The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic sort of sounds like it should be in … Abu Dhabi or something?
But in fact, that’s the new name of the Bank of the West Classic, held for more than 20 years on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
The event has traded in one college campus for another, and it’s not moving too far.
Its new home will now be on the campus of San Jose State University, about a half-hour south. And it has found a new sponsor for the event. BNP Paribas (of which the Bank of the West is a division) opted to deploy its tennis resources elsewhere.
San Jose State University might not be as esteemed an institution of higher learning as Stanford. But it has a major plus as far as the WTA and IMG (which owns the event) are concerned. It has no policy against hosting corporately-sponsored events on its campus. The school has agreed to a long-term commitment with IMG to hos the event.
New campus, new sponsor
San Jose State has a new 15-acre tennis complex with six lighted courts, The new facility officially opened in December. And, according to the this press release on the WTA website, the school will build a custom stadium court with temporary seating for 4,000.
There had been concern, when the Stanford decision was revealed, that the longest-running pro tour event in California was in danger of leaving the area.
But IMG found a solution – and a corporate sponsor in the Mubadala Investment Company, which is the sovereign fund of the United Arab Emirates.
The company has just opened an office in the San Francisco area and has nearly half a billion in venture capital it plans to invest. And so the sponsorship will be a way for it to increase its visibility.
Mubadala also sponsors the six-man exhibition in Abu Dhabi to begin the season, euphemistically called the “Mubadala World Tennis Championships“.
The renamed, relocated event takes place July 30 to Aug. 5.
It had an all-American final last year, as Madison Keys defeated Coco Vandeweghe.