WTA Tour not Sony Ericsson any more

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Sony EricssonThe Women’s Tennis Association and Sony Ericsson have extended their agreement to the end of 2012, but in a reduced form.

Sony Ericsson will lose its naming rights when the current six-year $88-million contract expires at the end of 2010, so the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour will get back to being simply the WTA Tour, and the prestigious season-ending Championships will not be called the Sony Ericsson Championships any more. Nevertheless, Sony Ericsson will continue to be the leading partner of the WTA Tour.

“To have that leverage, for us to have our own brand back will give us new opportunities to attract revenues. By getting some rights back we can grow further,” said Stacey Allaster, CEO of the WTA Tour.

No financial details have been released, but media reports estimate the new sponsorship deal to be around $27 million for the nearly three-year period. (source: Reuters, photo: warrenski)


  1. LuLinQa, it’s not confusing. Sony Ericsson has extended the sponsorship of women’s tennis, just that they will have a lesser sponsorship so to say. Their name will not be everywhere any more. Hm, I’m wondering, the Tour will need to get a new URL for their website, that could be tricky.

  2. I wonder what it the real reason behind it… ;-P. I think Sony decided to reduce the sponsorship because of the lack of quality of the tour in past two years which has been highlighted by come back players and the ease with which they made it far in their tournaments. I mean, WTA can be just lucky they didn’t drop them completely. ATP has a much higher level at the moment.

  3. Marine, even the ATP tour went without a sponsor last year after its contract with Mercedes Benz expired. They have now signed with Corona Extra (beer brand). I think it is a sign of hard times more than anything else.
    Maybe the WTA will find something a little more classier!

  4. I would say Sony Ericsson’s business model has changed, plus, they have probably seen a decrease in earnings. Women’s tennis is still popular, but the overall economic situation is inevitably difficult and money has to be distributed carefully. Apparently, they don’t need the extensive promotion in women’s tennis any more, and find the reduced contract sufficient.

  5. Possibly,I think the profile of the WTA has been quite low since the Belgians retired. At many many articles I read the press was rather negative which probably egged the fans on following ATP rather than the women’s game.
    I think it might be beneficial as the tour will have more say in how to manage/promote themselves and the players. I like they are trying to give some space to lesser known people on their web site now in the Getting to Know section.


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