Tournament grows under Rolex sponsorship
2015-10-02, Zhuan Ti

Shanghai Juss Event Management Co. has developed the annual Shanghai Rolex Masters into a bigger and more exciting event for tennis lovers. 

“We strive to offer Chinese and Asian tennis fans an annual event that is equal to any Grand Slam tournament,” said Michael Luevano, the ATP tournament’s director. 

“Our future plan is to become a bigger, perhaps a 10-day tournament. This would offer a larger draw size and the highest prize money for a Masters Event in the world,” he said. 

The Shanghai Rolex Masters, introduced to local fans in 2009, has reported growing attendance year-on-year. 

The event set an attendance record of 152,000 in 2014. 

Luevano said the 2015 tournament will continue to be one of the world’s best ATP Masters tournament competitions. 

“We believe that the high level of competition of the world’s best is the highlight,” Luevano said, with a big smile. 

The event attracted the world’s top players including world number 1 Novak Djokovic, defending champion Roger Federer, two-time champion Andy Murray and of course Rafael Nadal. 

“ What we call ‘Super Wednesday’ is always special because all the top-seeded players, play their matches on that day,” he said, when sharing this year’s highlights. 

“Our goal for the 2015 tournament is to break last year’s attendance record as well as offer the fans a more entertaining and interactive on-site experience,” Luevano added. 

For families eager to introduce this top event to their children, Juss has arranged Oct 10 as “Kids Day”, when there will be “free entrance and lots of activities for the family”.

Tennis is not a traditional sport in China, however, the game is getting popular, especially among the young generation. 

“Our sales-growth rate is between 15 percent to 30 percent year-on-year. Our television broadcast hours have doubled since 2000,”Luevano said. 

“What impresses me most is how passionate the Chinese tennis fans are. Every year I see fans camped out at the players’ hotel and waiting at the airports just to see their favorite players,” Luevano said, who has been a tennis tournament director for three decades. 

Luevano said the tremendous growth is fueled by the public’s appreciation of the sport and the corporate and local government sectors investing in tennis. 

Currently, there are three major ATP men’s events, eight ATP Challenger events and eight WTA Women’s events in China. 

The Shanghai Rolex Masters development gained strong support from luxury watchmaker Rolex in the past six years. 

Luevano said Juss is very proud to have re-signed Rolex as the title sponsor of the event for a 10-year period beginning in 2016.

“This partnership is unprecedented on the ATP tour,” he said. 

Juss has partnered with an Australian banking service provider to cultivate tennis culture among young children. 

“Our partnership with our sponsor ANZ brings grassroots tennis to thousands of kids every year. We are proud of our achievements, but also intend to do much more in the future,” Luevano said. 

“We hope that through our tournaments and commitment, we will see a future Chinese male ATP champion,” he added.

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