LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM AND ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA – The WTA Tour and Sony Ericsson today announced a two year extension to their existing partnership that will see Sony Ericsson, one of the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturers, become the lead global sponsor for the Tour through to the end of 2012.
The Sony Ericsson-WTA Tour partnership has taken women’s tennis to new audiences through unprecedented fusion of the sport with technology, fashion and music, enabling the Tour to lay the foundation for an unprecedented global growth of women’s tennis.
“Sony Ericsson has been an incredible partner for the last five years and this extension is both a real sign of strength and stability, and a testament to the investment value delivered by our players and tournaments,” said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. “We are very pleased that Sony Ericsson will remain our partner and we look forward to continuing to deliver to fans and taking women’s tennis and Sony Ericsson to new heights through our joint vision for the future of the sport.”
Aldo Liguori, Corporate VP and Head of Global Communications & PR, Sony Ericsson said, “Our relationship with the WTA Tour over the past five years has been tremendously successful giving us significant international brand exposure and awareness. We are delighted to be extending this relationship for a further two years as we take the company into a new stage of growth.”
World No. 5 Venus Williams, who played a role in the Tour’s renewal discussions with Sony Ericsson, added: “I’ve been playing on Tour for 15 years now and it’s amazing to see how much women’s tennis has grown in the last five years since Sony Ericsson has been involved with the Tour. The value that Sony Ericsson brings to women’s tennis is significant, giving us tremendous opportunities to market the sport and connect with fans in every corner of the globe.”
“Sony Ericsson’s long-term partnership with women’s tennis has taken the WTA Tour to a new level,” said tennis legend and WTA Tour founder Billie Jean King. “Their commitment to our fans, players, tournaments and our values has been at the core of our success.”
Under the extension agreement, Sony Ericsson will become the Tour’s lead global sponsor and will retain the prime net signage at the Tour’s 53 tournaments in 33 countries along with significant television and digital media rights, while becoming the Tour’s lead global sponsor in lieu of title sponsor, resulting in a reversion of the Tour’s official name to WTA Tour commencing later this year. Additionally, Sony Ericsson will no longer title the Tour’s year-end Championships from 2010, set to take place in Doha later this year and in Istanbul from 2011-2013.
Since partnering with the Tour in 2005, Sony Ericsson has taken the sport beyond the confines of the court and has continued to spark energy and interest in women’s tennis. To attract new fans and broaden the appeal of the sport on a global basis, Sony Ericsson has championed innovations such as “Night Tennis” that fuse music, dance and women’s tennis; eye-catching publicity stunts that have made news around the world; and compelling social media content. As the Tour and Sony Ericsson look to the future, Sony Ericsson’s ability to leverage its technology expertise and leading edge mobile phones to create unprecedented engagement and access fans of women’s tennis will take center stage.
About Sony Ericsson WTA Tour
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is the world’s leading professional sport for women with more than 2,225 players representing 91 nations competing for more than $86 million in prize money at the Tour’s 53 events and four Grand Slams in 33 countries. More than 4.9 million people attended women’s tennis events in 2009 with millions more watching on television networks around the world. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season concludes with the Sony Ericsson Championships – Doha 2010 in Doha, Qatar, from October 26-31, and the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, Indonesia, from November 4-7. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at www.sonyericssonwtatour.com.
About Sony Ericsson
Sony Ericsson is a 50/50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson established in October 2001, with global corporate functions located in London and operations in all major markets. Our vision is to become the industry leader in communication entertainment where new styles of communication through the internet and social media become entertainment. Sony Ericsson offers exciting consumer experiences through phones, accessories, content and applications.