WTA & Perform Announce Landmark Deal
Published December 25, 2011 12:00
ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The WTA has announced a landmark four year deal with PERFORM that will see the digital sports specialist manage and exploit the WTA's Premier tournament media rights for the period 2013-2016. The agreement 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.
The deal will cover the 22 Premier WTA events, including the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships. PERFORM has acquired all media rights to the WTA's Premier tournaments and will oversee the overall development and media optimization of these events outside of the United States and Canada.
"By partnering with a digital specialist in PERFORM, we will be able to merge technology across digital and broadcast, ensuring maximum worldwide exploitation of our Premier events on multiple platforms," said WTA Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster. "WTA content will be delivered to our fans, commercial partners and members in a more compelling and efficient manner than ever."
"The WTA is a fantastic property, with its centralized Premier package offering daily coverage for 24 weeks across 22 events of world class live sport," said PERFORM's Simon Denyer. "There are very few sports properties that can match WTA for quality, volume and frequency. This new partnership allows us to implement a comprehensive digital strategy whilst also playing an active role in the significant expansion of the television coverage and distribution."
The digital sports media company - who already provide the WTA with a range of web, live streaming and mobile services - plan to double the current live match production levels and improve the availability of ancillary content packages across all media platforms with a weekly magazine programme, e-Player coverage, and hourly news output in at least seven languages. By increasing both the number of days and courts produced, PERFORM will significantly increase accessibility of WTA tennis across all platforms.
PERFORM will partner with IEC in Sports to sell, distribute and manage all broadcast relationships. The partners will begin formal distribution discussions in the New Year simultaneously with pan-regional and national broadcasters. In addition, PERFORM will provide extensive coverage of the WTA on all its digital platforms, including TennisTV.com (the WTA and ATP World Tour's official live streaming subscription website), and ePlayer (PERFORM's sports VOD broadcast platform that reaches over 90 million sports fans each month).
With respect to PERFORM's partnership with IEC in Sports, Denyer added: "We have a very longstanding partnership with IEC in Sports in tennis dating back to 2005 that has been extremely successful for both parties. They know the day-to-day tennis tour extremely well and we already work together on many WTA International and ATP 250 tournaments every year, so we are delighted to extend this strong relationship to cover the WTA's Premier events. IEC in Sports will lead us in the key broadcast discussions around the world and we will also look to expand our current production and content distribution partnership."
Nick Haigh, Chairman of the International Board at IEC in Sports, said: "We are delighted to work with PERFORM on its partnership with the WTA and such a prestigious series of rights. Tennis is a sport we know extremely well having enjoyed a prominent role in the distribution of a large number of tennis events for well over a decade. We are also pleased to be able to extend and increase our longstanding relationship with PERFORM. We feel that this unique partnership will greatly provide strategic and commercial benefit to all parties."
Over the past 18 months, the WTA has secured $80 million in revenues through the signing of major new sponsors in Europe (Oriflame) and Asia-Pacific (Peak and Jetstar), the signing of BNP Paribas and its Turkish partner TEB as co-title sponsors of the WTA's year-end finale in Istanbul, the signing of Rolex as a sponsor of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships, a series of renewals with existing partners and securing of additional year-end WTA Championships revenues. Additionally, WTA attendance in 2011 at Premier events is up 12% from 2010 and television viewership is up 73% from 2010 to 2011.