SINGAPORE - WTA CEO Steve Simon announced today the launch of WTA Networks, a new digital media and marketing division that will deliver tennis fans the highest-quality, on- and off-the-court content available anywhere.
WTA Networks will completely revamp the WTA's owned and controlled channels, wtatennis.com and branded social channels. The new digital and social content platform, creative look and feel and enhanced user experience will launch on January 1, 2017 at www.wtatennis.com and via a mobile app for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.
"Today, the WTA is a major sports league and we see this step in our digital and social evolution as transformational, for all involved, especially tennis fans, and are hugely committed to this venture financially," Simon noted. "We have dedicated a great amount of resources to ensure that the content on the WTA Networks is exceptional and delivers for our players and our partners, and engages our fans. Our goal is simple - take our fans on tour with us and experience the WTA like never before."
Through innovative digital storytelling, the new WTA Networks venture is poised to create a top destination for tennis news and content, giving fans unprecedented, behind-the-scenes access to star athletes and the inner world of tennis.
The WTA is working with The Social Channel, a leading full-service digital marketing, sales and content development company based in New York City. The company was founded by seasoned digital entrepreneurs including Rob Dwek and Mike McGraw who bring a deep network and extensive experience in digital content creation, social media, technology and brand integration to the team.
"Our aim is to revolutionize the way women's tennis is consumed, distributed and monetized and, through this relationship with the WTA, we are sure we will do just that," said Mike McGraw, co-CEO of The Social Channel. "Our deep understanding of the content that builds audiences for major US networks and having worked with some of the biggest names in tennis, we know the sport, the business of tennis, the fans and how brands benefit from leveraging tennis. We are thrilled to be working with the WTA and are certain WTA Networks will be the go-to digital channel for women's tennis and an ideal partner for brands looking to engage the same target."
"We are committed to delivering compelling digital and social content to the WTA for the WTA Finals in Singapore and other events," said Rob Dwek, co-CEO of The Social Channel. "In just the last five days since starting to deliver fresh content from the WTA Finals Singapore, early returns are far exceeding anything we have seen in the history of this event. Video views are up 1263.28 per cent, new users up 20.23 per cent, mobile users up 28.87 per cent, engagement of posts up 199.35 per cent, referrals from social up 65.29 per cent, and to date our videos are eight of the top 15 videos viewed ever on any WTA digital channel."
The WTA is working with top-tier technology companies including Ooyala, Microsoft, Greenfly and Domo to provide a seamless, rich content experience across its websites, mobile apps and social platforms. Furthermore, a brand identity has been developed for the new digital and social division with a logo that aligns with the WTA corporate brand and reflects the nature of the WTA Networks' core remit. A tagline "The Pulse of Women's Tennis" will support the positioning of this new division and its aim to be the primary destination for fans following the tour.