By Barry Janoff
November 23, 2015: On the same day that world No. 1 ranked men's tennis player Novak Djokovic won his record fourth consecutive Barclays ATP World Tour Finals crown, the ATP unveiled a deal that would see Emirates Airline move from platinum status to the premier partner of the ATP World Tour.
The five-year alliance begins with the 2016 season.
Financial terms were not shared, but ATP, the governing body of men’s pro tennis, said the agreement "represents the biggest sponsorship deal" in its history.
Industry analysts valued the deal at upward of $50 million, $10 million per year over five years.
Emirates replaces Corona as the Tour’s premier partner following the expiration of the agreement with the Mexican beer brand at the end of this year.
"It says a lot about where we are as a sport that an industry leader in Emirates, such a highly regarded and well-established player in the sports marketing world, has chosen to further increase its presence and association with the ATP World Tour,” Chris Kermode, ATP executive chairman and president, said in a statement.
“The partnership provides a long-term commitment and a true vote of confidence for the future health of our sport. We look forward to continuing and developing the successful partnership we have built over the years," said Kermode.
The deal comes on the heels of the ATP signing a multi-year deal with Tennis Channel to extend its alliance with the ATP World Tour and its broadcast arm, ATP Media. Tennis Channel and the ATP World Tour have been aligned since 2003, the network’s first year on-air.
In November, French automaker Peugeot signed a deal to become a platinum partner for the ATP World Tour as well as the official car at more than 20 ATP World Tour tennis tournaments, beginning in 2016.
Peugeot said it would use its primary tennis spokespersons, led by Djokovic and No. 8 ranked David Ferrer, in efforts to support the alliance.
Emirates has been a platinum partner of the ATP World Tour since 2013, as well as title sponsor of the Emirates ATP Rankings.
As official airline and premier partner for the ATP World Tour, Emirates said it would use its global marketing rights to deliver a "powerful and consistent presence via the Tour’s iconic net branding at approximately 60 tournaments worldwide to reach a cumulative broadcast audience in excess of 800 million."
In 2016, the ATP World Tour will include 62 tournaments in 31 countries in six continents.
Emirates' multi-platform marketing support will extend to TV, print, activation across its carrier network, on-site activation, Internet and social media. That includes the ATP Web site, which receives more than 35 million visits a year, per ATP.
According to Boutros Boutros, Emirates divisional svp-corporate communications, marketing and brand, “Emirates is pleased to enhance its partnership with the ATP World Tour,” said “For Emirates, the global reach offered by sponsoring the ATP World Tour affords us the opportunity to connect and engage with millions of tennis fans around the globe."
ATP is the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour, with 62 tournaments in 32 countries,
Among other tennis alliances, Emirates is title sponsor for the U.S. Open Series and a partner with the Grand Slam events at the U.S. Open and the French Open, the BNP Paribas Open, Barcelona Open and the Rogers Cup.
Emirates also has a deal with Arsenal Football Club that includes stadium naming rights and a jersey-front sponsorship deal.
"Emirates offers direct flights to nearly 90% of the 32 countries visited by the ATP World Tour making this partnership particularly relevant for our customers," said Boutros. "Tennis truly is an international sport and it is our own appreciation of this sport that has been the catalyst behind our growing tennis sponsorship portfolio."
ATP platinum partners include Ricoh, FedEx and Infosys.
Gold partners include Moët & Chandon, Enel, Rolex and Vixlet.
Tennis Channel Extends Exclusive Multi-Platform Deal With ATP World Tour
Peugeot Aces Global Deal With ATP Tennis Tour, Brings Djokovic Along For The Ride
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