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Open season continues as Heineken extends sponsorship deal

Heineken has been sponsoring New Zealand’s premier men’s tennis tournament, the Heineken Open, for 12 years. And that relationship is set to continue until at least 2013, after it renewed its sponsorship agreement with Tennis Auckland for three more years.

Heineken New Zealand’s managing director, Brian Blake, says Heineken, which also sponsors the Michael Hill New Zealand Golf Open and the upcoming 2011 Rugby World Cup, says creating an event that encompasses great tennis, great food, great beer and great entertainment is its ongoing focus.

“The atmosphere created by fans at the Heineken Open is unlike that of any other tennis tournament. It’s the only tennis event in the world where fans can enjoy courtside meals and literally get courtside with some of the world’s best players. Even the players themselves comment on how intimate the stadium is.

“Last year we introduced the Heineken Baseline Afterparty to finals day which was overwhelmingly embraced by tennis and music fans, and the players themselves, who welcomed the opportunity to relax onsite after a challenging and exciting week of tennis.”

Tennis Auckland CEO Greig Bramwell says the sponsorship agreement will ensure the quality of the tournament continues to build both on and off the court (a few hundred more tickets were sold to this year’s Heineken Open than 2008’s event, making it the most successful ever in terms of ticket sales).

“We enjoy an excellent partnership with the team at Heineken which we look forward to continuing as we head towards the redevelopment of the ASB Tennis Centre, which will be rebuilt by 2011,” he says.

The $25 million redevelopment of the ASB Tennis Centre will further enhance the hosting of the Heineken Open on the ATP tour calendar. And it won’t just be for tennis: the centre will also feature a rooftop pool, four rooftop courts, a 25 metre indoor lap pool, health spa, a café, restaurant, bar, crèche, gymnasium, upgraded corporate and media facilities and maybe even a sliding roof.

The new centre won’t be fully completed by next January, but will be close enough to completion to host the men’s and women’s tournaments.

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