New sponsorship deal for Draper's transformed LTA
Wednesday 17 September 2008
Roger Draper's transformation of the Lawn Tennis Association continued apace yesterday with the announcement of the biggest sponsorship deal in the organisation's history. AEGON, an international life insurance, pensions and investment company, is to become the LTA's "lead partner" under a five-year deal believed to be worth around £25m, which is quite a coup considering the current financial climate.
The most visible part of the agreement will be the firm's sponsorship of Britain's three principal pre-Wimbledon grass-court tournaments. Queen's Club in London will stage the AEGON Championships, which were previously sponsored by Stella Artois, Devonshire Park in Eastbourne will host the AEGON International, which is to become a combined men's and women's tournament, and the AEGON Classic women's event will take place at the Priory Club in Edgbaston.
Draper, the LTA's chief executive, said that the new sponsorship money would help the LTA to continue to recruit the best possible fields for the event. However, when asked whether there would be any attempt to persuade Roger Federer to switch his pre-Wimbledon preparations from Halle in Germany to Queen's Club, he said the LTA would not be prepared to pay "silly appearance fee money".
AEGON's sponsorship money will also be spent in three other main areas: community tennis, elite performance programmes from talent identification through to support for leading players, and the provision of more competitions, particularly for juniors.
The latter has been a key part of Draper's mission. The number of juniors competing regularly has more than doubled since he took charge two and a half years ago to 18,000, although that figure still falls well short of most comparable countries.
Although the LTA will continue to seek assistance from a number of supporters, AEGON replace a wide range of previous sponsors. When Draper took charge the LTA had 44 different backers. AEGON, which employs 4,900 people in Britain from its base in Edinburgh, has shares listed on the London, New York, Tokyo and Amsterdam stock exchanges.
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...
Loic Remy to Arsenal? Gunners close in on move for QPR and France striker - reports
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Brazil vs Germany match report World Cup 2014: Utter humiliation for hosts as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos help Germany hit seven past Selecao
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassingly brilliant leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations