The Tennis Australian Open has been going for 4 days now, which has given everyone a good look at this year’s sponsors. Here it is the sponsor’s breakdown! Who is sponsoring the event, how much for, doing what exactly? So many questions, so many answers…
The Main Focus – Kia
Kia is once again the main sponsor for the Australian Open, making them the longest running sponsor of the event. Taking over the previous longest-running sponsor, Ford. Kia uses the Australian Open as their biggest marketing tool, which is why their new contract runs up until 2023.
This year the sponsorship amount has risen to A$17 million, compared to the A$10 million per year over 5 fives contract that came to a close in 2018. The event executive has high hopes for the revenue for the next three years hoping to hit A$500 million. Making Kia’s bid to stay as their main sponsor a very smart move.
How do they get involved?
Kia is heavily involved in the workings of the event, as well as using it as a platform to raise money for causes close to their hearts. However, their main input is the use of 120 vehicles that are used to drive players, VIPs and match officials to and from matches. This year they are expecting to drive more than 450,000 kilometres!
The motor company are also using the Australian Open to connect with their customers. Offering them prizes such as a ride in one of the official cars to the arena along with a tour of Melbourne and a hospitality suite with a view to the court with free food and drinks.
An important part of tennis is the Ball Kids. They’re used to collect loss balls and pass the players towels and water. Kia trains and selects 30 ball kids for the opportunity to take part in the Australian Open. The company also uses the tennis balls to raise money at the Kia Ball Drive. Everyone who makes a ‘gold coin’ donation receives a ball that has been used during the Australian Open, making it the perfect souvenir, whilst helping the AO Community Grants program.
The Australian Open has broken viewing records all around the world – the 2017 men’s final was watched by 9.7 million people just across Europe – and is the only southern hemisphere grand slam tournament. This means it has the potential of reaching entirely different markets to what many companies have access to. Allowing brands, such as ones based in Europe, a chance to capture the southern hemisphere audience. Being such a well-watched tournament in a prime location, a huge amount of organisation want a chance to be a sponsor. Due to this, we can’t quite go into depth about all of them, but here are the must-knows:
The beautiful Swiss watchmakers have been a sponsor of the AO since 2008 as the official timekeeper of the tournament. The sponsorship deal has cost them A$10 million.
ANZ is an Associate Sponsor for the Australian Open for the 9th year running, this year costing them A$7 million. This partnership coaligns with their current collaboration with Tennis Hot Shots, which is one of the most popular sports programmes for primary schools.
This Chinese liquor company has signed a 5 year sponsorship deal with the Australian Open for the first time and is the largest Chinese sponsorship deal in the tournament’s history. The numbers for this deal have not been released however it is rumoured that it’s ‘in the same ballpark’ as Kia’s. Luzhou Laojiao will be on offer at all the grand slams hospitality suites and bars, with the brand wanting to do more in the coming years of their contract.
The Australian Open Sponsorship list continues!
Accor hotels – People fly in to watch the tournament from all over the world and Accor hotels are happy to be the host of their stay! Their motto is ‘Feel Welcome’ which they intend to do for the grand slams visitors.
Aperol Spritz – “Racquets down means it’s time for Aperitivo Hour and Aperol Spritz”. This spirit is on offer all around the Australian Open, including advertising their engagement through the country in locations such as Club Aperol at the Hopman Cup and Brisbane International.
Häagen-Dazs – During the red hot Australian summer the perfect way to cool down is with some ice cream. Häagen-Dazs is the official ice cream sponsor for the event, with their own Häagen-Dazs House positioned right at the Grand Slam Oval.
Garnier – This isn’t the first time Garnier has sponsored the Australian Open, having taken part back in 2009. This year they’ll be promoting their new line By Garnier, Naturally with the use of a ‘nature’s playground-inspired experience’.
Emirates – This internationally loved tournament brings in crowds from everywhere with the use of Emirates is the official Australian Open Airline. Emirates have sponsored the event since 2015.
Mastercard – Known as the Official Payment partner of the Australian Open for the third year running. The event links with Mastercards values of “sports, entertainment, music, travel, art and culture, culinary and dining, philanthropy, shopping and the environment”. They want to get everyone involved in the action, therefore have set up a Mastercard Beach Tennis Court to get people playing the game.
Lavazza – The Italian coffee brand has a strong tie with tennis, being the only brand to sponsor all four of the tennis Grand Slams; Wimbledon, Roland Garros, the US Open and the Australian Open. Lavazza coffee will be offered in 30 on-site outlets, a custom-built coffee destination café, two coffee carts, corporate hospitality areas, restaurants, as well as a barista dedicated to the Player Café.
La Roche-Posay – The Australian summer can reach highs of 35 degrees. Being sat in that heat watching the tennis can be dangerous for your skin, therefore a smart sponsorship deal was made with the sun cream brand La Roche-Posay. They will continue to hand out free samples throughout the tournament, estimating over more than 500,000 samples to be handed out.
Melbourne – You don’t normally hear about an entire city sponsoring an event, however with the Australian Opens held in Melbourne Park, Discover Melbourne have partnered with the grand slam to promote the city and heighten their tourism.
Vegemite – The favourite Australian spread, loved and hated by the nation, has also sponsored this year’s Grand Slam. They have contributed to the event by sponsoring 350 ball kids, who will be sporting their logo on the side of the courts.
The list goes on with names such as Coopers, Uber, Yonex, Toshiba, Infosys, Dunlop, K&L Gates, Ganten, Optus, De Rucci, Piper Heidsieck, CPA Australia, Barilla, and Country Road! It’s no surprise that such a large and popular event would have such a long list of sponsors. It will be fun to see who stays on the list and the new faces for next years Grand Slam Australian Open sponsorships.