April 14, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

The “Business of Felix” big in Paris

ROLAND GARROS – Félix Auger-Aliasime is a francophone Canadian, a Québécois

But that hasn’t stopped him from being huge at Roland Garros – helped by the fact that for whatever reason, Parisians absolutely LOVE us.

You see his name and face more around the grounds here than arguably any other player. And that’s because two of his major sponsors are French companies closely affiliated with the tournament.

Seriously – it’s bigger, by a factor of mega, than even in Montreal when the men are in town for the Omnium Banque Nationale.

Auger-Aliassime has been with BNP Paribas since early on in his career. His “#FAAPointsForChange” initiative, in which he donates money for every point he wins to educational programs in his father’s native Togo, sees that amount tripled by BNP Paribas.

And the multinational bank is involved in sponsoring the development of young players at his father Sam’s academy in Quebec City.

They’ve got him all over the place – including on the ATM machine at Court Suzanne-Lenglen

Renault jumps in with FAA

After becoming the new official car sponsor of Roland Garros late in 2022 (replacing longstanding sponsor Peugeot), Renault signed three-year brand ambassador deals with Auger-Aliassime and young French player and 2021 Roland Garros junior champion Luca Van Assche.

(The two practiced together just before the tournament began).

The huge Renault logo is on every net, and also on Auger-Aliassime’s left sleeve.

He’s also featured in their ads.

A new logo unveiled

On Sunday, the opening day of Roland Garros and the day before his first-round loss to Fabio Fognini, Auger-Aliassime’s team unveiled his new eponymous logo with a video produced by Québecois artists and producers.

It’s heady stuff.

And it all works together; BNP Paribas has a crew called the “We Are Tennis Fan Academy”, which you often see at tournaments are actually trained in cheers and chants (with accompanying brass instruments).

On Monday, for Auger-Aliassime’s match, they were loud and proud in the upper corner of Court Simonne-Mathieu.

Armed, naturellement, with new flags sporting the FAA logo.

In short, this fortnight is a cornerstone of Auger-Aliassime’s brand building off the court.

And clearly a lot of preparation went into maximizing it.

Unfortunately for the 22-year-old Canadian, the body had other ideas. And on the first Monday of the tournament, he’s already out.

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