New Digital Media Plans for 2008
Video On Demand, live streaming and tournament and player-linked network among enhancements set for 2008 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced today a series of ambitious digital media projects in 2008, with the Tour's Web site set to undergo a host of enhancements that will attract new fans by providing more exciting on-court and off-court content than ever before. Highlighting these changes will be significant improvements to the Web site's multimedia offerings, including the first-ever live, global streaming of Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tennis.
A key component of the Tour's 2008 digital media strategy, and a major facet of Dubai Duty Free's four-year sponsorship extension through 2011 (also announced today), will be a Video On Demand platform. Featuring personality and lifestyle features, on court match highlights and a range of additional unique content, "Video On Demand presented by Dubai Duty Free" will give fans unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and its stars.
"The online space presents an incredible opportunity to grow our sport and reach a new generation of fans by showcasing our players' on-court performance and off-court personalities," said Stacey Allaster, President of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "Today we are taking some important initial steps to harness the power of digital media to increase the exposure and global popularity of women's tennis."
In preparation for the launch of a more extensive broadband service in 2009, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tennis will be broadcast globally over the internet for the first time ever this year. The finals of selected Tier I events will be streamed live in conjunction with Eurosport comprehensive online offering, enabling viewers to see matches in full online.
"Live streaming will allow more fans than ever to watch the very best of women's tennis," said Michael Rowe, Vice President, Digital Media & Television of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "Online streaming is a fantastic complement to the Tour's global television broadcast footprint."
Along with other enhancements to the content, functionality, navigation and layout of the Tour Web site that will take place during 2008 – including forays into user-generated content and fan communities - sonyericssonwtatour.com has connected all tournaments on the 2008 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour calendar and select player Web sites via a navigation bar. Sitting atop all tournament sites and the Tour site, the navigation bar features a drop down menu listing tournament and player Web sites, allowing online visitors to easily move from one site to another. Additional official player Web sites will also be added over the year and the Tour will also provide written and multimedia content to the player sites.
Today's announcement follows an eight month strategy development process that included the engagement of Chris Russo of Fantasy Sports Ventures, a leading global digital media consultancy best known for its work in developing the National Football League's digital media strategy.
"I love to watch videos when I go online," said Ana Ivanovic. "I think all these improvements to the Tour's site are a great idea. They will bring fans closer to the players and show them more behind-the-scenes action than ever before."