SINGAPORE - The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Championships in October is not only a coup for Singapore's aspirations to be a regional sports hub but may also deliver a positive spin-off for the game here.
French financial institution BNP Paribas, which was yesterday announced as the title sponsor of the US$6.5 million (S$8.2 million) tournament for the next five years, is open to giving the sport a boost here.
Said Pierre Veyres, its regional head for South-east Asia and Singapore chief executive: "We plan to remain focused on tennis and don't plan to diversify. But, when it comes to tennis, why not?
"We didn't consider (supporting local tennis) yet but possibly."
The Paris-based bank's sponsorship continues its partnership with the prestigious WTA Championships season-finale.
The Frenchman declined to reveal the worth of the sponsorship but said it was comparable with what was invested over the last three years when the year-ender was held in Istanbul - reportedly around US$2 million a year.
BNP Paribas is one of the biggest corporate supporters of tennis and has been associated with the sport for more than four decades - spending over €30 million (S$52.8 million) every year.
It has backed the French Open since 1973 and also an ongoing tournament in Indian Wells in California, one of the biggest ATP and WTA events.