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A Very long Affair.
If having an affair is good or bad for you, is not for me to debate. The benefit of an affair could spice up your life but, it could ruin other strong relationships.
In Tennis, one affair will reach its 125 year point next Summer. Slazenger have been the Tennis ball supplier for the Grass court tournament since 1902. There cannot be a longer sponsorship deal in sport any where else. The partnership has definitely helped both parties build other relationships.
To play a decent standard of Tennis requires a lot of money and hours of practise. To progress to the professional ranks could cost the players backers up to £250,000 over a five year period. The endless ranking tournaments, hotel and travel costs mean, unless you have a sponsor on board you are not likely to reach your full potential.
Sponsorship deals such as the Wimbledon and Slazenger deal benefit many other sources. Coaches getting grants and extra equipment, Players get funding to support tournament play and extra equipment and clubs also are in line for grants and extra funding. Deals like this, generate huge interest and publicity received, throughout the tournament, raises both profile and brand awareness.
The extra revenue generated, goes to help clubs, players and coaches develop and grow. Without the financial backing of Slazenger 108 years ago Wimbledon may not have become the giant it is today. As long as Nike or another leading sports brand doesn't feel the need to take over the world of Tennis and the Tennis ball market, like they have with so many other sports, then the affair will continue to be a loving one.The third party in this affair are the public and they seem to approve so, long may it continue.
Slazenger, also celebrate 125 years of tennis ball manufacture and will be launching new branding of the Wimbledon Ultra vis tennis ball tins next year.
The Wimbledon tournament also has another affair on the go, their sponsorship with Robinson's fruit drinks company, reached a land mark 75 years in 2010. They certainly pick good companies to partner with and it is very refreshing to see sponsorship deals of this length. Many other sports could do with taking a look at how Tennis handles its commercial side of the game.
Do you know of any other long sponsorship deals that are still on going? Leave a comment if you do.