ST PETERSBURG, FL, USA - The WTA (Women’s Tennis Association), together with partner Gemdale Group, today officially unveiled the new WTA Finals brand for the season-ending event’s 10-year tenure in Shenzhen, China.
The climax of the tennis calendar, WTA Finals Shenzhen will see the world’s best professional women’s tennis players battle for glory in China’s fastest progressing city.
The 2019 WTA Finals Shenzhen will take place from October 27 to November 3 at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center.
To make the elite field, players compete for ranking points on the year-long Porsche Race to Shenzhen, which takes in 53 tournaments and four Grand Slam events across 29 countries. Only the top eight singles players and doubles teams qualify for the event, which this year will offer an unprecedented prize money purse of US$14 million.
The new WTA Finals Shenzhen brand, logo and campaign were unveiled at a press event held in Shenzhen, with each component reflecting the energy that Shenzhen portrays.
The WTA Finals Shenzhen brand is driven by the concept of electric momentum.
Shenzhen has experienced 40 years of rapid development, evolving into a leading global technology hub, a springboard for innovative and progressive ideas and China’s gateway to the outside world.
The skill and athleticism of the WTA’s best players is a perfect match for the forward-looking, youthful energy of Shenzhen. This city of ambition is diverse, inclusive and open, attracting the young and talented looking to realize their dreams and aspirations.
These two unstoppable forces will combine to create a truly memorable experience for fans – a celebration of the prowess and sportsmanship of professional women's tennis.
The graphical icon is formed by two sets of active ‘brushstroke’ lines that represent the back-and-forth momentum swings of a tennis match. The lines also echo the shapes of the iconic WTA Finals Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova trophies, which will be awarded to the singles and doubles champions of the WTA Finals Shenzhen.
Additionally, the six lines represent the essential elements on display at the greatest women's sporting event in the world:
The colors of the WTA Finals reference the WTA master brand:
- Purple, the main color, not only connotes power, femininity and equality, it is also a color that is associated with royalty, representing the very best in women’s tennis.
- Green is used as an accent color to reflect the players’ single-minded focus on the tennis ball and their passion for the sport.
The supergraphic is a visual representation of the surging electrical sparks created when the WTA Finals comes to life in its home of Shenzhen. The blue light graffiti lines are representative of the technological flair of Shenzhen, while the purple lines represent the vivacity and power of the WTA. The graphic is explosive and dynamic, creating an aura around the players, fans and the city, lighting up the Shenzhen sports scene.
At the WTA Finals Shenzhen, sparks are created between the two conducting forces:
- The electric energy of the city of Shenzhen
- The electric and inspirational play of the best in women’s tennis
When these two forces join at the WTA Finals Shenzhen, sparks of contagious energy, fun and excitement will fly to charge fans and visitors like no other event.
Eddy Liu, CEO of Gemdale Sports, official event promoter of the WTA Finals Shenzhen, has been appointed co-Tournament Director alongside Fabrice Chouquet, who is also Managing Director for the WTA in Asia-Pacific. The duo will share responsibilities across the various aspects of the tournament, overseeing a coordinated team effort that will capitalize on synergies to deliver a world-class premium event.
As the CEO of Gemdale Sports, Liu has been instrumental in working with parent company Gemdale Group to attract world-class professional tennis events to Shenzhen. He has led Gemdale Sports in creating talent development programs as well as charity initiatives to introduce tennis at the grassroots level. With this experience under his belt, Liu will lead the efforts in the marketing and promotion of the WTA Finals event in Shenzhen and throughout China.
Liu shared, “Gemdale Sports is thrilled to embark on this 10-year journey with the WTA. To welcome the WTA Finals to Shenzhen and ensure a smooth operation, Gemdale Group and Gemdale Sports have built a professional team which covers event operations, business developments and branding, aiming to make WTA Finals a carnival that integrates technology, fashion and creativity. We sincerely invite fans around the world to gather in Shenzhen in this October to come and experience the charm of this year-end finale. “
Chouquet was a Tour Supervisor for the WTA for 12 years, and from 2010 to 2011, he was based in Beijing to lead the WTA regional office in China. In 2014, Chouquet was appointed as the Co-Tournament Director for the Wuhan Open. The 49-year-old from France re-joined the WTA in July 2018 taking on the new role of Managing Director Asia-Pacific and Co-Tournament Director of the WTA Finals Shenzhen.
Chouquet added, “We warmly welcome Gemdale Group and Gemdale Sports into the WTA family. Over the past few months that we have worked together, we have seen their dedication and ambition to grow the WTA Finals to a level befitting of the WTA’s crown jewel event. Along with the Chinese Tennis Association, Shenzhen city government, Gemdale Group and Gemdale Sports, we are determined to bring the event to new heights and to present an unparalleled experience at the WTA Finals Shenzhen to all the fans.”
With the launch of the 2019 Porsche Race to Shenzhen, Porsche has also returned as Official and Exclusive Automotive Partner of the WTA Finals. In addition to Porsche, seven new partners have signed up to be involved in the first WTA Finals Shenzhen and these include Arte Mundi (engineered wood flooring), Ganten (drinking water), Gelaisi (ceramics), HITACHI (commercial air-conditioning), MICOE (water heater), ORIENTAL YUHONG (building waterproof materials) and PPG (paints, coatings and materials).
Steve Simon, WTA CEO and Chairman, who attended the official launch event, commented, “The WTA Finals Shenzhen marks an important milestone in the WTA’s history as it sets many tournament firsts – the first 10-year tenure, the first host city in China, and the first time prize money has reached this level. We are grateful to the Chinese Tennis Association, Shenzhen city government and our partner Gemdale Corporation and Gemdale Group for their foresight and vision to continue the legacy we have built in Asia over the past decade, and we believe that the WTA Finals Shenzhen will set new standards for this event in the years to come.”
The Porsche Race to Shenzhen continues at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week, with the current singles Leaderboard standings as follows: