Sponsors and Roland Garros: a great love letter ! This year’s headliner is the Swiss watchmaker Rolex, premium partner of the tennis tournament that will end on June 13. A look back at the links that between the Grand Slam tournament and luxury brands.
The Roland Garros tennis tournament, organized by the French Tennis Federation, is the second Grand Slam tournament. First played in 1891, the event attracts prestigious sponsors every year.
For the 2021 edition of the tournament, Roland-Garros has secured the financial support of 20 sponsors, divided into four distinct partnership categories: Official Sponsor, Premium Partner, Official Partner and Official Supplier.
Not surprisingly, BNP Paribas is the official sponsor of the tournament, will get the most visibility during the competition. “For BNP Paribas, it’s more than 30 minutes of visibility over an hour of broadcasting a match,” explained Vincent-Baptiste Closon, head of international sponsorship for BNP Paribas in an interview in 2019.
Premium partner and official watch of the tournament, the luxury watchmaker Rolex is proud to contribute “to the excellence of tennis for forty years by supporting sporting performance at its peak, in the purest respect of tennis traditions”.
Rolex‘s ties to tennis date back to the 1978 Wimbledon tournament, when the brand became the official watch of a Grand Slam event for the first time. The watch brand is a partner of the three other Grand Slam tournaments (the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open). Since 2019, Rolex is Premium Partner and Official Watch of the French Open.
Rolex has always had a special relationship with tennis. The Swiss player with 20 Grand Slam titles, Roger Federer is actually an ambassador for the brand. On the subject of his first victory at the French Open, the player says: “When the moment finally came to lift the trophy, I wore my Rolex on my wrist“.
“Every time I wear my Rolex, it reminds me of those great moments,” he adds. Like many great athletes, such as the famous golfer Tiger Woods, Roger Federer even has his own official Rolex watch, the Oyster Perpetual Datejust II.
Other partners of the tournament include Lacoste, a premium partner since 1971 and at least until 2025. For fifty years, the crocodile brand has remained faithful to the clay court tennis tournament through their common point: French elegance.
It must be said that this story even takes us back a hundred years. René Lacoste, creator of the brand, simply won Roland Garros in 1925, and wore the first Lacoste polo shirt we know today on the courts. A creator in fashion, but also in tennis itself: inventor of the ball-throwing machine, the metal racket, or the grip, his imagination flew as much as he sent the balls on the court.
Back in 2021, Lacoste has launched an immersion program dedicated to the competition. Launched on May 31, and entitled “In the eye of the crocodile“, this program consists of a Lacoste polo shirt equipped with a GoPro camera to capture the best moments of the matches.
Lacoste will equip the brand’s ambassadors as well as certain journalists, players, and referees with the program: “In the eye of the crocodile“. Allowing fans who were unable to attend the competition due to the imposed gauge to enjoy the match from different angles, the moments filmed by these Lacoste polo shirts will be available on the Lacoste and French Federation Tennis websites. Lacoste is also collaborating with the tournament as part of the Performance collection, dedicated to male and female tennis players.
Finally, among the official suppliers is Moët Hennessy, which belongs to the number one luxury goods company LVMH. This association is also organized within the framework of the Good Planet Foundation, with the ambition to contribute to the improvement of living conditions in Peru. To this end, Roland Garros and the exceptional champagne brand will plant 6,400 moringa trees, a tropical tree from India, with the ability to adapt to drought and a source of nutritious food.
Finally, other companies are joining the sponsorship of the Grand Slam tournament, among them: the first hotel group in Europe Accor, the airline Emirates, sports equipment manufacturer Wilson or the high-end caterer Potel & Chabot, to name a few.
Read also > THE HOTELS OF THE PLAYERS DURING THE FRENCH OPEN
Featured photo : © Press
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