Rolex and the sport of tennis have a partnership that spans four decades. It all began in 1978. That year, Rolex became the official timekeeper at Wimbledon, the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Since then, Rolex has gone on to partner with other tournaments. Some standouts include the Australian Open, Shanghai Masters, and Monte-Carlo Masters, just to name a few. In addition, they’ve enlisted some of the top tennis players to be ambassadors for the brand. Their roster consists of legends, like Roger Federer, and young talent, like Sloane Stephens.
Rolex Expanding Partnerships
Despite the longstanding and thriving relationship between the iconic watchmaker and the sport, Rolex is never one to settle. They’re a brand that’s always striving for more. They want to be a leader not only in the watch industry but also in our culture. In 2018, they did just that by expanding their work with the sport of tennis. They secured a partnership with a third Grand Slam tournament: the U.S. Open.
Prior to 2018, Citizen had served as the Official Timekeeper of the event for 25 years. They ended their contract three years early to focus on their own new partnerships with Disney and Marvel. So, on the 50th anniversary of the Open, the tournament needed to make a change and tapped Rolex. The brand is serving as both the Official Timekeeper and the Official Timepiece of the prominent tournament. Rolex clocks are on display throughout the grounds of the U.S. Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Plus, there’s an impressive signature clock measuring eight feet. It’s prominently affixed to the façade of Arthur Ashe Stadium where the tournament finals are held.
The United States Tennis Association and Rolex
Rolex’s new strides in the sport of tennis actually span beyond the U.S. Open. They formed a larger partnership with the USTA. It includes sponsorship of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio. This completes the brand’s sponsorship of all nine ATP Master Series events. It also consists of support of the USTA National Training Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida. Finally, it includes support of the programs of the USTA Foundation. This is the official charitable organization of the USTA that serves to assist under-resourced youth.
Rolex is certainly no stranger to the sport of tennis. However, their partnership with the Open may actually seem surprising at first glance. Of all the Grand Slam tournaments, the U.S. Open has a reputation of being the most extravagant. It thrives off the vivacious energy of New York City. On the other hand, Rolex has made a name for itself with its poised, refined elegance. Some, particularly those who are fans of Rolex, have questioned the pairing. Still, Rolex and the Open both maintain it was a natural step for the watchmaker to build on its Grand Slam heritage. It’s certainly undeniable that both organizations share a passion for excellence, precision, and performance.