Victoria premier curbs TA's enthusiasm for January events bubble
Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, has put the brakes on Tennis Australia's plans to stage its entire summer calendar in the state because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Events in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Perth and Adelaide, including the second edition of the national teams' ATP Cup, will be relocated to Melbourne in January, according to TA chief executive Craig Tiley.
That means players would enter a two-week isolation bubble when they arrive in the city.
The second wave of Covid-19 that hit Melbourne put the Australian Open, the opening grand slam of the season, in doubt, but TA confirmed in September that the event would go ahead with a reduced number of spectators in attendance. It is due to commence on 18 January.
However, Andrews (pictured) said TA's plan was "not settled by a long way," adding: "This needs to be done on the best of public health advice, it's a massive event, it's an event that all of us love. But it comes at a time when the rest of the world is on fire. It's an important event, absolutely, but avoiding a third wave is arguably even more important."
Meanwhile, AMC, a premium tennis sportswear brand created by Andy Murray and UK sportswear start-up Castore, has become the official performance apparel partner of the LTA, the governing body for the sport in the UK.
The five-year partnership officially begins in January, with LTA performance staff, as well as Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup and World Team Cup players all to wear AMC kit.
AMC will also have extensive branding rights across the LTA’s programme of summer major events including the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club in London and the Nature Valley series in Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne, as well as at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.
A range of co-branded apparel and replica kit featuring LTA and AMC logos will be sold through Castore/AMC and LTA retail channels, as well as via outlets at LTA major events.
A significant amount of the revenue will be re-invested into the support of grassroots tennis in the UK.
Scott Lloyd, LTA chief executive, said: “This is a fantastic partnership and demonstrates the appeal of tennis to associated high profile brands. AMC produces the highest quality, cutting edge apparel for elite athletes, and our performance team is really looking forward to working with them over the next five years. Andy Murray’s involvement speaks volumes for the brand’s quality and potential, and we are delighted to be joining the AMC family as we continue the growth of our marketing and commercial activity to support tennis in Britain.”
Murray added: “Our vision is to become a major global tennis brand, but also to support grassroots tennis. Increasing participation at all levels is important so we’ll be reinvesting some of the profits into growing the game.”Castore made its move into sport in January 2019 with a partnership with Murray, and later added the West Indies cricket team. A debut soccer deal with Scotland's Rangers came in May, and Sportcal exclusively revealed in the last month that new kit deals from 2021-22 have been agreed with Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, of English soccer's Premier League, and Saracens, of rugby union's second-tier Championship.