After a long and patient search, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has finally found itself a title sponsor. The WTA’s stance in the case of Chinese player Peng Shuai has helped the organization land a multi-year title sponsorship deal with American medical device maker Hologic, on Thursday.
In December, the WTA said it would suspend events in China, a decision that could cost the women’s tour hundreds of millions of dollars in broadcasting and sponsorship. The strong stance, despite its losses, has turned out to garner huge advantages in the long run.
WTA and Hologic pen sponsorship deal
On Thursday, it was confirmed that Hologic had struck a deal with the WTA to be their title sponsor. The Hologic deal is the first for the WTA since its previous title sponsorship with cellphone manufacturer Sony Ericsson ended in 2010. WTA president Micky Lawler declined to disclose the terms of the deal but told the New York Times that it comes at a very, very good time.
Lisa Hellmann, a senior vice president at Hologic, revealed that the stance on Peng Shuai definitely played a role in getting the deal done, acting more as a catalyst than a deciding factor.
“I would consider it more a catalyst to the conversation than the deciding factor,” said Lisa Hellman.
Lisa continued that the organization were impressed by the strong integrity that WTA exhibited through their stand, and were thus monitoring the situation. She also stated that this incident had brought to their notice the WTA potentially wanting title sponsors.
“We’ve been watching very closely some of the brave and really high-integrity moves that the WTA has made almost by themselves. And that brought to our attention both the potential need they may have for title sponsorship,”- added Hellman.
In December, the WTA said it would suspend events in China in the wake of the Peng Shuai alleged sexual harassment case, a decision that could cost the women’s tour hundreds of millions of dollars in broadcasting and sponsorship.