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WTA reveals comprehensive rebrand and marketing campaign

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced a new corporate identity to “redefine the organisation’s strength as a collective unit of inspiring athletes and tournaments.”

The rebranding includes the WTA’s first logo redesign in 10 years and coincides with the announcement of a simplified numerical naming system for WTA tournaments.

Alongside a new identity, a new ‘WTA For The Game’ campaign has been launched, aimed at creating deeper connections with fans.

History of the WTA dates back to 1973 after Billie Jean King, together with like-minded colleagues, formed an association that now represents one of the leading global sports for women, with some of the most recognisable names across all sports, with 32 countries and regions represented in the Top 100 of the WTA Rankings. It's this history that has provided the inspiration for the ‘WTA For The Game’ campaign.

Developed for the WTA by design agency Landor Australia, the new brand identity and marketing campaign will be integrated across the WTA, including featuring on television graphics, print materials, tournament branding, advertising, promotion and digital and social media.

New Logo

The WTA’s new logo sees a rework of the iconic and important letters W, T and A. The serve action that can be seen from the silhouette of the female tennis player represents both literal and figurative significance. It is the only shot in the game where a payer has complete control and where the points begins. On the other hand, it represents the fearless initiative taken by the founders of the WTA who become trailblazers for female tennis players today. The symbol also subtly hints at the global nature of tennis by framing the athlete within a circle.

"The WTA is built on the grit, passion and determination of generations of athletes and tournament promoters," said Micky Lawler, President of the WTA and head of marketing initiatives. "Our new logo embraces the visual language of tennis ad celebrates heroic women who come together ‘For The Game.’ We will wear it as a badge of pride and a reminder of the power of unity among strong individuals – by joining forces, we build something bigger than ourselves."

Marketing Campaign: ‘WTA For The Game’

The campaign will be shown through a 30 and 60 second commercial spot, as well as influencer stories that will be broadcast, published and posted across WTA player, tournament and affiliate channels. WTA tournaments will be given access to marketing collateral, including being able to feature athletes to meet their individual promotional needs.

Fans will be provided with insights into the individual narratives of players as they describe their own personal journeys into tennis and the moments that have shaped them. Fan engagement will also be a part of the campaign at the beginning of the 2021 season.

Jessica Murphy, General Manager of Landor Australia said: "From both the sporting and business perspective, we were inspired by the WTA’s inherent qualities of leadership, fearlessness and shared purpose, and aimed to deliver a brand strategy and visual platform that players and tournaments could use to amplify this powerful message.

"Fans are enthralled by individual skill and athleticism, but they also invest deeply in what motivates these head-turning women on and off court. Exploring these driving forces – the similarities and differences – is a key element of the brand."

Revamped Tournament Categories

The WTA worked alongside the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) to create consistency and alignment across professional tennis. From 2021, the tours will share the same tournament tier and nomenclature system, making for a simpler system for fans and consumers. WTA events will be categorised as WTA 100 (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 will not be tied to specific ranking points (which stay the same) or prize money, it will be a categorical system to help define WTA tournament levels.

"Fans really respond to the unified approach which tennis is uniquely able to provide," said Lawler.

"We see it with ticket sales at combined women’s and men’s tournaments, viewership on shared broadcast platforms and the popularity of the ‘Tennis United’ digital content series co-created by the WTA and ATP amidst the challenges of 2020. Adopting this streamlined tournament naming system is 100% about making it easier for WTA fans, corporate partners and the media to engage and follow our sport."

Author: Jake Wilkin