GCI Group named agency of record by Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

30 May, 2007


New York, NY (May 30, 2007) – The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, the world's premier professional sport for women, has selected GCI as its global agency of record after a competitive pitch. GCI Group beat two other finalists to win the business and will lead the account out of its New York-based sports practice.

“Sony Ericsson WTA Tour players have a unique popularity and appeal beyond sport, and now was the right time for us to enlist ongoing agency support in the area of lifestyle and consumer media,” said Andrew Walker, Vice President, Communications, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. “GCI illustrated an impressive understanding of our business, great creativity and a clear plan for how communications could drive future success and continued growth for the Tour.”

GCI will enlist a cross-geography team to support the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour with New York serving as the hub for North America and the firm’s London office operating as the nerve center for Europe. Core agency responsibilities include garnering off-sports and lifestyle media, elevating executive visibility, developing player brand plans and offering strategic counsel around issues, sponsor name utilization and content creation.

“We have been privileged to support the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour during some very exciting times in its history, including the recent announcement of equal prize money at Wimbledon,” said Steve Bonsignore, Group Vice President, GCI Group, who leads the firm’s sports practice. “In many ways, women’s tennis has been a pioneering sport in our society, so the opportunity to expand our relationship and establish a partnership with such a preeminent organization is a great source of pride for all of us.”

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is the latest addition to GCI Sports, a newly-introduced specialty within the company dedicated to sports marketing. The group counsels clients within the sports world, including Nike, while also supporting sports-related initiatives for clients in the broader North American consumer marketing practice, a group that includes Payless, Pioneer Electronics, Radio Shack, Rémy Martin, Schick and Whole Foods among its diverse portfolio.

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About Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is the world’s largest premier professional sport for women with more than 1,300 players representing 75 nations competing for

over $62 million in prize money at the Tour’s 62 events in 35 countries. More than 4.6 million people attended women’s tennis events in 2006 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour season concludes with the Sony Ericsson Championships at the Madrid Arena in Madrid, Spain, November 6-11, 2007. Further information on the Tour can be found on the Internet at www.sonyericssonwtatour.com.

About GCI

GCI Group is a global leader in the public relations industry and part of the WPP family of communications services companies. Its success extends across four practice areas, including healthcare, corporate, consumer and digital media. The firm is committed to being knowledgeable and agile enough to meet the dramatically changing needs of its clients and is breaking new ground in the delivery of sophisticated digital media strategies, breakthrough creativity, and practice excellence. The foundation of all its offerings is a focus on making the business case for communication through the alignment of communication recommendations and business objectives. GCI serves a broad base of multinational clients including Dell, Lowe's, Nike, RadioShack, Schick, Boehringer Ingelheim and Starbucks.

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