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Sponsorship surges as tennis boosted by ‘clean’ image
Tennis's reputation as a 'clean' sport is leading to a massive growth in sponsorship deals both internationally and in Australia.
While sports such as athletics, cycling and football have been mired in doping and corruption scandals in recent years, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has this year secured sponsorship deals worth US$160 million over the next five years.
The governing body of the men’s professional circuit has struck new deals with five sponsors in recent months, including a fresh agreement with the airline Emirates that ATP President Chris Kermode described as the biggest in the association’s history. The ATP has also signed new deals with Peugeot, Maui Jim Sunglasses, IT services group Infosys, and Chinese online video business Letv.
Kermode said that sponsors were attracted to tennis because controversies have engulfed other sports stating “people see (tennis) as a clean sport, it’s a great product with great athletes and I think tennis is in the best place it’s ever been.
“Many sports have had difficulties, most recently athletics and football. I think brands are thinking very carefully about which sports they want to associate with.”
Kermode added that the US$160 million of new revenue deals the tennis body has agreed “is the biggest amount of revenue in the shortest space of time that we’ve ever had”.
Emirates, which was already a backer of the ATP, is replacing Corona Extra, the beer brand owned by AB InBev, as a so-called Premier Partner of the World Tour.
Tennis Australia's latest annual report shows that sponsorship revenue increased by almost 50% during the 2015 financial year to $66 million, making it biggest earner of sponsorship revenue in Australia.
Last year Tennis Australia agreed a new ‘Grand Slam’ partnership with Emirates Airlines that saw its major summer tennis events rebranded as the Emirates Australian Open Series, with the airline partnering all five marquee events held ahead of the Australian Open: Hopman Cup (Perth), Brisbane International, Apia International Sydney, Hobart International and the World Tennis Challenge (Adelaide).
Tennis Australia and its flagship tournament, the Australian Open, were also backed by sponsorships by Wilson, Medibank, ANZ Bank, Hisense, Rolex, Lindt, Disney, Woolworths, Canadian Club and Heineken.
Click here to view Tennis Australia's annual report.
Image shows Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge launches the Emirates partnership with the Australian Open and the Emirates Australian Open Series.
Article amended 8th December 2015.
2nd December 2015 - AUSTRALIAN OPEN ORGANISERS CONFIDENT OF ABILITY TO COPE WITH HIGH TEMPERATURES
31st October 2014 - TENNIS AUSTRALIA AGREES MULTI-YEAR SPONSORSHIP WITH EMIRATES
21st October 2014 - TENNIS AUSTRALIA SERVES UP RECORD PROFITS
7th February 2013 - DRUGS AND CRIME REPORT ROCKS AUSTRALIAN SPORT
27th January 2013 - DAWN OF THE ASIAN CENTURY OF TENNIS
18th December 2012 - INTERNATIONAL SPORT FEDERATIONS GENERATE $2 BILLION IN SPONSORSHIP
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