September 1, 2006
Branding: Sony Ericsson Aces It
Sony Ericsson announced this week that it would be sponsoring the Key Biscayne tournament, or the “5th Major” as it is sometimes called. The company already sponsors the WTA (women’s) Tour.
This is the fourth name change the Key Biscayne tournament has undergone since is started out in 1985 as the Lipton. Ironically, for a few years it was the Ericsson Open, before Ericsson merged with Sony, and then became the Nasdaq-100 open in 2002. Just as Andre Agassi outlasted Baghdatis last night, Sony Ericsson hopes to outlast its predecessors.
Associating a company name with an event is a proven means of building a brand in the minds of the target market. In this case, Sony Ericsson is hitting just the right consumer: women and the high income tennis fan demographic. I would guess that almost everyone watching the Key Biscayne is a potential Sony Ericsson customer.
It’s a four-year contract worth over $20 million that will give Sony Ericsson an on-court brand presence, global ad rights and promotion rights and will come with a new logo identity that promises to reflects the glamour factor of this move. This also allows the company to develop its brand name recognition in Latin American and North America.
It also means that tennis fans may see a merging of the ATP and WTA with an end of the year final in 2007 in Shanghai with the top eight men and women competing in the same venue. That, in turn, means that this sponsorship could be one of the best deals ever signed for a tennis sponsorship.
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