Rolex is present at the most prestigious events in golf, sailing, tennis, motor sport, and at equestrian tournaments. Given the longevity and strength of these relationships, in its sponsorships, Rolex is seen not merely as a sponsor… but also as a partner. Rolex is actively committed to the support of the arts, sports, the spirit of enterprise and the environment through a broad array of sponsoring activities, and philanthropic and patronage programs and pioneering partnerships between Rolex and institutions, exceptional sports personalities, as well as world-famous artists.
Rolex has a natural affinity with architecture, an art form which reflects its values and quest for excellence. Meticulous attention to detail and a seamless blend of aesthetics and functionality results in its state-of-the-art buildings that house its operations in Switzerland and through the mentorship of young architects in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Moreover, Rolex is the Exclusive Partner and Official Timepiece of the International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.
Like those it embraces, Rolex helps the world to realize its full potential through it projects in Sports, Art and Culture, Science, Mountain and Deep Sea Exploration – areas where Rolex masters its role in philanthropy and sponsorships.
Rolex’s extensive commitment to the arts was born in the 1970s when New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa became the brand’s first Testimonee in the arts world. Other leading performers in the lyric arts have since joined the Rolex family – Plácido Domingo, Cecilia Bartoli, Jonas Kaufmann and Bryn Terfel. Instrumentalists, including Yuja Wang, and conductor Gustavo Dudamel are also Rolex Testimonees, as are jazz singers Diana Krall and Michael Bublé, Indian sitarist Anoushka Shankar and prima ballerina Sylvie Guillem. Also; legendary is Rolex’s support for the Salzburg Festival; and its prestigious partnerships with the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, London’s historic Royal Opera House, the Opéra National de Paris, the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Rolex is also the Official Watch of the National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing.
From the top of the world to the bottom of the sea:
Rolex proves dependable In 2012, true to its passion for underwater exploration, Rolex played an active part in film-maker (Titanic, Avatar) and explorer James Cameron’s DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition, in partnership with the National Geographic Society. On 26 March 2012, the expedition descended 10,908 metres (35,787 feet) to reach Challenger Deep, the ocean’s deepest point, located in the Mariana Trench.
Rolex supports the leading motor sports series, Formula 1®, at the very pinnacle of the sport, as well as iconic endurance races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 At Daytona, and events featuring vintage automobiles.
On the green
In nearly 50 years, Rolex has built unparalleled relationships not only with the leading players, but also with golf’s principal institutions and many tournaments. Rolex has a strong alliance with the R&A, the sport’s revered governing body, which is based at St Andrews (UK), and is the partner and Official Timekeeper of the sport’s oldest tournament, The Open Championship, organized by the R&A. Rolex is also a major sponsor of the USGA, the US governing body for the sport and organizer of the U.S. Open Championship. The Masters, played at the Augusta National Golf Club in the US state of Georgia and one of golf’s most renowned tournaments, is sponsored by Rolex. The brand is a key supporter of women’s golf and has been Official Timekeeper to the LPGA for more than 30 years. Among today’s top players are numerous Rolex Testimonees, including Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, as well as Annika Sorenstam, Yani Tseng, Alexis Thompson and Lydia Ko in women’s golf.
On the Courts
Rolex is linked to tennis by one of the world’s iconic sponsorships: since 1978, the brand has been Official Timekeeper at Wimbledon, home to the oldest and most prestigious tournament. Wimbledon was chosen by Rolex because it was recognized as the pre-eminent Grand Slam®. The brand’s sponsorship embraces many other top tournaments, including another Grand Slam®, the Australian Open. Many of the world’s most outstanding tennis players wear the Oyster. The prestigious list of Rolex Testimonees includes Roger Federer, one of the greatest players of all time, and Li Na from China, who made both tennis and world history by becoming the first player from an Asian nation to win a singles Grand Slam® title.
Rolex made a bold statement as the presenting sponsor of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, where during nine days, 56 players battle it out to become the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters champion. In 2006, the luxury brand signed on for a few years, and now a decade afterwards, this prestigious tournament, held since 1928 at the Monte-Carlo Country Club, is a highlight on the international tennis circuit. The setting – with its twenty courts on terraces overlooking the Mediterranean – is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. For over a century, the sport’s greatest players have gathered on its red clay courts perched between sea and sky.
Breaking the waves
In the 1950s, Rolex took to the high seas by forging lasting ties with one of the most influential and historic clubs in yacht racing, the New York Yacht Club. Years later, it joined forces with another such establishment, the Royal Yacht Squadron (Cowes, UK). Today, Rolex is Title Sponsor of some 15 major international events in yachting, including the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, among the world’s most challenging offshore contests. The brand also partners with other prestigious yacht clubs around the world, including the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (Porto Cervo, Italy), the Yacht Club Italiano (Genoa, Italy), the Yacht Club de Monaco and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.
Rolex is a major force in the demanding world of equestrian sport, sponsoring its finest events and riders, including three of the world’s greatest equestrian shows: the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen; the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, in Canada; and CHI Geneva; and the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, a new global initiative that rewards the rider who wins the Grand Prix at each of the three shows in succession.
Rolex has supported individual excellence and the quest for perfection since its foundation early in the 20th century. Hans Wilsdorf laid foundations for testimonial advertising and support for sports in the 1920s when he developed the cornerstone of the company’s success, the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, the Rolex Oyster. The exploit completed by Mercedes Gleitze as she swam the English Channel resulted in her being the first Rolex Testimonee. The Oyster worn by famous explorers and sporting men and women, witnesses to the uncompromised performance of the Oyster’s real-life qualities.
Today, the list of Rolex Testimonees would read like a list of the Who’s Who of individuals and organizations at the pinnacle of exploration, sports and the arts. Ever faithful to the spirit of enterprise which inspired its founder, Rolex builds on valued history and proven performance to innovate for ever higher standards.
Sponsoring is not only a vital part of the brand’s tradition, these extraordinary partnerships are also a perfect reflection of the company’s inherent values and ethos, from heritage, reliability and trust to excellence, passion and precision. A mythical company that spans the 20th Century, Rolex is fast proving that in the dynamics of the company’s continued thrust for excellence, the 21st Century will see its banner flying high as the consummate enterprise of the future.