Steve Simon, CEO of the WTA Tour, talked about the economic situation of tennis, crowds and courts in a long interview. He said: “The players have been very understanding in understanding that we need to go on and hold on to our tournaments.
We need to keep them healthy, and we need to make sure that the financial model works even when they take place without fans in the stands or with a limited number, because I don't think we will be able to have full stadiums before the end of next year, or maybe even before 2022.
I think it is necessary to compliment both tournaments and to the players for what they have done this year. The prize pools will not return to normal, there is no doubt about it. Like everyone else, our athletes have had a difficult season from an economic point of view, and the same goes for tournaments.
The latter have worked to contain losses, not to gain. I think the policy we have adopted this year with prize money helps both tournaments and players. And, I repeat, it was one of those moments in which we managed to form a group, and the players were fantastic in that sense.
The same goes for the tournaments, because as mentioned they did not find themselves working in ideal conditions. Of course the prize pools will be reduced, but we worked with the players and asked them: what do you want us to do with the distribution of the money? The decision was shared and I believe he produced a fair model.
More money will tend to go to those who lose in the early rounds or qualifiers, because they are the most affected bands. For this reason we must give credit to the most successful players, those with the highest ranking, because they have endorsed this decision and without their approval it would not have been possible to do so.
The decision-making process was positive, especially if we think that this is a topic nobody wants to talk about."
News about the WTA Tour
WTA launches a new logo and also reveals a new WTA For The Game campaign. The rebranding, which includes the first redesign of the WTA logo in 10 years, coincides with the announcement of a simplified numerical naming system for WTA tournaments.
The new branding and marketing campaign will be fully integrated across the WTA, including television graphics, print materials, tournament branding, advertising, promotion, and digital and social media. The new WTA brand image incorporates a dynamic reworking of the familiar letters W, T and A - with a tennis ball serving as the crossbar of the A - and marks a return to a tennis player's silhouette.
The service action depicted in the logo was emphasized for its literal and figurative meaning for the WTA. The serve is the only shot in tennis where the player is in absolute control and is where the rally starts. "From both a sporting and a business perspective, we were inspired by the inherent qualities of leadership, courage and shared goals of the WTA and aimed to provide a brand strategy and visual platform that players and tournaments could use to amplify this powerful message.
Fans are fascinated by individual skills and athleticism, but they also invest deeply in what motivates these women on and off the pitch. Exploring these driving forces is a key element of the brand," said Jessica Murphy, general manager of Landor Australia.
WTA For The Game campaign will be highlighted by multiple consumer touchpoints, including 30- and 60-second commercials and influencer stories that will be broadcast, posted and posted on WTA player, tournament and affiliate channels.
To enhance brand synergy and at the same time create consistency for tennis fans, the tournaments will have access to a variety of marketing materials, aimed at introducing many WTA female athletes. In planning this rebranding, the WTA partnered with the ATP to create consistency and alignment in professional tennis.
Starting in 2021, both tours will share the same level of tournament and nomenclature system to create simplicity for fans and consumers. Moving forward, WTA events will now be classified as WTA 1000 (incorporating the former Premier Mandatory and Premier 5 tournaments); WTA 500 (formerly Premier 700); WTA 250 (international); and WTA 125 (125K series).
The revised nomenclature is not tied to specific ranking points (which remain the same) or cash prizes, it is a categorical system to help define WTA tournament levels.