Fever-Tree takes over from Aegon as LTA splits up sponsor inventory
By Callum Murray
England’s Queen’s Club Tournament, the pre-Wimbledon grass court tennis tournament previously known as the Aegon Championships, has been renamed the Fever-Tree Championships after the Lawn Tennis Association agreed a three-year deal with the alcohol mixer drinks company to title-sponsor the event.
Fever-Tree is only the third company after beer brand Stella Artois and insurance company Aegon to title-sponsor the event in the last 30 years. A special edition ‘Championship G&T’ is to be sold exclusively at the event to mark the launch.
Fever-Tree’s association is limited to the Queen’s Club Tournament, and compares with Aegon, which became the first-ever lead partner of the LTA in 2008, in a deal reported to be worth £25 million over five years ($45 million at the time). Aegon was involved in British tennis at all levels, from parks and schools programmes to elite athletes, and it took over the title sponsorship of the competitions at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne and the Priory Club at Edgbaston, Birmingham, as well as the Queen’s Club tournament.
The LTA told Sportcal today that it decided to “split up” the sponsorship properties after Aegon’s decision not to renew its deal last year, on the basis that it wanted “more options” in what it described as a “challenging” sponsorship environment.
It said that it is in discussions with companies over the title sponsorships of its three other top-tier tournaments (Eastbourne, Birmingham and Nottingham), either separately or as a group, and is also seeking either to find a sponsor for its youth and grassroots programmes or to bring them in-house.
Scott Lloyd, chief executive of the LTA, said: “We are delighted that Fever-Tree has partnered with one of the most popular events in the summer sporting calendar. This is a significant and exciting brand association for British Tennis and marks a new chapter in the event’s history. The Queen’s Club has always showcased the very best of British and international tennis and this year the new Fever-Tree Championships will be no exception.”
Tim Warrillow, chief executive of Fever-Tree, said: “The launch of the Fever-Tree Championships marks an exciting and historic moment for Fever-Tree. The annual tournament at The Queen’s Club is already a very prestigious British sporting event and this partnership perfectly reflects our values as a premium brand, celebrating a great summer of sport. Alongside the LTA and The Queen’s Club, we look forward to welcoming tennis fans from across the globe to the Fever-Tree Championships as they come to watch some of the greatest tennis talent in the world.”
This year’s Fever-Tree Championships are scheduled for 18 to 24 June, with three of the world’s top-four-ranked players - Rafael Nadal (2), Marin Cilic (3) and Grigor Dimitrov (4) - having announced their intention to compete.
The LTA has a range of other partners, including: BNP Paribas, Del Monte, Healthspan, Haagen-Dazs, La Manga Club, Nature Valley, Peugeot, Quorn, Riccoh and Rodda’s.