With less than a fortnight until the inaugural International Premier Tennis League gets underway in the Philippines, organisers have unveiled Coca-Cola as the title sponsor.
The world’s largest beverage company, which has a long-standing association with the Olympic Games as well as the FIFA World Cup, has lent its backing to the new franchise team tennis league.
“I welcome Coca-Cola to the IPTL family,” said Mahesh Bhupathi (pictured), founder and managing director of the IPTL. “We're excited to present the Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League to the growing base of tennis enthusiasts across the world and look forward to providing to them superior recognition and visibility among fans internationally.”
As part of its sponsorship, Coca-Cola will launch a promotion to select fans to perform the coin toss, as well as the opportunity for teams to call for a ‘Happiness PowerPoint’ during a match. Essentially a ‘joker’, the Happiness PowerPoint can be called when the player is trailing 0-15. If the player wins the next point they will move to 30-15, if they lose, they go 30-0 down.
“We are really excited about our association with IPTL,” said Debabrata Mukherjee, Vice President, Marketing and Commercial for Coca-Cola India. “Coca-Cola has always been a huge supporter to the cause of sport and we feel this partnership will further catalyze our efforts to promote healthy, active lifestyles by further enhancing a sporting culture in India.
“Our purpose of associating with the IPTL is twofold. On one hand, it will allow millions of passionate tennis fans to enjoy their favorite sport and also witness some of the world’s most iconic tennis stars display their skills. On the other, and more importantly, this initiative will serve as a perfect platform to launch a culture of tennis in India. The initiative will provide great impetus to the youngsters of today who will get inspired by some of the world’s most accomplished and inspirational tennis stars to take up the sport”.
Modeled on cricket’s Indian Premier League, the IPTL promises to be a fast-paced, exciting format that promises to “break the code” of the traditional etiquette of tennis, with time-outs, live in-game entertainment and a running shot clock.
Featuring current ATP and WTA players, including Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova as well as former stars such as Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Goran Ivanisevic, the competition will travel to four cities across Asia and the Middle East, starting in Manila on November 28.
Each match will consist of five sets; men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles, women’s doubles and legends singles. The home team picks the order on the night of the match. Scoring is one set, no-ad, tie-breaker at 5-All. The winning team is the one that wins the most number of games (not the most number of sets).
World No.1 Williams will return to Singapore, where she won the WTA Finals for a fifth time last month, as part of the Singapore Slammers team between December 2-4 before the competition heads to Delhi, home of the Federer’s Indian Aces before the final leg in Dubai, where Djokovic will be part of the UAE Royals team.
The CocaCola International Premier Tennis League will be broadcast in more than 125 countries worldwide.