January 5, 2005
© WTA Tour
Sony Ericsson and WTA Tour Announce Largest Global Sponsorship in History of Women's Sport
Title Sponsor partnership over six years is set to significantly enhance entertainment value of women’s tennis with the Sony Ericsson mobile communications devices
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM & ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA
– January 5, 2005 – Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, a leading innovator in mobile phones, and the WTA Tour today jointly announce the signing of a landmark $ 88 million dollar global sponsorship that makes Sony Ericsson the worldwide title sponsor of the WTA Tour. The six-year deal, which renames the Tour the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, is the largest and most comprehensive sponsorship in the history of tennis and of women’s professional sport. As Sony Ericsson’s first global sponsorship, the partnership associates one of the world’s fastest growing and innovative global brands in the mobile handset industry with the world’s leading professional sport for women. The Sony Ericsson-WTA Tour partnership is unprecedented in breadth and scope in the history of tennis. Under the deal, Sony Ericsson will become the global title sponsor of the WTA Tour and of the season-ending, globally televised WTA Tour Championships held each November and featuring the world’s top eight singles players and top doubles teams. Sony Ericsson will also enjoy a significant on-court presence at the many WTA Tour tournaments throughout the season, with hundreds of matches televised in every region of the world that continue to attract all-time ratings highs. A joint logo representing the partnership is also being unveiled today.
“We are extremely pleased to be announcing our first ever global sponsorship deal,” said Miles Flint, President of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. “Together with the WTA Tour we are exploring a range of opportunities that can integrate technology, design, music, sport and fashion into a compelling entertainment proposition for consumers.”
“Today is a landmark occasion for women’s sport, tennis and the WTA Tour,” said Larry Scott, CEO of the WTA Tour. “This partnership will take women’s tennis to a new level of global popularity by immersing new technology and significantly enhancing the entertainment value of our sport. We could not be happier to be partnering with such a world-class, innovative company that shares our vision for the future of the sport.”
Partnering the WTA Tour with Sony Ericsson has created a natural platform for the integration of technology, design, fashion, sport and music, attributes that are closely representative of the world of professional tennis. A 50:50 joint venture of Sony and Ericsson, Sony Ericsson brings together industry-leading expertise in digital imaging technology with Bluetooth and telecommunications infrastructure experience. With its line of fashionable and innovative multimedia devices for the 2G and 3G mobile communications networks, the partnership can only help to further enhance and differentiate the values of Sony Ericsson as the brand of choice for personal mobile communications.
The WTA Tour is the governing body of the world’s leading global sport for women. It features the most internationally recognized women athletes in sport and stages 63 tournaments across 33 countries throughout the year. Globally popular WTA Tour stars include such household names as Venus and Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Amélie Mauresmo, Anastasia Myskina and Jennifer Capriati.
WTA Tour founder and tennis legend Billie Jean King adds: “This is an historic day for women’s sport and tennis. Sony Ericsson’s long-term commitment to women’s professional tennis will help propel our game to new heights and is representative of the tremendous value of our sport and athletes in the marketplace.”