Tennis Greats James Blake and Andy Roddick Team Up with Musician John Mayer at AnthemLIVE!

August 31, 2005
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 31, 2005


NORFOLK, Va. - As part of its ongoing commitment to support cancer research, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia is pleased to present the third annual AnthemLIVE! featuring tennis greats James Blake and Andy Roddick. The event will take place at 7p.m. Thursday, December 1, 2005, at ODU's Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk. Blake and Roddick will play the best two out of three sets, followed by a performance by Grammy Award-winner John Mayer. Proceeds from the event will benefit the fight against cancer.

Now in its third year, AnthemLIVE! has raised more than $1.3 million for cancer research. This year's event will support cancer research at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Virginia Commonwealth University's Massey Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

"Finding a cure for cancer is one of the things that matters most to our members, says, Tom Byrd, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia. "AnthemLIVE! has been successful beyond our expectations. People are passionate about finding a cure. The performers and athletes are also passionate. James Blake's personal interest to conquer this disease is what inspired him to join us in the fight."

Rivals on the court and good friends off it, James Blake and Andy Roddick are committed to supporting charitable causes, with the fight against cancer a top priority for Blake. The 2005 AnthemLIVE! is dedicated to his father, Thomas Blake, who died of cancer last year.

"When cancer touched my family, I was lucky enough to have friends help me though a difficult time," says James Blake. "Now, my friends have agreed to play at AnthemLIVE! to help raise money to find a cure."

It was Blake who invited his friend Roddick to join him at the AnthemLIVE! exhibition match. It was also Blake who initiated the contact with boyhood friend John Mayer, the singer/songwriter who won Grammy awards in 2003 and 2004.

James Blake won the Pilot Pen tournament on August 28, 2005, in Fairfield, Conn., his first tournament win since he broke his neck in a fluke accident and his father died of cancer last year. A New York native, Blake learned to play tennis at the Harlem Junior Tennis League. In 1997, he was the No. 1 junior tennis player in the country. Two years later at Harvard University, Blake was the No. 1 collegiate player. Since turning pro, he has an 8-3 Davis Cup record (5-2 in singles).

Andy Roddick has 19 career titles and currently is the No. 1 men's player in the United States. Most recently, he defeated Blake to win the Legg Mason Classic in Washington, D.C. His other 2005 titles came on three surfaces: on hard courts at the SAP Open in San Jose, Calif., on clay at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Houston and on grass at the Stella Artois Championships in London. Originally from Omaha, Neb., Roddick resides in Boca Raton, Fla.

Grammy-winner John Mayer, 25, emerged from the underground music scene in 2001 with his debut album, "Room For Squares." His much-anticipated second album, "Heavier Things," was released in 2003. Mayer won Grammy Awards for Best New Artist in 2003 and Song of the Year in 2004 for "Daughters."

Ticket Information: Tickets for AnthemLIVE! will go on sale Friday, September 9, and will be available through Ted Tix at or (888) 411-4TED or the Constant Center Box Office. Ticket prices will range from $15 to $100. Courtside box seats for six are available for $2,500.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia is a subsidiary of WellPoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP). WellPoint Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia (excluding a portion of the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through HealthLink and UniCare.

Global Spectrum (, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly facility management field with more than 40 facilities throughout the United States and Canada, manages the 8,600-seat Constant Center on the campus of Old Dominion University. The Philadelphia-based company is part of one of the world's largest sports and entertainment conglomerates Comcast-Spectacor, which also owns the Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum, the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League, Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating rinks, Comcast SportsNet, a regional sports programming network, three minor league baseball teams -the Bowie Baysox, the Delmarva Shorebirds and the Frederick Keys - all affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage services provider, and Patron Solutions, a full-service ticketing and marketing product for public assembly facilities.