SINGAPORE - The WTA is celebrating today the groundbreaking success of the 44th edition of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, the first year Singapore has hosted the WTA finale. New milestones were set with record highs for attendance, TV viewing and online audiences, as fans from around the world traveled to Singapore and tuned in to the 10-day sports-entertainment extravaganza from October 17 to 26, showcasing the best female athletes in the world.
Central to the vision to transform the year-end event into a premium, compelling sports entertainment experience, this year's event staged a series of brand new features, including a Fan Festival held around the state-of-the-art Singapore Sports Hub as well as events throughout the city, the WTA Legends Classic, WTA Rising Stars Invitational and the WTA Future Stars Junior Road To Singapore.
The event attracted more than 129,000 fans to the Singapore Sports Hub during the 10 days of tennis, entertainment and business with more than 93,000 attending the matches at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Center Court. The final matches on Sunday, October 26 alone drew sell-out crowds of 9,986 fans as spectators saw defending champion Serena Williams defeat Simona Halep to hoist the Billie Jean King Trophy in the singles event and Cara Black and Sania Mirza defeat Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai to take home the newly-created WTA Finals Martina Navratilova Doubles Trophy. Four of the 11 sessions were sold out, with all sessions being near-capacity as the attendance mark was the highest since 2000 at Madison Square Garden in New York. A record $6.5 million prize money was on offer.
Milestones of success included a record TV broadcast footprint of 177 countries, 63 broadcasters and more than 4,500 hours of coverage. The number of global media in attendance tripled in comparison with 2013. Also, throughout the 10-day event coverage, across wtatennis.com, wtafinals.com and mobile sites, there was an overall increase of 127.6% in page views, including a 266.7% growth in wtafinals.com. Mobile page views more than doubled from 2013, with an increase of 182.4%.
This year's WTA Finals set new records across web and social media, engaging more than 60 million fans online over the entire tournament. Facebook reach during the event was 26 million. Hashtag #WTAFinals and related terms were mentioned over 300,000 times on social media and featured on the SAP Social Media Wall on-site as a part of the interactive Fan Zone. Meanwhile, the official WTA Finals app, powered by SAP, has been downloaded 22,000 times in 14 days since it was launched.
In 2014 the WTA delivered exclusive behind the scenes content, including multiple broadcasts of WTA Live. Fans around the world were able to watch the singles and doubles draw ceremonies live, as well as interact with players via WTA Live All Access Hour presented by Xerox. Also, for the first time at the WTA Finals, Twitter Mirror was used on court to collect player signatures and images for fans.
The Road To Singapore promotion campaign that lasted all season long included branding, a Road To Singapore Leaderboard, PR, editorial and advertising. The campaign featured innovations such as an online poll for fans to choose their favorite WTA Rising Star player to compete at the WTA Rising Stars Invitational event, which generated 700,000 votes, plus exclusive content throughout the season.
"The BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global has been transformed into the most fan-friendly sport-entertainment spectacle in the illustrious history of our sport's season-ending finale," said Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman & CEO. "In our historic first year of the WTA Finals in Asia-Pacific and Singapore, our players once again showcased through their athleticism and competitive spirit to win and demonstrated match after match why women's tennis is the world's leading professional sport for women. The mission to integrate our Legends and Rising Stars into the event, expand the format to showcase doubles even more and bring the tennis environment closer to the fans through greater accessibility than ever before is a fantastic start in this first of five years in Singapore. I want to thank our amazing fans and partners - World Sport Group, Singapore Tourism Board and Sport Singapore - for all of their efforts in making our inaugural WTA Finals in APAC the best in the history of the WTA."
"This year's BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global was an incredible event with a great atmosphere," said WTA Finals champion and World No.1 Serena Williams. "Singapore is an amazing city and their fans and the organizers have been fantastic hosts during these past 10 days. I can't wait to compete again next year with the goal of being back in Singapore in 2015."
"We are thrilled by the phenomenal success of the inaugural BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global," said World Sport Group CEO Andrew Georgiou. "Singaporeans and fans from abroad have really embraced the WTA Finals, showing up in full force over the 10-day festival to watch some of the best tennis in 2014. We set ourselves the goal to have over 100,000 fans attend the various activities throughout, and we are delighted that we have well and truly exceeded that target."
"In addition to the amazing atmosphere created by the fans, the feedback from our corporate partners, media and the entire tennis community has been extraordinary," Georgiou added.
"There is little doubt that this event is now a must-attend event on the Singapore calendar."
At a Glance: Top 15 Statistics
? 475,000,684 homes reached by TV globally
? 26,000,000 reach on Facebook from October 14 to 26
? 13,200,000 page views across wtatennis.com, wtafinals.com web and mobile sites
? 11,500,000 impressions on Twitter for entire tournament
? US$6,500,000 prize money on offer in 2014
? 700,000 votes were tallied by fans globally to choose the WTA Rising Stars Invitational players
? 129,000 spectators and 93,000 fans flocked to the Singapore Sports Hub to enjoy 10 days of sport and entertainment in the stadium as well as in the Fan Zone, which offered free access to the public
? 100,000+ mentions on social media for hashtag #WTAFinals
? 22,000 downloads in two weeks since the official WTA Finals App powered by SAP was launched
? More than 310 media attended
? 127.6% increase in online audiences on wtatennis.com, wtafinals.com and mobile over 2013
? 182.4% increase in mobile traffic to wtafinals.com compared to 2013
? 29 official sponsor and supplier partners for WTA Finals
? 8 different countries represented by the Top 8 players
? 22 years - Serena Williams just completed a three-peat as WTA Finals champion, the last time that happened was 22 years ago when Monica Seles won three straight from 1990 to 1992