For the first time, BNP Paribas will be the title sponsor of the BNP Paribas Open, known as the Grand Slam of the West in Indian Wells, California. This year, the tournament will take place from March 9-22, 2009.

This major tennis event was established in 1976 and features more than three hundred of the worlds' best men and women tennis players. Last year, more than 330,000 people attended the tournament.

Commenting on this sponsorship, Baudouin Prot, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas, said: "BNP Paribas has been a sponsor of tennis for more than 35 years. We are deeply committed to this relationship and we believe that the sponsorship of tennis events is part and parcel of the strategy to make the BNP Paribas brand internationally recognised. We are very excited to be joining the Indian Wells family as the title sponsor of a major tennis event in the United States where we have been present and growing for more than three decades."

"We are thrilled to have BNP Paribas as the new title sponsor of our event", added Charlie Pasarell, tournament Chairman. "During this partnership, we believe we will guide our tournament to greater heights, both in terms of attendance and global appeal."

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