Marwan Naami, Start-up Program Lead & Partnerships Manager at BNP Paribas in Paris, tells his...
The history of the partnership between Roland-Garros and BNP Paribas
The history between tennis and BNP Paribas began in 1973 in Roland-Garros. For over 40 years, the Group is official sponsor of this global resonance event, which welcomes the most famous stars of tennis.
Tennis courts and tennis courses
Good stories often start in a discreet manner. This was the case with BNP Paribas and tennis. In 1932, the Banque Nationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie (BNCI), formerly the BNP, was established. In the same year, Henri Cochet, one of the “musketeers”, won his fourth and last victory at Roland-Garros. More than ten years later, the champion was regularly giving tennis lessons to BNCI employees at the holiday camp and training centre in Louveciennes. This experience announced a long partnership between the bank and tennis.
The official partnership between Roland-Garros and the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) started thirty years later in 1973. The French Tennis Federation had its bank account at the Auteuil branch of the BNP and its Chairman Philippe Chatrier wanted to build loggia over the centre court at Roland-Garros. The bank agreed to finance the works. In return, the famous banners at the end of the courts bear the name of the BNP. A BNP automatic teller machine was also installed, the first one being mobile.
Roland-Garros, one of the four tournaments of the Grand Slam, increased its reputation and received world media coverage. BNP, then BNP Paribas in 2000, pursued its partnership loyally. In 2015, the group was the “official sponsor” for the 42nd year. But the connection with tennis has gone deeper and now extends to amateur tennis, disabled sports and tournaments for youngsters. As well as its partnership with Roland-Garros, BNP Paribas entered into partnerships with major competitions like the Bercy Open in 1993 which thereafter became the BNP Paribas Masters, then the Davis Cup in 2001. The group supports numerous competitions abroad – the Fed Cup, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Internazionali BNL d’Italia via the Italian subsidiary BNL
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