Eastbourne's week of international tennis gets a boost
International tennis week at Eastbourne - which returns next month after a year's break - has a new title sponsor.
The LTA has announced a new partnership with award-winning river and ocean cruise line, Viking which will become the new title sponsor of the governing body’s summer grass court events in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne in 2021.
The high-profile ATP and WTA events in June will now be known as the Viking Open Nottingham, Viking Classic Birmingham and Viking International Eastbourne.
Players already confirmed to appear at the events include Andy Murray (Nottingham), Johanna Konta (Nottingham and Birmingham), Venus Williams (Nottingham) and Coco Gauff (Birmingham), with wildcards and full Eastbourne entry lists to be announced shortly.
Known for its support of cultural institutions including the Royal Academy of Arts, Highclere Castle, the British Museum and the RHS, this is one of Viking’s first major sports sponsorships. The partnership grants Viking both naming and extensive branding rights across the three tournaments, which return this year following last year’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the partnership, Viking will also sponsor Seniors Tennis and will offer free tennis lessons to over 50s and Viking guests through local tennis clubs. The one-year deal helps to create value and drive a return to British tennis.
Richard Daish, LTA Marketing & Commercial Director, said: “Our events in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne always provide world class, exciting tennis and are the perfect shop window for our sport in the lead up to Wimbledon. We’re very pleased to have Viking support them through this partnership. In spite of the current economic climate, it speaks volumes of the popularity and appeal of tennis that we have been able to secure this deal, and we look forward to working with Viking to promote tennis as a fully inclusive sport and our fantastic tournaments to as many people as possible this year.”
Viking offers culturally enriching, destination-focused river and ocean cruises for travellers curious about the world, its rich culture and varied history. Having been the first cruise line to suspend operations in March 2020, Viking recently announced it is restarting operations with Welcome Back ocean voyages exclusively for vaccinated guests in England, Iceland, Bermuda and Malta as well as river cruises which are restarting in July. The company is actively working on developing additional Welcome Back itineraries in a variety of other destinations, with the goal of announcing further 2021 sailings as soon as government approvals are given.
Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director of Viking UK, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming guests on board tomorrow, 22 May, for our first sailing of our England’s Scenic Shores itinerary – our first voyage globally since we suspended operations last March. As we usher in this new era and look to the future, we are delighted to announce our partnership with the LTA, an organisation which shares our passion for innovation. Our guests are active, curious and adventurous and we are committed to providing access for the over 50s and Viking guests through free tennis lessons as well as the opportunity to see some of the world’s best players in action this summer.”
Follow @the_LTA on Twitter, @LTA on Instagram, LTA – Tennis for Britain on Facebook and @lta on TikTok for match action and exclusive content. For more information about Viking go to www.viking.com