BNP Paribas and PlayStation are teaming up to create the “Roland Garros Virtual Tour”, the first virtual tennis tournament for ages 12-25.
BNP Paribas is the world's leading tennis sponsor, through Roland Garros, the Davis Cup, two Masters Series tournaments and a very deep involvement in the development of tennis in France. It relies on its sponsoring policy to develop its image among young people. BNP Paribas already has a presence in the younger market with its product offerings for young people's specific banking needs and has chosen to join them in their entertainment activities too.
PlayStation, the world leader in computer entertainment, is renowned for the diversity and quality of its product line of video games. In the world of sports, PlayStation just developed the latest version of its tennis game, called “Roland Garros 2005”.
The two partners now find themselves on common ground: tennis and the younger market. They are inaugurating a new breed of tournament that rolls out unprecedented features for qualification rounds:
A tour of 14 large cities in France will welcome more than 13,000 young people in dedicated locations for one month, from April 29 through May 27, 2005.
250,000 DVD demos of the “Roland Garros 2005” game will be available in the BNP Paribas network's 2,200 branches. They will let players practice on PS2 and qualify on the Internet.
250,000 Internet Passes will be available in the BNP Paribas network's 2,200 branches. They will let players qualify through a drawing.
The Roland Garros International Training Centre (Centre National d'Entraînement de Roland Garros) and Printemps Paris Haussmann will welcome more than 4,000 players during the first week of the French Internationals, from May 23 through May 27, 2005.
At the end of these qualifying rounds, the 64 players selected will have the opportunity to go to Roland Garros to participate in the final rounds of the Roland Garros Virtual Tour, on May 28 and 29, 2005. The best among them will go back on June 4 for the semi-finals and the final, which will be rebroadcast on the giant screen at Place des Mousquetaires.
The dedicated Internet site is accessible as of April 22: www.rolandgarrosvirtualtour.com
About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
Recognised as the world leader in computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufactures, distributes and markets PlayStation®, PS one®, PlayStation®2, and PSP® video game consoles. Located in London, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is responsible for the marketing and distribution of PlayStation®, PS one® and PlayStation® 2 games and products in a region covering 102 territories in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. At the end of December 2004, more than 39 million PlayStation and PS one units had been sold throughout the PAL territories, and more than 100 million were sold worldwide. Since its launch on November 24, 2000, PlayStation® 2 was distributed as of the end of December 2004 in more than 24 million units in the PAL territories and in more than 72 million throughout the world, which is the one of the greatest successes in the history of game consoles.
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About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) is an international financial services group with a solid presence in Europe, a significant and growing presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia. BNP Paribas has one of the largest international networks with a presence in more than 85 countries and close to 100,000 employees, including 67,000 in Europe. Its three main areas of activity are Corporate and Investment Banking, Asset Management & Services and Retail Banking.