SHENZHEN, China – Gemdale Group, in partnership with the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association), announced today the world-renowned beauty company Shiseido to be the title sponsor of the WTA Finals Shenzhen. The season-ending tournament will be known as the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, with the first staging of the dynamic Chinese city’s 10-year tenure as host to take place from October 27 to November 3, 2019.
The sponsorship agreement was announced at a press conference held on Wednesday at the Hilton Nanshan in Shenzhen, China. Attendees included executives from the Chinese Tennis Association, Shenzhen City Government, Gemdale Group, Shiseido and the WTA. All guests were welcomed by future ball kids of the tournament.
CEO of Shiseido China Region, Kentaro Fujiwara said, “With our corporate mission ‘BEAUTY INNOVATIONS FOR A BETTER WORLD’, we believe that beauty has the power to change the world. Beauty can bring self-confidence and courage to us, and bring joy, happiness and new energy to the society. Since its establishment in 1872, Shiseido has constantly been offering beauty innovations that bring value to the society and hopes to revitalize sports through its efforts to integrate beauty and health. WTA is a global leader in professional sports with a founding principle of providing equal opportunities for females in professional tennis, which aligns perfectly with Shiseido’s concept to empower women. I am very happy that the WTA Finals will be held in Shenzhen, a city that leads innovation trends in China and even the world.”
As part of the partnership’s launch, Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen announced its slogan “Sparks Will Fly” to represent the energy, passion and excellence ignited by the very best in women’s tennis on the sport’s biggest stage. As part of this campaign, a video series will be produced featuring prominent female contributors to the local tennis community in China, beginning with Jennifer Zhang, the first Chinese female chair umpire on the WTA Tour.
Steve Simon, Chairman and CEO of the WTA, said, “We are thrilled to welcome Shiseido on board as title sponsor of the WTA’s flagship event. As a prestigious leader in business, Shiseido’s commitment to empower women and creating opportunities for younger generations to experience fun and inspirational events like the WTA Finals reflects a fantastic synergy between our respective brands. We are grateful to Gemdale Group for having the vision to bring the WTA Finals to this trailblazing city, and for continuing to add value by gathering an outstanding group of partners. We believe the fans are in for a real treat and look forward to a great first year of the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen.”
Alongside welcoming Shiseido to the WTA family, the WTA formalized the prize money purse on offer at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen. Beginning in 2019, total prize money for the year-end finale will equal $14 million – double the amount offered last year.
Should the singles champion at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen win all of her singles matches (three round-robin matches plus semifinal and final), she would take home a total of $4.725 million – the largest champion's check in professional tennis in 2019. The doubles champions could walk away with a total of $1 million by going undefeated.
CEO of Gemdale Sports and Co-Tournament Director, Eddy Liu, added, “It is with the support of the Shenzhen government and partners like Shiseido that we are able to present the biggest event in women’s tennis, and it is Gemdale’s pride to be leading the charge. Together with the WTA, I am confident the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen will enjoy a successful inaugural edition this year, and we will work hard to keep building over the next decade.”
Shiseido was founded in 1872 as the first Western-style pharmacy in Japan. The business has been evolved and is now one of the largest beauty companies in the world. Shiseido Group has operations in over 120 countries and regions all over the world with a total of 46,000 employees in which nearly half of them are beauty consultants who provide counselling and other services in stores and counters. As a Japanese pioneer of advanced technologies and innovations for beauty, Shiseido offers brands and products covering skincare, makeup, fragrance, professional hair and healthcare.
The Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen will be held from October 27 to November 3 at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. The eight-day event will feature the top eight singles players and doubles teams who accumulate points on the Porsche Race to Shenzhen, which takes in 53 WTA tournaments and the four Grand Slam tournaments across the course of 2019. This year, both the singles and doubles competitions will feature a round robin format, with knock-out rounds from the semifinal stage.