General Mills snack bar brand Nature Valley has announced an extended three-year partnership with the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) to become the new title sponsor for its prestigious ATP and WTA Events at Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne.
For the next three years, these three premier grass court events leading up to Wimbledon will be known as the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham, the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham and the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne.
The announcement sees Nature Valley significantly step change its existing partnership with LTA, taking over the headline sponsorship of the three events. Following its initial entry into the sport in 2016 as Official Snack Bar, this new foray builds on its successful 2017 integrated campaign #TheCourtIsYours which helped drive people to the LTA Court Finder to find their nearest court for play. The award-winning campaign was also supported through the partnership of British #1 Johanna Konta as brand ambassador and helped make Nature Valley the UK’s number one Protein Bar range with a 76% increase in sales during the campaign period. Across a three-week period each summer, the Title Partnerships will provide Nature Valley with the opportunity to harness excitement generated by the events to both inspire and facilitate new opportunities for the British public to get active and play tennis.
Richard Williams, marketing director General Mills Northern Europe, said, “At Nature Valley, our vision is to be the world’s most iconic snack bar brand so we are delighted to become the headline partner for such an iconic part of the global tennis calendar. Having more than quadrupled our investment in the sport since we first started in 2016, this elevated sponsorship deal is a demonstration of Nature Valley’s unwavering commitment to British Tennis from the grassroots right to its premier summer events and represents our largest global sports partnership since the 2012 Olympics. Our global brand ethos is about encouraging people to get outdoors into nature and we look forward to fuelling large scale tennis participation over the next three years and helping inspire the tennis stars of the future with an equal ambition to have a Nature Valley bar in every tennis kit in Britain.”
Scott Lloyd, LTA chief executive said, “We are extremely excited to extend our partnership with Nature Valley into the title sponsorship of three of our iconic summer grass court events at Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne. No other pre-Grand Slam circuit in the world can rival the long-standing tradition these tournaments embody, with former champions including the likes of Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and more recently Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic and Caroline Wozniacki. Nature Valley has been building on its commitment to the sport and this new partnership extension highlights the tremendous success of the relationship. We both share our goal to get Britain active and healthy. Nature Valley will continue to play an important role in helping more people play tennis more often and creating more historic championship moments.’’
Fans have never been more engaged in British Tennis summer events, with ticket sales already up on average 50% compared to 2017 across all three events at Nottingham, Birmingham and Eastbourne.