Anders Borg, whose company Northern Vision staged the Liverpool Hope International at Liverpool Cricket Club, said almost 2,000 corporate guests attended the event. Tony McDonough reports.
Corporate sponsors of the Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament in June saw their brands exposed to more than 1m people, the organiser claims.
Anders Borg, whose company Northern Vision staged the 16-year-old tournament at Liverpool Cricket Club, also said almost 2,000 corporate guests attended the event.
This, he said, makes it one of the largest annual corporate gatherings in the city.
The tournament itself took place June 15 to 18 but Northern Vision worked to promote it across Merseyside in the four weeks prior to the main event.
This included four weeks of mini tennis at three Liverpool city centre locations – Liverpool One, Mann Island and Exchange Flags – as well as in Southport.
“More than 10,000 people enjoyed our free tennis lessons during that period,” Anders told YBNews.
“The estimated footfall in Liverpool One alone during the four weeks was 750,000 so our conservative estimate was that our sponsors were exposed to more than 1m people.”
That exposure included prominent advertising boards around the court itself during the tournament which saw Belgian Steve Darcis win the men’s tournament with Slovakian Polona Hercog triumphing in the women’s tournament.
The legends tournament included Southport-born Barry Cowan who once took one of the sport’s all-time greats, Peter Sampras, to five sets at Wimbledon. Other players included Robert Kendrick from the US and Argentinian Guillermo Canas.
As well as the main sponsor, Liverpool Hope University, other presenting sponsors included leading Liverpool law firm, MSB Solicitors, Merseyrail, Aer Lingus and taxi giant Uber.
MSB made a significant contribution to one of the most important days of the tournament – Kids Days – held on June 14 this year – which also saw an appearance by Judy Murray, mother of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.
Anders added: “We invited 750 kids from schools form around the Liverpool city region to Liverpool Cricket Club to be introduced to not only tennis but seven other sports.
“All the kids also gathered on the centre court during the days to watch the main tournament’s qualifying finals.”
To help make Kids Day happen, MSB donated 150 tennis rackets. The firm’s managing partner, Paul Bibby, said: “Sport and exercise has a demonstrable impact on the way we function both physically and cognitively and it is something we actively encourage at MSB.”
Anders estimates that wider media coverage was worth in the region of £750,000 to the sponsors with the highlight being BBC Breakfast’s live broadcast from the Aigburth venue.
Hailing the success of the tournament, he said: “The corporate guests enjoy ample networking and promotional opportunities in addition to enjoy great hospitality.
“We are the only event in the world where our main sponsors are sitting on the court just a few yards away from the players.
“The event is also about engaging with the local community and trying to get more kids, and the general public, to pick up tennis and ensure they enjoy the incredible advantages through health and wellbeing it brings.
“There is a lot of talk about encouraging people in Liverpool to take up sport and become more active.
“I feel the International is great contributor to these initiatives.”