Frank Boucher is one of the well known tennis personalities in France and the tennis circuit - being the tennis manager for New Balance France and brand manager at Yonex. He has worked with several former players including Marat Safin, Goran Ivanisevic, Andre Agassi, Thomas Muster, Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon and Cedric Pioline.
Like several of those in France, Boucher is very keen that the French Open takes place in September this year if the tennis circuit resumes and says the consequences of not holding the Grand Slam tournament would be devastating.
"I do not even dare to think about it ! I dare not even think one day, when I get up one morning, that Roland-Garros is canceled. It is really necessary that the federation, it is really necessary that the ministry, it is really necessary that all the people who make a little lobbying on tennis, are super positive about holding Roland-Garros and find the maximum of solutions so that has place this event.
Why ? Because tennis also involves Roland-Garros. Why Roland Garros? Because it is also a lot of budget given by the federation thanks to Roland-Garros to help the leagues, to help the clubs, to help the teachers, to help all those around." Boucher says the event not only affects the players but includes an entire ecosystem.
"It's not just the players, it's for the whole ecosystem around Roland-Garros. It can be hostess agencies, security guards, everything that revolves around Roland-Garros is essential. For a brand, talking about 15 days, 3 weeks, of an event in all the media, on TV, on the radios, is something that is essential because it is at that time too that there are a lot of new features, that's when brands make events, it's also a time when players share events with brands to launch products.
It's essential ! So I do not imagine for a minute that there is no Roland-Garros and that not everyone is fighting for there to be Roland-Garros. And I would even say better, the players must also advocate the fact that today Roland Garros is essential for them as for us.
the fact of speaking during 15 days, 3 weeks, of an event in all the media, on TV, in the radios, it is something which is essential because it is at this time there too that there has a lot of news, that's when brands make events, it's also a time when players share events with brands to launch products." Boucher also says the current scenario may lead to a change in sponsorship deals between players and companies.
"It would be logical yes and no because it all depends on the commitment of the player. If a player plays the game, like some players, really sells, that's it ... A tournament wants to have the best players because that's what makes people come to the show, buy seats.
Of course there will be breakage, of course there are contracts which may be terminated or not renewed, but that has already been the case for a while. You shouldn't use the virus as justification to stop it all. It's all part of tennis, of the world of sport, everything that is endowment, everything that is financing, everything that is financial contracts, it's the game and it's the professional world."
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