SBJ/July 22-28, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Tseng will lead WTA’s global sponsorship sales

Editor’s note: This story is revised from the print edition.

The WTA has tabbed a longtime IMG executive to become its first head of global sponsorship sales, and charged him with finding a top sponsor for the international tour.

Steve Tseng, a 20-year veteran of IMG, will take over the role and report directly to WTA CEO Stacey Allaster. Previously, the sales role fell under the marketing department.

TSENG
Tseng, who most recently was senior vice president in the IMG US Business Development Group, starts next week.

“We need to find an international company hitting the geographics where our tournaments are,” Tseng said of the characteristics he would seek in a lead sponsor for the tour. “It’s a small universe, but I am 100 percent sure that company does exist out there.”

IMG remains the outside sales agency for the WTA, meaning Tseng will work with his former employer jointly in the search for a lead sponsor. Tseng is relocating from the west coast with his wife and three kids to St. Petersburg, Fla., where the WTA is headquartered.

Previously, the WTA’s sales function operated under the tour’s chief marketing officer, Andrew Walker.

While the tour has been unable to find a replacement for its previous top sponsor Sony, it has had a nice run with other deals in recent years, including adding Xerox, BNP Paribas and Rolex.

Sony Ericsson became title sponsor in 2004, but in 2010 it downsized its role from title to lead sponsor. That deal expired in 2012.

The WTA, now through Tseng, is seeking a major top sponsor, but it would not include a title sponsor of the tour.

The WTA also hired Rory Renwick as senior director of business development for Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He will report to Tseng.

Renwick has been head of sponsorship, Asia, for Phar Partnerships, based in Singapore, where he represented a number of brands and rights holders within travel, sports and entertainment.
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