The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has extended its longstanding global sponsorship agreement with airport retailer Dubai Duty Free for a further three years.
The multi-million dollar partnership, which began in 2004, sees Dubai Duty Free continue as one of the WTA's premier sponsors until 2014.
The new deal will also see the implementation of a number of new initiatives, including the Dubai Duty Free Player Ambassador Programme to be supported by a number of top players. In addition, the retailer will sponsor the WTA's year-end world number one singles and doubles awards and serve as the presenting sponsor of the association’s pre-Wimbledon party in London.
Dubai Duty Free’s commitment to women’s tennis includes ownership and title sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, an equal prize money top-level Premier tournament in the Middle East.
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"Dubai Duty Free has been a loyal partner to the WTA for many years and I am thrilled that the world's leading duty free retailer and the number one global sport for women will continue our successful partnership," said Stacey Allaster, chairman and chief executive of the WTA.
"A supporter of equal prize money and a true visionary for the sport in the Middle East and beyond, Dubai Duty Free has been a longstanding leader in growing women's tennis around the world,” added Allaster.
Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman of Dubai Duty Free, said: "We have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the WTA over the years, and our sponsorship of the women's tour has evolved well since 2004. Our new agreement provides Dubai Duty Free with an even wider global reach, through the TV and online aspects, while also bringing our brand closer to the players through initiatives such as the Brand Ambassador programme and the Awards scheme. We are looking forward to rolling out our plans in the coming weeks."
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According to a release announcing the deal, over the past 18 months the WTA has secured US$160 million in revenues through the signing of a string of new sponsors. New backers that have signed up during that period include Oriflame, Peak, Jetstar, BNP Paribas and its Turkish partner TEB as co-title sponsors of the WTA's year-end Championships in Istanbul, and Rolex as a sponsor of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships. Meanwhile, a number of existing partners have also renewed their deals.
In December, the WTA signed a landmark four-year deal with digital sports specialist Perform that is expected to double the overall exposure for WTA tennis through a significant increase in the production of WTA content, the development of new platforms, and an enhanced focus on digital distribution.
Additionally, WTA attendance in 2011 at Premier events is up 12 per cent and television audiences have grown 73 per cent from 2010 to 2011.