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Corporate Sector seeing the value in Liverpool’s flourishing tennis event

The Great British “summer” may have hindered play at Liverpool’s International Tennis Tournament, but corporate events were busier than ever.

Last week’s annual tournament, sponsored by Medicash, attracted record numbers to its VIP area.

More than 1500 people were wined, dined and entertained at the event each day, as corporate sponsors and supporters exploited the event’s kudos and networking opportunities.

On the court, South African number one seed Kevin Anderson won the men’s final after beating his opponent Lukas Lacko in an exciting three set match.

Anderson and women’s finalist Belinda Bencic both used the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament as a warm up for Wimbledon, and for the Olympic games.

However, many of the region’s business leaders realised the wider benefits of attending and partnering with the annual sporting spectacular last week.

Although still mostly funded by Liverpool Council the tournament has been affected by cuts in these straitened times and the event, which is one of the region’s most popular and well established, now relies on corporate sponsors more than ever through naming rights, partnerships and associations.

And Merseyside business demonstrated its support with a range of companies coming forward to be a part of it.

Tournament director Anders Borg said: “The corporate side of the event is now bigger than ever before, thanks to the support of major regional business sponsors such as Medicash, who were our title sponsor this year.

“It is a true testament to the reputation of the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament that it is now one of the business networking events of the summer, as well as one of the city’s most anticipated annual sporting events”

Small firms lobby group Downtown Liverpool in Business was one of the organisations that used the tennis as a backdrop to host its own business day, including exclusive access to sporting legends, food and drink, and networking opportunities.

Chairman Frank McKenna said ”The Liverpool International is one of the region’s most popular annual sporting events.

“It attracts over 20 0000 spectators each year from all over the UK, and is second only to Aintree’s Grand National in terms of the amount of additional revenue it draws to our city’s visitor economy- so it’s great to be a part of supporting it.”

For other city companies the tournament is a chance to entertain clients in a fun way, and a great day out of fice, often with the added bonus of a photo opportunity with a tennis legend.

This year, famous faces included Virginia Wade, Richard Krajicek, Greg Rusedski and Mansour Bahrami.

Richard Kenyon, managing director of PR firm Kenyon Fraser, said: ”Taking a table and entertaining at the tennis has become one of the must-have corporate hospitality opportunities in the city-people are thrilled to be invited, and it is a real who’s who of the city’s business scene. It’s a chance to mix work with pleasure and, combined with a bit of good weather, it’s a fantastic way to spend the day.”

The tournament also offers a platform for other organisations, such as Liverpool Community Health (LCH) NHS Trust, which was keen to promote its own health message.

LCH partnered with the event this year to offer healthy living advice and promote physical activity to members of the public attending the event.

Their team were also on site all weekend to talk to people about the benefits of becoming a member of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, encouraging them to sign up.

Bernie Cuthel, LCH chief executive, said: ”We partnered with the tournament this year because its ethos promoting physical activity, health and wellbeing amongst our local communities is very similar to our own.

“We were extremely proud to sponsor and be involved in such an exceptional event-especially during this important Olympic year.”

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13-15 June 2024