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Luzhou Laojiao’s Australian Open fee in A$100m ‘ballpark’

Tennis Australia’s chief revenue officer Richard Heaselgrave has revealed that the new partnership with Chinese drinks brand Luzhou Laojiao is “definitely within the ballpark” of the sum paid by major sponsor Kia.

As reported in The Australian newspaper, Heaselgrave hinted at the size of the fee and confirmed that the five-year Associate Sponsor deal is “one of the largest deals that Tennis Australia has ever negotiated”.

Sports Sponsorship Insider understands that the Kia deal is worth A$20m ($14.2m/€12.3m) per year over five years, from 2019 to 2023 – the biggest sponsorship in Australian sport. The next-highest AO deal with timing partner Rolex is worth around half that amount.

Kia is the stand-alone Major Sponsor of the Australian Open with branding and activation rights at numerous on-site and off-site locations, but most importantly, dominant television-visible branding on the backwalls of the show courts at Melbourne Park and on both sides of the net.

Under the new deal with Luzhou Laojiao, the Chinese ‘Báijiǔ’ drink brand gets global exposure and brand engagement through international broadcast visibility and a premium hospitality offering.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.