SBJ/May 13-19, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Singapore delivers dollars for WTA

The WTA should reap more than $75 million in total value from its five-year deal, announced last week, to place its season-ending championships in Singapore from 2014 through 2018.

World Sport Group’s Andrew Georgiou (second from left) and WTA’s Stacey Allaster with Singapore executives
Photo by: GETTY IMAGES
That figure includes prize money to be paid to players ($6.5 million in year one), rights fees to the WTA, and marketing from the Singapore tourism group hosting the event.

WTA Chief Executive Stacey Allaster declined to say specifically how much the tour would receive but said it was more than the $14 million annually the circuit now enjoys from its deal with Istanbul. That deal ends after this year.

Including the new Singapore event, recent sponsorships, and a new European TV deal, Allaster said the WTA has raised $200 million in committed funds in the last several years.
Photo by: SPORTS HUB PTE LTD

Asked whether the tour would be better off in New York, where the championships event enjoyed some if its greatest success during its 1979-1990 run there, Allaster responded, “We had a terrific run in the [Madison Square] Garden, no doubt.” But, she added, at that time the tour was a North American-based operation. With the addition of Singapore, the WTA will now have more events in Asia-Pacific than any other area of the globe, underscoring the migration of tennis away from the United States.

The WTA decided to go with a five-year term in Singapore instead of the three-year runs in Istanbul and, before that, in Doha, Qatar, because more time is needed to build momentum, Allaster said. In Istanbul, year one was about getting started; year two was counted as a huge success; but now year three is about saying goodbye.

The Singapore event will includes singles, doubles, legends and future stars and will occur at a $1 billion sports hub now under construction.

Lagardère unit World Sport Group, with support from the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore Tourism Board, represented Singapore in securing the bid.

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