Australian Open moves upmarket to make up for last year’s losses

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The Australian Open is trying to make up for the big losses it suffered last year with lucrative sponsorship deals and an expanded food and drink offering.

The tournament signed the Marriott hotel chain, re-signed luxury champagne house Piper Heidsieck and renewed existing deals with wine giant Penfolds, watchmaker Rolex and clothing brand Ralph Lauren.

It will also offer new off-court experiences at Melbourne Park for participants, including a new “Beach House” area with beach tennis, VIP champagne huts and a vodka bar.

The expansion of the Australian Open comes after Tennis Australia recorded a net loss of over $ 100 million for the year. Small crowds and an instant lockdown that barred fans from Melbourne Park for five days of last year’s Open contributed to those losses, as did expenses related to quarantining players and staff around the world. whole in hotels for two weeks.

Tennis Australia hopes to balance the books by serving dishes from top chefs, including Dave Pynt from Burnt Ends in Singapore who contributes to the Rockpool Bar & Grill menu, Shane Delia from Maha, in his super clubs, and with Ben Shewry, of Attica. , at the head of the Atrium Eatery and Bar.

Penfolds will offer a four-course dining experience at his restaurant, where he will serve his premium Grange wines.

Artist’s impression of the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne Bar at the Australian Open, which will feature floral installations by renowned florist Katie Marx.

Greta Cooper, Director of Premium Products and Experiences at Tennis Australia, said there had been “incredible demand” for catering packages, and she expected them to be nearly sold out before the start of the season. tournament.

“[It’s driven by] the confidence to come out of COVID. [Our] corporate and our premium experience guests did not have the opportunity to attend a major event, ”she said. “The full enclosure is open this year, and they have the confidence to come back and really enjoy the Australian Open.”


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