Sony Ericsson unveils game changing innovations to take women’s tennis to next level of fan entertainment
Global title sponsorship to yield technology and television innovations designed to make game more fan friendly and interactive on television and at tournament sites
22 March 2006, LONDON, United Kingdom – Sony Ericsson and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced today the unveiling of a series of groundbreaking technological and television innovations that will greatly enhance the sport for television and live viewers of women’s professional tennis across the globe.
The package of innovation changes, which follows on the heels of the first-ever introduction of electronic line calling at the NASDAQ-100 Open, includes (1) pre-match player interviews so fans can hear what players are thinking as they are about to step on the court; (2) coaches interviews during matches; (3) placing of wireless microphones on players during practice; (4) enhanced microphones on court and in the umpire’s chair to bring the true sound of play to viewers at home; and (5) coordination with broadcasters to reduce on-air pre-match warm ups so that TV viewers are taken right to match action.
Today’s announcement represents the fulfillment of one of the central promises of Sony Ericsson’s landmark 6-year, $88 million global title sponsorship of the WTA Tour signed in January 2005 – to make the sport more fan friendly, interactive and innovative through the intersection of sport with technology. The new initiatives follow several technological and music innovations unveiled in 2005 by Sony Ericsson, including the introduction of live scoring and enhanced content to fans’ mobile phones, the launch of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour “Girls on Tour” website which includes player diaries, ring-tones, games and other unique content, and bringing of live Sony BMG music acts to select Tour events.
“Sony Ericsson’s sponsorship of women’s tennis is all about using innovation to take the game to the next level of entertainment,” said Dee Dutta, Sony Ericsson’s CVP and head of global marketing. “Sport is entertainment, and the package of changes announced today is another important step in the direction of making the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour a more fan friendly, interactive and exciting spectator sport. Watch this space as there is more exciting change to come”
“Our fans and broadcasters are telling us that they want to get closer to our players, and to feel the incredible athleticism and energy that is women’s professional tennis,” said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. “Through our partnership with Sony Ericsson we are making that desire a reality. Fans watching at home on TV and at our tournaments will now be able to experience the excitement, sounds and speed of women’s tennis like never before.”
“These are great initiatives. We really believe that these innovations will enhance our viewers’ experience and interest, as well as make them feel closer to their favorite players,” said Geraldine Filiol, Deputy Managing Director at Eurosport.
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