Cayman’s ‘Caroline coup’

Caroline Wozniacki, now the world’s top-ranked player, will represent the Residences at Seafire as an ambassador

The newest Grand Slam champion plans on serving aces for Grand Cayman.

Caroline Wozniacki, who won the Australian Open on Saturday, recently signed a year-long marketing deal with Dart Enterprises that will see her become a part of the Cayman community.

Ms. Wozniacki will become the world’s top-ranked player when the new rankings come out on Monday, and she will be an ambassador for the Residences at Seafire going forward. Chris Duggan, the vice president of community development for Dart, hopes to engage the Denmark native in further brand work over time.

“That was absolutely perfect timing,” he said of Wozniacki’s Australian triumph. “I was in touch with her [Saturday] via text after she had won. We had a couple exchanges. I was wishing her congratulations from everyone in the Cayman Islands, her home away from home.

“She responded, ‘Thanks very much,’ and she’s obviously delighted. She’s looking forward to getting back to Cayman for another break, but she’s got another few tournaments first.”

Ms. Wozniacki visited Cayman in December with her fiancé, former NBA player David Lee, and they visited Stingray City among other destinations. She will not be in town for the upcoming Legends At Camana Bay tennis showcase due to a schedule conflict but hopes to play in the event in the future.

Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki kisses her Australian Open trophy, the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne, Australia, this weekend. – Photo: AP

As part of her deal, Ms. Wozniacki will have access to accommodations whenever she wants to visit Cayman, and Mr. Duggan hopes she will visit the Seafire Residences several times a year.

“I kept saying to them, ‘We really want to do a partnership with Caroline, but it’s also very important to us that you want to be a part of the Cayman community,’” said Mr. Duggan. “It wouldn’t have made sense for us to bond with her if she didn’t like Cayman, but luckily, they both fell in love with the island.

“It worked out great. From our standpoint, having Caroline as an ambassador not only for our brands but for the Cayman Islands, and also her having a place that’s a home away from home. She can come down any time she wants to come down to have a break with her family and friends.”

Ms. Wozniacki, 27 years old, was a runner-up in the U.S. Open twice before winning her first Grand Slam championship over Simona Halep of Romania. Earlier in her career, she became the first woman from a Scandinavian country to earn the world’s No. 1 ranking, and she won the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore in October.

Her equipment bag already bears a patch advertising the Seafire Residences, and Mr. Duggan hopes that Ms. Wozniacki will eventually become a brand model for Dart properties such as The Ritz-Carlton and Dragon Bay. For now, the two sides are just exploring the beginning of their partnership.

Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki visits Stingray City with Chris Duggan in December.

“She’s super-nice,” Mr. Duggan said. “She really shared our opinion, which was really key for me in negotiating this. We want this to be a two-way process. It’s not just us paying her an endorsement fee. We want her to be entrenched in the community here. And she felt that way as well. She wants to be a part of the community.”

Ms. Wozniacki is scheduled for tournaments in Russia and Qatar over the next few weeks, and it’s not immediately clear when she will be in Cayman next. Mr. Duggan plans on finding activities where she would be a good fit, such as playing exhibition matches with other professionals or hosting events for charity.

Most important, Mr. Duggan said, is that this is potentially a long-term partnership. The two sides only agreed to a one-year deal which will expire just before next year’s Australian Open, but both Dart Enterprises and Ms. Wozniacki appear to be engaged in a mutual admiration society.

“The agreement I have with her and her agents is that we anticipate it going on,” Mr. Duggan said. “It was all very last minute, and we wanted to get it signed before Australia. As a result of that we said, ‘Let’s just initially do the year.’ But both sides anticipate it being a long-term partnership.”

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