Late in 2016, tennis legends including Bjorn Borg, Roger Federer and John McEnroe unveiled one of the most innovative concepts in the games modern age, the Laver Cup.
Created by 20-time grand slam champion Federer, the tournament pits Europes top six male tennis players against counterparts from the rest of the world over three days of scintillating tennis at a new host city every September.
Two months ago the Association of Tennis Professionals announced that the Laver Cup is to become an officially sanctioned ATP Tour event. In light of this decision, and as Wimbledon draws to an end, the Laver Cups unique benefits compared to grand slam events comes into sharp focus and warrants closer inspection.
Every sporting partnerships aim is to engage with fans in an emotionally charged environment, becoming an integral part of their experience. For a partnership to succeed it must be genuinely anchored to an event fans want to attend.
For fledgling events such as the Laver Cup, this can be a stumbling block, as these tournaments simply dont have the necessary fan engagement and spectator numbers to entice corporate partners.
The format of the Laver Cup offers one of the most effective avenues to engage with potential customers, however, helping to ensure high fan attendance.
The fact that the top six players on the Tour – plus three captains picks per team – play every year ensures high demand for tickets. The events first two editions, at Pragues O2 Arena in 2017 and Chicagos United Centre in 2018, sold out.
The ATP factor
The ATP is enjoying record attendances at Tour events, reaching 4.5m in 2017.
Much like The Ryder Cup, which an American or European city hosts every two years, the Laver Cup provides an exceptional opportunity for brands to speak to fans on a global scale, which wouldnt be possible if partnering with a geographically static tournament.
Fans have embraced the new concept, which has become increasingly popular year on year, highlighting its viability to brands who understand that their target market sits within a tennis-focused arena.
While the tournament offers partners a bespoke opportunity to engage within tennis, the details of the agreement showcase the audience size that they can reach.
Sponsors will have immediate access to marketing platforms, including the 6m followers across the ATPs social channels – an instant upgrade on the Laver Cups 328,000 fans across the three platforms.