Rolex extends commitment to Davis Cup

Swiss watchmaker Rolex has today (Monday) extended its sponsorship of the Davis Cup national team tennis tournament.

Terms of the deal with the International Tennis Federation and Kosmos Tennis, the ITF’s commercial partner in the revamp of the competition, were not disclosed but Rolex will continue as the Official Timekeeper of the Davis Cup Qualifiers and Finals.

The Rolex brand was visible throughout the Davis Cup Qualifiers played in 12 different countries around the world at the weekend.

“This is an exciting time for all of us and we look forward to working closely with Rolex to grow our partnership across all markets and reaching new audiences in order to have a bigger impact with the competition,” Javier Alonso, chief executive of Kosmos Tennis, said.

Following the Qualifiers, the final line-up for the Davis Cup Finals is now complete with the 12 winning nations joining the six nations already qualified.

The 18 teams set to compete at La Caja Mágica in Madrid from November 18-24 are: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Spain and the United States.

The sponsorship deal will be seen as a vote of confidence in the ITF’s revamp of the Davis Cup. In August last year, the 210 International Tennis Federation member nations approved a 25-year partnership with Kosmos Tennis, under which the two entities will jointly operate the competition and Kosmos will manage its commercial rights.

Under the terms of the deal, the Davis Cup will be streamlined in a bid to make it more attractive to elite players although the 118-year-old event faces opposition from the newly-launched ATP World Team Cup, which launches in January 2020, just six weeks after the first of the revamped Davis Cup finals.

The deal also highlights the brand’s dominance of top-level tennis sponsorship in the timing sector.

Last November, Rolex completed the clean sweep of all four tennis Grand Slams when it was named as the timing partner of the French Open.

In a multi-year deal starting in 2019, Rolex took over from rival luxury watch brand Longines, which quit the position after an 11-year association with Roland-Garros.

The Premium Partner deal built on Rolex’s long-standing partnerships with Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and the more recent deal with the US Open, where Rolex took over from Japanese brand Citizen in 2018.

Read this: Kosmos’ Davis Cup shake-up aimed at reviving ‘commercially undervalued’ competition