts through academic and athletic enrichment. The Citi Open Tennis Tournament is one of only 13 elite ATP World Tour 500-level events worldwide and the only one held in the United States. The tournament also features a women’s invitational tournament, which provides fans the opportunity to watch simultaneous competitions of both world-class men’s and women’s tennis throughout the nine-day event. Washington is one of the five largest tennis events in the United States, and after 50 years, it is also the longest-running pro tennis event at the same site in the United States.
About MDE Tennis
MDE Tennis, which is part of MDE Sports & Entertainment, oversees operations for Citi Open as well as the Washington Justice esports team and the legendary newspaper, the Washington City Paper. Mark D. Ein is the Owner and CEO of MDE Sports & Entertainment and its MDE Tennis subsidiary.
Ein is an investor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who has created, acquired, invested in and built a series of growth companies across a diverse set of industries over the course of his 30-year career. During this time, Ein has been involved in the founding or early stages of six companies that have been worth over one billion dollars and has led over $10 billion of private equity, venture capital, and public company transactions.
Ein and his family actively support many community, charitable and cultural organizations and currently serves on the boards of the D.C. Public Education Fund (Chairman), the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, D.C. College Access Program (D.C.-CAP), and the D.C. Policy Center (Co-Founder). He formerly served on the Board of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) from 2012-2018 (serving as a Vice President of the Board from 2016-2018) and has been a Presidential Appointee to the USTA Board since 2018.
A native of the Washington, D.C., area and a ball boy in his youth at the city’s summer pro tennis tournament that became the Citi Open, Ein is also the Founder and Owner of the Washington Kastles, one of the most successful teams in World TeamTennis history. The Kastles won the league championship six of its 14 years since its founding and holds the record for the longest winning streak in U.S. pro team sports history winning 34 straight matches from 2011 through 2013.
In September 2009, Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty presented Ein with the Key to the City, highlighting his Washington Kastles success on the court and, “for their commitment to the District’s communities and our youth.”
In September 2018, Ein founded the Washington Justice esports franchise in the Overwatch League, bringing the premier global esports league to the greater Washington, D.C. region. Also, in 2018, Ein acquired the Washington City Paper, the renowned weekly paper serving the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since 1981. In 2019, Ein took over management and operation of Citi Open in Washington, D.C., one of the longest-running professional tennis tournaments in the world now in its 52nd year.
About The ATP
As the global governing body of men’s professional tennis, the ATP’s mission is to serve tennis. We entertain a billion global fans, showcase the world’s greatest players at the most prestigious tournaments, and inspire the next generation of fans and players. From the ATP Cup in Australia, to Europe, the
Americas and Asia, the stars of the game battle for titles and FedEx ATP Rankings points at ATP Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, and Grand Slams. All roads lead towards the Nitto ATP Finals, the prestigious season finale held in Turin, Italy. Featuring only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams, the tournament also sees the official crowning of the year-end ATP World No. 1, the ultimate achievement in tennis. For more information, please visit www.ATPTour.com.
About US Open Series
The US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of summer tennis in North America, linking nine summer WTA and ATP Tour tournaments to the US Open. Featuring a cohesive weekly schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today's top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow's emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi.
The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) is a premier educational and tennis organization for underserved children in Washington, D.C. The mission of WTEF is to improve the life prospects of low-income, underserved children and youth in the District of Columbia through athletic and academic enrichment. WTEF seeks to keep children off city streets during out-of-school time in a safe environment they can trust. We also engage them in productive activities that teach discipline, build confidence, improve school performance, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. WTEF empowers students to achieve their highest potential by helping them develop meaningful values and critical life skills that will lead them to make constructive life choices. WTEF builds life champions. For more information, visit www.wtef.org.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 721-9500.