Initial, the global hygiene company, has been announced as the Official Hygiene Partner of Australian Open 2021. Given the current pandemic situation, Initial will facilitate the safe staging of the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. As per this deal, Initial will supply over 800 touchless hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipe stations across the AO precinct. Additionally, the disinfection services will be extended to the fleet of 130 Kia cars, which are used to transfer players and officials to Melbourne Park.
Tennis Australia Chief Revenue and Experiential Officer Ben Slack said, “The health and safety of fans, officials, players and our AO workforce is our number one priority and to partner with a trusted brand in Initial will help ensure fans are protected and can play it safe while enjoying a day at the tennis.”
Andrew Stone, Pacific Managing Director of Initial also spoke about the partnership. He said, “COVID-19 has had such a massive impact on life as we know it. Sport, as part of the fabric of the Australian way of life, suffered substantially during 2020. As such Initial is both delighted and honoured to play a part in supporting the return of an event as significant and great as the Australian Open.”
Initial will be a key part of the AO COVIDSafe plan, which is all about ensuring the safety of everyone onsite by following enhanced hygiene practices, along with rigorous and frequent cleaning across the site, particularly in high risk and high touch surfaces and common areas. To ensure that fans can easily follow all the protocols, COVIDSafe messages will be incorporated into big screen content and highly visible signage across the site. The precinct will also have a responsive customer experience team to help patrons.
Previously, Peroni was declared the beer partner of Australian Open. On the courtside, Tennis Australia has confirmed a new revised schedule for the tournament’s lead-up events to give players more time to prepare after strict 14-day COVID-19 quarantines. With 72 players placed in quarantine due to confirmed positive COVID-19 cases on chartered flights, Tennis Australia now wants to ensure that affected players have the best possible preparation and training opportunities. The two lead-up ATP 250 events will start one day later with increased singles main draw sizes of 56, while the ATP Cup has been postponed by one day, and a WTA 500 event will run from February 3 to February 7.