Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and tennis legends including Greg Rusedski and Virginia Wade helped the Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament reach an estimated 1 billion people.
From the announcement of reigning Wimbledon champion Bartoli the attention of the world’s media was focused on the tournament, which for the first time was hosted at Liverpool Cricket Club.
A partner event of the International Festival for Business and supported by Liverpool City Council, the tournament generated miles of column inches. From the Liverpool Festival of Tennis in Chavasse Park, where almost 2,000 people were given free tennis lessons to Kids Day, the day before the event, when 1,500 children were given tennis coaching and a world record for the largest single tennis coaching session was attempted, through to the tournament proper, where more than 10,000 people and 1,500 sponsors and their guests enjoyed world class tennis across four days, the event was a huge success.
And with media outlets including the Washington Post, ESPN, Sky Sports, The Australian, the New York Times, The Daily Mail and the Telegraph taking an interest in the tournament alongside the Liverpool Echo, BBC and ITV, organiser Anders Borg believes the 13-year-old tournament has stepped up to a new level.
“We have enjoyed perhaps our best ever year,” he said. “We had our first reigning Wimbledon champion, we have a number of players come here to warm up for Wimbledon and we unearthed perhaps the next generation of GB legend with Jodie Burrage, who won the ladies title aged 15.
“The media appetite for the tournament has been stunning and our name is now known across the world in places it has never been heard before.
“Moving to Liverpool Cricket Club was a big decision for us and the support of sponsors including Liverpool Hope University, Tesla, Crabbie’s, Everton in the Community, Hilton Liverpool, Mazars, Rentalcars.com, IFB and Liverpool Vision has helped us to grow and capitalise on the increased attention we have received.”
Planning has already begun for next year and Anders, who is also managing director of Northern Vision, is keen to make sure the 2015 tournament is bigger and better again.
“We are always moving forward,” he said. “Next year’s tournament will be even bigger. Thanks to the support of the business community and tennis fans in Liverpool we will continue to deliver top-quality tennis action and entertainment to Merseyside.”