CSM Sport & Entertainment has got the exclusive mandate for Women’s Tennis Association’s sponsorship sales globally. The partner will have an immediate task to find the title sponsor for the WTA.
The WTA is without a title sponsor for the past ten years ever since mobile phone brand Sony Ericsson had opted out of the deal.
In 2014 the WTA appointed Phar Insight, the research division of marketing and sponsorship agency Phar, to aid the search, and was reportedly close to securing a contract for the position is 2018, but a deal never materialized.
The mandate to the agency, however, goes beyond the title sponsorship sales. : “CSM’s effort will include an assortment of sponsor support, not limited to one lead global partner,” Ross Meltzer, executive vice-president at CSM Sport & Entertainment, had told SportBusiness. “The focus for CSM will be to shine a massive spotlight on the opportunities that this well-established women’s league can offer brands, specifically those looking for meaningful engagement with consumers.”
WTA president Micky Lawler said that CSM’s strengths “line up very nicely with the strategic direction in which the WTA continues to go.
“For example, CSM delivers an established record of experience and success within tennis, specifically with its past work with the US Open. They are passionate about a dedicated approach to the WTA, free of competing sports properties, and they offer global expertise and contacts that are important to the WTA’s growth strategy.”
The WTA currently has four top-tier Global Premier Sponsors: airport retailer Dubai Duty-free, online video platform iQiyi, luxury car brand Porsche and software company SAP.
Below this sits the Global Supplier Tier, which is comprised of tennis equipment retailer Tennis Warehouse and payment services company, Cambridge Global Payments, which recently extended its agreement with the tour until 2022.
The WTA Tour is one of the world’s most prominent women’s sports platforms and claims a global audience of 700 million.
The tour’s media rights are sold by WTA Media, a joint venture between the WTA and digital sports media company DAZN Group (formerly Perform).
With 53 tournaments in 28 countries and regions, culminating in the year-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen in November, the 2020 WTA season provides plenty of inventory for CSM.