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LTA brings in AEGON in £25m sponsorship deal- 16 Sep 2008 00:00:00

Despite fears over the financial markets, The Lawn Tennis Association has signed a lucrative five-year sponsorship deal with life assurance and pension company AEGON worth an estimated £25m.

The deal sees European firm AEGON become the first major backers of British Tennis following the launch of the LTA's new commercial programme in May.

The agreement runs from 2009-2013, at £5m a year, and sees AEGON named as Lead Partner including replacing Artois as title sponsors of the Queen's Club tournament leading up to Wimbledon.

As the Lead Partner, AEGON will be involved in all aspects of the sport including the parks and schools programmes, supporting key junior elite athletes, as well as holding naming rights to the international grass court events including the AEGON Championships (The Queen’s Club, London), the AEGON International (Devonshire Park, Eastbourne), and the AEGON Classic (Priory Club, Edgbaston).

The news comes amid an uncertain atmosphere in the financial markets following the demise of insurance giants Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers.

Following Artois’ termination of its sponsorship of the Queens Club tournament, Roger Draper, CEO of the LTA, has restructured the governing body’s commercial programme selling packages that covered all of the tournaments under the LTA remit.

The re-launch of the commercial strategy in May made it clear that the LTA was seeking a Lead Partner underpinned by Supporter and Supplier sponsors.

AEGON will play an integral part within the four pillars of the new commercial programme that make up British Tennis incorporating Community: primarily the parks and schools programmes; Competition: including junior national and international tournaments; Performance: including elite and matrix funded players; and Events: including the ATP, WTA & ITF tournaments.

The sales process has doubtless been aided by Andy Murray’s rise to number 4 in the world rankings following his progress to the final of the US Open.

The sponsorship packages do not include rights to Wimbledon which are held by the All England Lawn Tennis Association.

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