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  • Six young female WTA players to mix with worlds of music, film, fashion and gaming in bid to build their fan base and gain Sony Ericsson deal
  • YouTube™ Online TV Show follows their lives during the WTA season

MELBOURNE, Australia, – Sony Ericsson today announced the launch of Xperia™ Hot Shots, an exciting new-format entertainment show to be streamed online and on mobile handsets. The series, airing from March, will follow the lives of six globetrotting, aspiring stars of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) as they strive to build their profile both on and off the court and gain a support deal with WTA sponsor and leading entertainment brand, Sony Ericsson.

Xperia™ Hot Shots gives a behind-the-scenes look at the girl’s lives off-court and will offer an insight into the world of these players and their journey towards superstar status. Sony Ericsson will help the players to realize their dreams by giving them exclusive access to the worlds of music, film, gaming and fashion, allowing them to grow their online fan base, an all-important part of becoming a modern sporting icon.

Combining insightful behind-the-scenes footage with cameos from guest mentors and coverage of stunts, challenges and glamorous events, viewers will be able to follow the Xperia™ Hot Shots as they take part in one of the world’s most prestigious sporting tours. At over 52 action-packed tournaments including high profile dates in Miami, Wimbledon, Beijing and othes, the girls will compete, not only on-court, but online to secure themselves Sony Ericsson support.

The premise of the show is a fully interactive programme, streamed on YouTube™ that will see the girls using their Sony Ericsson Xperia™ handsets to film their own content, share it and interact with their fans on Facebook™ and other social networks.

Launching the show in Melbourne ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season, WTA icon and most followed female athlete in the world, Maria Sharapova, said, “I’m excited to be here at the launch because I think it’s great for the players, the sport and viewers alike. Sony Ericsson is bringing entertainment to the game as only they can.

“The show will provide an opportunity for the players to attract new fans in a way that has never been done before. I wish I’d had access to this when starting out as it brings entertainment in to our world of tennis,  as well as a chance to interact with fans.”

To mark the launch of the show, Maria has worked with Melbourne street artist, Dvate, to develop the logo and ‘tag’ a specially created street art mural that has been shown for the first time in Melbourne.

Stephan Croix, VP, Head of Global Marketing Partnerships at Sony Ericsson said, “At Sony Ericsson we love tennis, and with Xperia™ Hot Shots we’re bringing entertainment in to this world, making it even more appealing to youth audiences globally.

“We’re taking cues from reality TV and are combining it with edgy and exciting entertainment to create a pioneering new genre of online TV show that innovates in the world of sport.”

Andrew Walker, VP, Global Marketing and Communications at the WTA said, “Sony Ericsson has been a innovative partner of the WTA since 2005 and we’re delighted they’re bringing this original idea to women’s tennis. It is an exciting way for fans to interact with the players and also a great opportunity to bring a new audience to the sport.”

Xperia™ Hot Shots goes live on YouTube™ in March 2011. For more information or to follow the updates sign up at facebook.com/xperiahotshots

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 communicating through the internet and social media, become entertainment.  Sony Ericsson offers exciting consumer experiences through phones, accessories, content and applications.

About Women’s Tennis Association (WTA):
The WTA is the governing body of women’s professional tennis, the leading global sport for women, with more than 2,400 players representing 99 nations competing for more than $87 million in prize money at the WTA’s 52 events and four Grand Slams in 33 countries. More than 5 million people attended women’s tennis events in 2010 with tens of millions more watching on television and digital channels around the world. The WTA competitive season concludes with the WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey from October 25-30, and the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, Indonesia, from November 3-6. Further information on the WTA can be found on www.wtatour.com.