The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced the signing of Chinese clothing brand Erke as official partner and supplier of sports apparel for all on-court officials at the 2012 and 2013 editions of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
Under terms of the deal, Erke will provide clothing for all chair umpires, linespeople, ball kids and on-court TV camera crew at the season finale over the next two years. Additionally, the company will be permitted to develop a premium products line, co-branded with the WTA Championships, specifically for the event which features the worldâ€™s top eight singles players and top four doubles teams competing for the coveted title and a share of $4.9 million in prize money.
â€œWe are excited to partner with Erke as we showcase women’s tennis to the world at our season-ending TEB-BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul ,â€ said Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA. â€œOur year-end Championships will serve as a spectacular stage for Erke to continue to grow its brand to an international audience.â€
â€œERKE has been focused on tennis marketing for many years. To ERKE, tennis is more than a sport; it is the best alignment of ERKE’s brand culture. The partnership with the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships is a perfect stage to show the ERKE brand image to the worldâ€ said Wu Rongguang, Chairman and President of ERKE.
Having built its profile through marketing efforts ranging from the sponsorship of Olympic athletes to support of football teams, Erke has become increasingly involved in professional tennis in recent years. Since 2009, the company has signed sponsorship agreements with several tennis players, including Belgian Yanina Wickmayer and American Vania King. Already Official Apparel Partner of the ATPâ€™s Shanghai Masters tournament from 2009 to 2013, Erkeâ€™s deal with the WTA marks another milestone in its strategy to be a force not just in the booming Chinese tennis market, but internationally.