LTA unveils £30m landmark sponsorship deal

LONDON - The Lawn Tennis Association has delivered on its promise to secure a comprehensive sponsorship deal after announcing a five-year partnership with Dutch insurance firm Aegon this morning worth an estimated £30m.

The landmark deal looks to cement a stable future for the sport as Aegon is named the first-ever lead partner of British tennis. Previous sponsor InBev ended its 30-year sponsorship of the 'Artois Championship' Queen's Club tournament last June.

Aegon, which owns Aegon Scottish Equitable, will be involved in all aspects of the sport including the parks and programmes and support of key junior athletes like rising star 14 year old Laura Robson who made a splash at junior Wimbledon this year.

The deal also insures exclusive naming rights to the international grass court events including the Queen's Club tournament, also the newly coined Aegon International in Devonshire Park, Eastbourne and the Aegon Classic, Priory Club, Edgbaston.

Otto Thoresen, Aegon chief executive said: "British Tennis is at a breakthrough stage in its development and it is a very exciting time to be involved in the sport. Aegon is delighted to become the lead partner of British tennis and our investment over the next five years will enable the sport to grow from grassroots level, encouraging more young people to take up the sport, through to elite performance level, where we can support our leading athletes as they seek to make an impression on the world stage."

Roger Draper, LTA chief executive, said "We are delighted that Aegon has joined us as the lead partner of British Tennis in what is a very exciting time for the sport.

"We share a joint desire to grow the sport at all levels from our major international events to improving facilities and access across the country and Aegon will play a vital role in this."

The partnership comes as the LTA rides high after British number one Andy Murray's sensational run in the US Open, where he eventually lost to Roger Federer in the championship match. However, he beat Rafael Nadal, this year's winner at Wimbledon, to make the finals.

The sponsorship is a nice fit for Aegon, who has made a name for itself as an equitable UK life insurance firm and pensions group after takeover of Scottish Equitable in 1999.

The LTA and Aegon are expected to sign the deal today as Andy Murray leads team Britain into Davis Cup World Group qualifying matches against Austria at Wimbledon this Friday.