100 days to the WTA Finals: insight on what it takes to put on an event of this scale
With less than 100 days to go until the 2015 edition of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, preparations are moving at full speed ahead within the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). The WTA has already announced the qualification of current World No.1 Serena Williams who will be returning to defend her title, along with reigning doubles champion Sania Mirza and her new partner Martina Hingis. Now the countdown has begun we asked Melissa Pine, Tournament Director, for some insight into what lays ahead in terms of the WTAs talent acqusition strategy and other key preperations to deliver a tournament of this scale on time and on budget:
Our Singapore office is already buzzing with excitement and come October we will see our Singapore team expand from six full-time staff to more than 60. Our colleagues will be flying in from our Florida, London and Beijing offices to deliver the biggest and most prestigious WTA event on the calendar. As a team, we will be engaging with our partners, stakeholders, sponsors, players, media and fans to make the second year in Singapore even better.
We are all on our own Road to Singapore to deliver and execute the WTA Finals. As Tournament Director, I work closely with the whole team, which is made up of various departments such as:
Our Integrated Marketing team manages and delivers exciting content to our fans through multiple platforms. WTA engages 119 million fans on our social channels and this is largely driven by our digital and content department. They gather exciting content on and off the court to ensure that fans are brought closer to our players and events. Our Communications team manages everything from the press centre, press conference room to player’s schedules for interviews. They are the people that distribute news, match statistics and results across the globe to our media partners. Our Communications team works on tight deadlines with short lead times and under pressure to deliver news in a timely manner while working closely with the players. The Marketing team works to provide a fulfilling experience at the event by developing impactful visuals and delivering lasting fan engagements.
From traditional press releases to innovative social media activities, our Integrated Marketing team is at the forefront of bringing fans closer to the event. Last year saw an increase in engagement via our digital platforms during the WTA Finals; 11,500,000 impressions on Twitter; 26,000,000 reach on Facebook and 700,000 fan votes for the WTA Rising Stars invitational.
Our Operations team is made up of the people who are responsible for delivering, managing and executing the WTA Finals. This team consists of our operations management personnel, security officers, officials and tournament supervisors who ensure that our crown jewel event is delivered to the gold standard of our brand. The final product that the fans, cameras, television viewers and players see takes months of planning and preparation to get right. Our team works with partners who will deliver on various aspects including the opening ceremony, on-court production and entertainment, public draw ceremony, match scheduling as well as execution of the matches of Future Stars, Rising Stars and Legends.
The Operations department is fantastic at juggling numerous projects and deadlines, while delivering results at the highest of standards. The hours of work that they put in behind the scene often goes unnoticed but certainly not unappreciated, as without them the WTA Finals would not be the spectacular event that we will witness in October.
Sport Sciences & Medicine
Our Sport Sciences & Medicine team plays a very crucial role because at the heart of the WTA is our players, without whom we would not have these exciting and world-class matches. They are experts in their fields such as physiotherapy, nutrition, biomechanics and massage therapy. These specialists are the first to be on court to provide immediate treatment for injuries that occur during play and offer medical advice to ensure our players are kept as healthy as possible to compete throughout the season.
Every great event is supported by great partners. The WTA Finals is no exception. Our VIP Experience team works to ensure that our partners and important guests have the best experience during their stay at the WTA Finals. This includes arranging seamless transport and comfortable accommodation, handing out accreditation passes and enjoying the best food and beverage at the event. Our team is dedicated to making sure that the warmest hospitality is received by our guests so that they will continue to support and invest in the WTA.
In addition to the WTA team, delivering the WTA Finals is a task that would not be possible without our partners and sponsors. We are lucky in Singapore that we have partners that share our vision to deliver the most exciting and inspirational sport entertainment experience on Earth. Through this we hope to encourage more people around the world to pick up a racquet and lead a healthy, active life through sport.
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