ST. PETERSBURG, FL, USA - As it celebrates its 40th year of existence, the WTA has announced an enhanced digital offering for fans of women's tennis that features a redesigned WTA official website and mobile site with richer content and improved navigation, as well as the launching of a new app designed to bring fans closer to their favorite players and events than ever before.
The WTA's social media and digital network growth has fueled the development of the sport's fanbase in recent years, with the online community of women's tennis now embracing more than 52 million fans around the world, including the WTA's own social media and digital platforms and those of its players across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Sina Weibo, QQ and Baidu, among others. In addition to its own platforms, the WTA serves as community manager for the social media pages of 25 WTA players. In China alone, the WTA's social media community totals more than 29.3 million fans, led by 2011 French Open champ Li Na, who recently passed 15 million fans on her Sina Weibo page.
"When Billie Jean King founded the WTA in 1973, no one imagined how digital media would bring our sport and our players closer to the millions of tennis fans worldwide," said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO. "Four decades later, social media and digital delivery of both on-court and off-court content is a strategic priority as we look to grow the sport and engage with fans with our players and tournaments wherever they are."
In December 2012, the official WTA Facebook page surpassed the one million "Likes" milestone and the WTA website, WTATennis.com, was re-launched to provide an enhanced user experience and to better showcase the sport. Building on that momentum, in January 2013 an official WTA app was launched on iOS and Android, with further digital enhancements to come on the WTA's international websites and mobile sites throughout the rest of the season.
2013 also marks the first of an innovative four-year partnership with UK-based Perform, which will deliver more tennis content than ever before across traditional broadcast and digital platforms, as more than 400 matches and 16,000 hours will be produced from 22 Premier events. With a focus on multi-platform distribution, WTA content will be accessible on the world's largest ePlayer; a monthly TV and digital magazine show; a television and digital news service that is translated into seven languages; and increased content on both iOS and Android mobile devices.
The WTA App is available for iOS and Android to download at http://road.ie/wta.
WTA SOCIAL NETWORKING TOP 10 (Facebook, Twitter and Sina Wiebo - as of January 28, 2013):
15.3 M Li Na
9.7 M Maria Sharapova
5.0 M Serena Williams
2.1 M Venus Williams
1.5 M Sania Mirza
1.1 M Caroline Wozniacki
1.1M Zheng Jie
884k Ana Ivanovic
537k Victoria Azarenka
226k Sabine Lisicki