THE NEW ASB CLASSIC
New Zealand’s only global men’s and women’s tennis tournaments will be united under one name for the first time in 35 years. The current ASB Classic women’s WTA tournament and the men’s ATP tournament will be known as the ‘ASB Classic’ from 2016 onwards.
ASB Chief Executive Barbara Chapman says ASB is delighted to bring the women’s and men’s fields together under one tournament name – the ASB Classic – with the new five-year sponsorship agreement between ASB and Tennis Auckland.
“The ASB Classic has a proud history of attracting some of the world’s best players to New Zealand,” Chapman says. “The event is acknowledged by players and fans as a highlight on the women’s and men’s global tours. Our ongoing commitment to supporting tennis in New Zealand will see the ASB Classic tournament continue to delight players and fans alike with two weeks of exceptional tennis in a uniquely fun and intimate environment.”
Tournament Director, Karl Budge says this is a hugely proud day for the ASB Classic and New Zealand’s international tennis tournaments. “It is 60 years since the tournaments commenced in Auckland and to have our future secure thanks to the expanded support of ASB gives us real confidence in how we are viewed as a major sporting event,” Budge says.
Commenting on the move to combine both the men’s and women’s events, DB Breweries Managing Director Andy Routley says that both the organisation and the Heineken brand are fully supportive of creating a single, world class tennis tournament for Auckland.
Heineken, the former title sponsor, will continue their 18 year partnership with Tennis Auckland as a new multi-year deal was also announced today.
Budge adds: “We have enjoyed enormous support from Heineken and DB during our 18-year partnership, which has helped us to significantly grow the events to where they are today - the Best Fan Experience in the world. To have their continued support for a further four years means we can continue to build on the experience we provide to our fans.”
Aside the name and brand changing, the structure of each of the draws will remain the same.
The new two-week long ASB Classic will feature the women’s field from the 4th to 9th of January followed by the men’s field from the 11th to 16th to kick off the international tennis season.