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Advanta re-ups with World TeamTennis

The credit card marketer has updated its corporate sponsorship agreement with the professional tennis league.

Earlier this week, I wrote about lackluster projections for the growth in corporate sponsorships in 2009.

That's bad news for a lot of organizations that depend on them, especially college and professional sports. One local company is standing by its sport, however.

Credit-card marketer Advanta Corp. just updated its sponsorship agreement with World TeamTennis professional and recreational leagues, which runs until the end of 2014.

The Spring House company will pay $6.75 million for the rights to continue as sole title sponsor for the leagues and the All-Star Smash Hits annual charity event for the next three years.

According to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Advanta said its Advantennis Corp. subsidiary also will pay $2.25 million to be the sole presenting sponsor of the Philadelphia Freedoms tennis team and its home matches for the next three years. In 2008, the Freedoms played at a temporary stadium near the King of Prussia Mall.

Also, I wrote that Forman Mills would donate a percentage of sales from its Aramingo Avenue store on Tuesday to organizers of the annual Mummers Parade. Now we know that the amount is $22,000, including matching funds by CEO Rick Forman.

It's a blockbuster

Cephalon Inc. has a blockbuster on its hands.

The Frazer biopharmaceutical company told employees earlier this week that gross sales of its Provigil drug, used to promote wakefulness, hit $1 billion for 2008. The billion-dollar mark is the measure by which drugs are dubbed blockbusters.

The company will provide full-year 2008 financial results in February. Its 2007 sales of Provigil, also known by its chemical name modafinil, were $852 million, or 49 percent of its total sales of $1.7 billion.

But Provigil may not be a blockbuster for long. Cephalon could face generic competition for it starting in 2012. Generic substitutes, which cost a lot less than brand-name drugs, usually capture most of the sales once a brand-name drug loses patent protection.