On the eve of the new National Bank Tennis Open, maple syrup producers dreamed of sponsoring superstar tennis players Leila Fernandez and Felix Auger-Aliassime, but the partnership did not materialize.
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Genevieve Martineau, Director of Communications at Les Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec (PPAQ), says during an interview with Newspaper.
However, on paper, the table was set for such a partnership. In 2020, Vasek Pospisil, in a state of tenderness, drank a drink on the field to give himself energy, which was praised by his compatriot Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Then, last year, young athlete Lila Fernandez, a true dynamite at the US Open, made it clear in prime time that the successes of Quebec players were explained by the consumption of the delicious elixir.
This small phrase being spoken in the United States, which is the main export market for maple syrup producers here (76% of Quebec maple syrup is exported to our neighbors to the south), did not go unnoticed.
Maple syrup producers in Quebec have had sponsorship talks with Lily Fernandez’s agent and Felix Auger-Aliassime’s agent, Bernard Duchesneau. However, the maple syrup producers’ financial means here don’t match those of Subway or Weston, the Canadian agri-food giant that owns the Maxi banner.
“Our board of directors found it very exciting that we were talking about drinking even tennis. Their wish was to see if we could partner with them,” explains the lady.I Martino.
I made a seed, sent out gifts of maple, and had discussions with the retinue of the players. But the two sides did not agree.
“They got a lot of requests after their success at the US Open. In terms of what was in the agreement and what they were asking for, for us, that didn’t suit us. Let’s say it was hard to beat Gatorade,” M. explained.I Martineau with philosophy.
The deal didn’t necessarily include ads, but social media presence and brand identification.
“It is not inconceivable that we will try an approach again, but at the moment it is not in our plans,” she said.
The players’ agent, Bernard Duchesneau, did not answer questions register.
While they said no to maple syrup, the two star players recently teamed up with deep-pocketed sponsors. Fernandez is a senior partner in Subway, Gatorade, Lululemon and Google.
Auger-Aliassime has an agreement with Adidas and, again this year, is participating in an advertising campaign with Maxi. In addition, both players promoted a discount airline Flair.
For its part, the maple syrup industry is trying to change its image to attract athletes in particular. Among the ambassadors is Hugo Hall, who recently won a stage of the Tour de France.
“Hugo is proud to contribute to Maple’s domestic and international impact. PPAQ consultant Joinell Marchand, during his visit to the Tokyo Olympics, revealed that he brought maple products in his bags.
The producers say they are working with nutritionists and have produced several capsules that link the drink to “athlete’s fuel.”
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