Sports / Tennis

WTA to celebrate 40th anniversary this year

( Updated: 2013-01-25 14:33

The Women's Tennis Association will honor its four decades of growth and achievements throughout 2013 with a season-long campaign named 40 LOVE.

Following a successful year in 2012 that saw record prize money, tournament attendance and television viewership, in addition to new highs in social and digital media numbers, the WTA will continue pushing the growth of women's tennis in emerging markets and through a focus on increased fan engagement around the world. Before the women's singles semifinals at the Australian Open, Tennis Australia honored the WTA's milestone, in addition to inducting Judy Dalton, member of the Original 9, into their Hall of Fame.

Founded by Billie Jean King in 1973, the WTA proudly counts many pioneering accomplishments, including the successful campaign for equal prize money. The 40 LOVE campaign will showcase the pioneers of the game and the current stars that have contributed to the ongoing success of women's professional tennis and the WTA.

"Guided by the leadership of Billie Jean King and together with four generations of iconic ambassadors, the WTA is proud to have evolved as the global leader of women's professional sport," said Stacey Allaster, WTA chairman and CEO. "The ability to offer more than $100 million in prize money at the WTA's 54 events and four Grand Slams in 33 countries is a testament to those who believed in Billie's vision."

Maria Sharapova, the world No 2 women's player, said: "Having the opportunity to be part of the cherished history and growth of women's professional tennis is very humbling.

"Each week we play for millions of tennis fans around the world, and to see the sport getting even stronger, is inspirational to all of us."

To mark its 40th anniversary, the WTA plans to roll out a multi-faceted marketing campaign, #WTA40LOVE, that will include promotions across its tournaments.

This campaign, scheduled to launch before the Indian Wells tournament in March, will feature its players; digital and social media content celebrating the past, present and future of the sport; and a series of events honoring 40 years of the world's leading global sport for women, headlined by a gathering of former World No1s in London, during Wimbledon.

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