DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. – Ben Navarro, the CEO of Charleston-based Sherman Financial Group and the founder of education non-profit Meeting Street Schools, has acquired the sanction of the WTA Volvo Car Open along with the operations of the Family Circle Tennis Center and Volvo Car Stadium. With this change, Charleston Tennis LLC will now become a locally-owned and operated organization.
“I look forward to building on the current tournament tradition that is already 47 years in the making with the Volvo Car Open,” said Navarro. “Bob Moran and his team have created a tennis legacy in Charleston with the event and its facilities. Our goal is to continue to grow the tournament’s impact, promote junior tennis in Charleston, and make the sport more accessible for all. Personally, Charleston Tennis LLC’s mission of giving back and making a positive influence on our community align with my family’s values and beliefs.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Ben over the last year through his commitment to growing tennis here in Charleston. His club LTP Tennis has hosted numerous ITF and junior tournaments culminating with the US Girls Clay Court National Championship, held this past July,” said Bob Moran, President of Charleston Tennis LLC. “I’m blown away with not only Ben’s commitment to tennis, but his love for this community. His work with Meeting Street Schools is truly inspiring. Our team is excited to get started building towards the 2019 Volvo Car Open and working with Ben and his team to create an even bigger and better experience for our players, fans and partners. With this commitment and investment to build world-class experiences by our new owner, and the support of our title sponsor, Volvo Car USA, we will continue to remain a vibrant part of the Charleston community for years to come.”
The Volvo Car Open is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America. The international event attracts players and fans from across the globe and reaches more than 20 million fans worldwide via The Tennis Channel and international broadcast partners. The Family Circle Tennis Center is a public tennis facility with 20 championship courts and a 10,200-seat stadium. The center is a year-round facility with daily adult and junior tennis programing, including an on-site, full-time tennis academy. In addition, the stadium hosts an annual concert series and a broad range of programs and events.
The Volvo Car Open contributes a direct impact of 30 million dollars into the local economy each year through visitors, hotels, restaurants, travel and tourism. Indirectly, the tournament generates billions of impressions through its international broadcast, press coverage and ad campaign, all collectively promoting the Lowcountry domestically and abroad. The tournament is responsible for housing all players, officials, out-of-town staff and domestic and international TV production crews. More than 2,500 room nights the week of the Volvo Car Open are booked for staffing alone. This does not account for the tournament’s average of 90,000 attendees, in which 50 percent are from out of town and who will shop, dine and take in attractions while attending the event.
Steve Simon, WTA CEO and Chairman stated, “Rooted in the WTA’s rich history as one of the very first tournaments in 1973, it is a pleasure to see both the tradition and growth of this event continue. We are delighted to welcome Ben’s ownership to the Volvo Car Open and look forward to the positive impact this will have on the continued success of one of the premier women’s tennis events in the world.”
In conjunction with Tennis Channel and WTA Media, the Volvo Car Open is showcased from the first ball struck in main draw competition to the last ball played in finals, throughout the U.S. and 174 international partners. The tournament receives more than 100 hours of tennis; live from Charleston, broadcast across the globe to millions of fans.
Navarro is also the owner of LTP Tennis Club in Mount Pleasant, S.C. He and his wife are avid tennis fans and their four children play the sport.
“The opportunity to partner with someone so passionate about tennis and our community is a perfect fit,” said Moran.
The 2019 Volvo Car Open will take place March 30 – April 7. The tournament will continue to be operated by Charleston Tennis, LLC. Daily procedures and current staff will not be affected by the acquisition.