New name for Toronto's tennis centre, and new sponsorship for Eugenie Bouchard

CAPTION CORRECTION, CORRECTS FINAL SCORE IN SECOND SENTENCE - Canada's Eugenie Bouchard returns the ball to France's Kristina Mladenovic during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, Tuesday, May 26, 2015 in Paris. Mladenovic won 6-4, 6-4. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Tennis Canada announced a two-for-one deal with Aviva Canada Inc., the insurance company, which involves the naming rights to the former Rexall Centre through 2025.

The stadium, part of the national centre at York University and home to the Rogers Cup every August, will now be called the Aviva Centre.

The Rexall Centre will now be called the Aviva Centre. (Photo by Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
The Rexall Centre will now be called the Aviva Centre. (Photo by Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

The company also will become a Rogers Cup sponsor in both Toronto and Montreal.

Here's the press-release quote from Tennis Canada president Kelly Murumets on this:

“As the owners of a world-class venue and internationally-recognized tennis centre, partnering with a well-respected global brand like Aviva is a perfect fit for Tennis Canada and Rogers Cup. We share a belief in maintaining strong values, giving back to the community and providing the utmost in customer service which makes for a natural partnership that we know will grow and thrive over the next 10 years. We are thrilled that our facility will officially be known as Aviva Centre – the Canadian home of current and future tennis stars.”

As well, the insurance company will now sponsor top Canadian WTA Tour star Genie Bouchard in what's termed a "multi-year deal", with no further details.

“For us to be associated with a phenomenal athlete and personality such as Genie, a world-class national organization like Tennis Canada, and a globally recognized event like Rogers Cup, this is a great day and an honour for Aviva Canada," was the quote from president Sharon Ludlow.

Can't say it's a logo that screams TENNIS! (from Tennis Canada)
Can't say it's a logo that screams TENNIS! (from Tennis Canada)

The exposure the insurance company will get from its association with Bouchard remains to be determined; the Canadian has far fewer endorsements than is commonly assumed, the biggest of which is with the Canadian arm of Coca-Cola. 

She remains without a deal with clothing sponsor Nike, after it expired at the end of 2014. Bouchard continues to wear the company's clothes, though, and has done a promotional photo shoot this year with other notable Nike female athletes. The announcement of a renewal of the deal, we're told, is "imminent".

The ATP and WTA Tours have loosened their limits on promotional patches, which is why you're seeing a lot more of the rank-and-file players sporting them these days. 

But with the notable exception of now-retired Chinese player Li Na, none of Nike's stable of prominent tennis players – we're talking Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williaams – are allowed to wear any additional sponsors' patches on their clothing. All Nike, and only Nike, so Aviva won't be able to take advantage of that exposure.

In response to a question about what the relationship between Bouchard and Aviva will entail, senior manager of PR and social media Glenn Cooper responded via e-mail.

"Genie is an iconic athlete that has been recognized for her skills and engaging personality around the world. Our focus with Genie will be her role as ambassador for the Aviva Canada's core community giving program - the Aviva Community Fund. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund (avivacommunityfund.org) has awarded over $5.5 million to over 190 charities and community groups nationwide.

"With a the premise of asking Canadians to submit ideas for positive change in their communities, the community fund then asks the public to vote on which ideas they would like to see funded. In September 2015, the Aviva Community Fund will return with another $1 million going towards positive change in Canadian communities.

"The other general terms of our partnership with Genie are not public."

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