Exclusive: Aegon’s Head of Sponsorship Pleased With British Tennis Partnership Despite Challenges

September 5, 2014

By Tariq Saleh

The Head of Sponsorship and Events at Aegon, allergy Ian Murray, medic is happy with the success of the partnership with British tennis, despite initial challenges due to the lack of success in the sport in Britain.

At the initial stage of the sponsorship, British tennis was at a low with no British Grand Slam winner and several players far down the rankings in both the men’s and women’s game.

But after the success of Andy Murray and the emergence of Laura Robson and Heather Watson, the sport has enjoyed positive coverage in recent years, with Aegon at the forefront of it.

Speaking exclusively to iSportconnect, Murray said: “When we started in tennis a lot of people raised eyebrows because at the time British tennis wasn’t doing great and the media were putting the boot into the LTA on a regular basis about the lack of success so it’s been encouraging to see that turn around.

“With the success of Andy Murray, Heather Watson and Laura Robson as well as the Aegon GB Davis Cup Team back in the World Group, there’s a lot of positivity happening in British Tennis, it’s great to be backing the sport that is definitely on the up.”

Aegon are the title sponsor of the tennis championships at the Queen’s Club in June, but Murray says despite this being their flagship event they do many other things in regards to tennis.

“Whilst we enjoyed huge amounts of coverage every June for two weeks, we were also in schools, parks and tennis clubs and we backed over 180 professional amateur tennis tournaments all around the country.

“We know from research that over the first five years of this partnership, it has made Aegon a very credible and genuine sponsor of British tennis. It’s a really broad thing; it’s not just that one week in early June at the Queen’s Club.”

Aegon also sponsor Dutch football club Ajax and Murray gained inspiration from the Ajax football academy and looked to use that with tennis.

He said: “I’ve been lucky enough to go over there a few times and see how well they use that asset and I took that back to what we were doing in the UK and that inspired me to create some high-end tennis experiences for both adults and kids.”

Read the full interview here