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Women’s tennis reinvents its marketing strategy

The WTA signs the largest sponsorship in its history and multiplies its income.

February 2020. The winds of growth are blowing and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTAfor its acronym in English) wants to take advantage of this bullish current to recover the figure of the global sponsor lost in 2018 with the march of Sony. The women’s tournament currently has five major sponsors: SAP, Porchla OTT china iQiyi, Dubai Duty Freey Whoopthe training bracelet of the NBA. Among its partners is also Amazon Prime, which has exclusive television rights in the UK and Ireland. The WTA’s business is growing apace, but the pandemic of Covid will test your resilience.

“The health crisis forced us to suspend more than half of the 54 tournaments planned for 2020. A financial and sporting blow that we overcome thanks to the support of our sponsors,” he explains. Micky Lawlerpresident of the WTA, in an interview with EXPANSIN.

The female tennis he was able to see that, in the middle of a pandemic, health was the key factor to generate income. “Covid-19 highlighted the importance of mental health and allowed us to sign a sponsorship with Modern Health”. The agreement with this platform came in March 2020 and showed the way forward to achieve that goal. partner global long awaited.

A goal that was met just two years later. In March 2022 the WTA firm con Hologic the largest sponsorship deal in its history.

How did you achieve this milestone in the midst of a pandemic? “During Covid Hologic identified the need to focus on the female health. After verifying an increase in breast cancer cases, they sought an agreement with a major women’s league. That was the beginning of our alliance.”

This sponsorship significantly improves the terms of the agreement signed over a decade ago with Sony. Then, the Japanese brand left in the coffers of the WTA an estimated income of close to 90 million dollars. Hologic increase Sony figures by 70%as detailed from the WTA.

Its alliance with the technology company specializing in women not only represents an injection of millions, it has also revalued the WTA brand. “When we announced our agreement media value was 230 million of dollars. five months later exceeds 300 million“, emphasizes Lawler. “Hologic helps us at all levels and elevates the value of women in the sports landscape.”

new distribution channels

In addition to signing a historical patronagein these two years of pandemic, the WTA has also strengthened its presence in the social media to get to new audiences. “We have to satisfy the fan of the Generation Z that consumes very short content, more personal information about the life of the players, content that is very different from what was consumed 10 years ago”. Here the tennis players play a fundamental role, “they work very well on their image on social networks. From the WTA we strive to enhance those connection points,” explains Lawler.

This commitment to innovation has borne fruit. “In YouTube we have increased revenue by 154%, in Instagram we have exceeded one million followers and in our web we have increased the number of new users by 58%. Some figures supported by the joint work they carry out together with the ATPwith which they have integrated its marketing department, the web and the Social Media section. “We must speak with a single voice that allows us to reach a global fan. We talk about tennisnot women’s or men’s tennis”.

“Serena changed tennis forever”

Last September Serena Williams he said goodbye to the US Open amid heartfelt applause from dedicated fans. A tribute that pointed to his withdrawal. Although the American has left the door open to a possible return to the tracks, at 41 years old, Ella Williams is facing the end of her sports career. A goodbye that weighs heavily within the women’s circuit. With 23 Grand Slams behind her, Serena is considered by many to be the best tennis player in history. And from the WTA they recognize the immense value that her tennis has brought to the women’s championship.

Serena Williams I changed the tennis forever. Its impact cannot be measured. It has exponentially multiplied tennis at the social, economic and sports. It has brought us into a whole new economy. She and her sister, Venus de Ella, opened many doors for us, showing that it is possible and opening markets in many continents where tennis was not previously available, “says Lawler.

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