The curtain raiser for the Tennis season, the Australian Open (AO), is one rich in history and big names. Played on hard court, it is one of the most popular tennis events on the calendar, with close to 8 lakh people attending the 2020 Australian Open. The first-ever Australian Open took place in 1905 at the Warehouseman’s Cricket ground. Back then, it was known as the Australasian championship.
2021 has been an unprecedented year for sports in general. But with Covid-19 mainly in control in Australia, Australian Open has opened its doors for some spectators to enjoy the event on the ground. While the numbers are not comparable to 2020, fans’ mere presence brings a lot more impetus to the event.
With this loss of revenue compensated by their major partners pitching in, their sponsors have stepped up to ensure AO remains attractive for the players. But who are the sponsors making the 2021 Australian Open a possibility?
Car brand Kia has been the most significant partner for the Australian Open since 2002, with their current partnership running till 2023. They have assured organizers of their commitment to the event by bringing more money to the table to allay the revenue crunch due to limited fans. Along with them, Rolex have also continued their long standing partnership.
Luzhou Laojiao and Emirates Airlines are also long term associate partners who have renewed their commitment for the 2021 season. Apart from them, major sponsors include ANZ, Mavi Gim, Infosys, Toshiba, Polo, Yonex, Dunlop, Accor, Bondi Sands, Canadian Club, MasterCard, Peroni, UberEats, Chubb, Canadian Club, Chemist warehouse, Grainshaker, Piper-Heidsieck, Pure Blonde, Initial, and Santos.
Australian Open prize money
Australian Open is the first grand slam to offer equal prize money to both men’s and women’s winners.The prize pool has increased by a record 12 percent this year and is valued at $80M, thanks to the sponsors’ vote of confidence. This means that every player qualifying for the first round is assured a prize money of $100,000, with an incremental reward scheme after each win. Apart from the prize money, AO took care of the travel and quarantine stay for the players, following government rules.
The winner of the Single’s Grand Slam bags a cool $2.75M each (men and women), while the runner’s up wins $1.5M. Semifinalists earn $850,000 while quarterfinalists bag $525,000. Meanwhile, the winner of the double event bags $600,000, and the mixed-doubles winner earns $150,000.