ATP/WTA/ITF - Why are sponsorship arrangements a big deal in tennis... ?
Mis à jour le 05/03/2023 à 21:13.
Why are sponsorship arrangements a big deal in tennis? Sponsorship arrangements are huge across the sporting landscape. You will often see sports, leagues, events and sports stars themselves branded up, and this certainly applies to tennis, and in the last decade, more so than ever. But just why are said sponsorship arrangements such a big deal in the sport ?
Zizou raconte à Tennis Actu sa rencontre avec Roger Federer
The first thing to note is that tennis is a hugely popular sport on a global scale. And, in many ways, this means that, like many other sports, such as football, it’s very much a product. As time goes on, while a product in its original form is great, it must evolve, improve and evolve, and the way to ultimately make this happen is by spending money, which is where sponsorship arrangements come into the picture.
We could wax lyrical about how elite players such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have a list of sponsors as long as their arm, which is essential, because it allows them to train and play the sport at the highest level without any stress and while having access to the best coaches, facilities, travel, etc. But we're talking more along the lines of the sport itself and why external backing is so crucial to its development and continued success.
When you think of tennis, it’s worth considering it’s a huge multi-layered product that goes from grassroots all the way to the elite levels. We’ve seen recently how global companies such as Entain, who boast an impressive range of gaming brands which include the prestigious PartyCasino, are keen to invest in sports at grassroots level to develop the foundations on which success further up the ladder is achieved. So you can see immediately how integral sponsorship and investment, even at this level, is crucial because, without it, you wouldn’t have the Grand Slams and the talented players to compete in them year in, year out.
The further up the pyramid you go, the more integral and substantial sponsorship arrangements are. Because when you go from grassroots level, to professional, and then to the elite, the product becomes more front facing. For example, where people train and play, where tournaments are held, and so on, these venues must be up to scratch and kept at the top of their game. And this isn’t cheap, especially when you then move on to iconic venues such as Wimbledon and Roland-Garros.
Of course, many tennis events, especially the Grand Slams, are broadcast live on television, so revenue is generated from this. Brands are going to be happy to invest when they’re getting the exposure that TV brings, but it’s the other costs that said deals are covering that people can often forget about, such as taking care of tennis stars in terms of accommodation for them and their teams during tournaments, paying for travel, etc.
If no sponsorship arrangements were in place for and within the sport of tennis, the whole pyramid would undoubtedly collapse. It's why these deals are vital, not just in the present and for the present, but in the future and for the future, as shown by how integral investment from external sources at the grassroots level continues to be.