WTA Founder Leads Celebration on International Women’s Day as Lagardère Sports Launches Racquet Club Ticket Sales 

Singapore, 8 March 2018 – Event organiser and promoter Lagardère Sports, together with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), kicked off the finale campaign of the 2018 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global today at the National Gallery Singapore. The launch of the campaign marks the countdown to the last edition of the WTA Finals to be held in Singapore. The tournament will take place from 21 – 28 October at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Attended by guest-of-honour, Billie Jean King, the event kicked off sales for tickets to the Racquet Club, the award-winning premium hospitality offering at the WTA Finals. In addition, Lagardère Sports announced a fundraising initiative as a part of Advantage Singapore: The Final Serve, a programme dedicated to community engagement efforts.

In conjunction with International Women’s Day, WTA Founder Billie Jean King led close to 200 representatives of the WTA Finals Singapore, including volunteers, partners and ball kids, local female heroes as well as members of international and local women’s groups to celebrate the achievements of women. A human formation of the WTA Finals Billie Jean King trophy was created – symbolizing people from different backgrounds coming together in a show of support for women’s empowerment. This was followed by a panel discussion around this year’s International Women’s Day theme, ‘Press for Progress,’ with three local female heroes: Joanne Soo, a member of Singapore and Southeast Asia’s first all-women team to summit Mount Everest, motivational speaker and entrepreneur; Nurul Baizura, co-vice-captain of the national netball team and teacher-therapist; and Beatrice Chia, award winning theatre director, entrepreneur and working mother.

Melissa Pine, Vice-President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of the WTA Finals said, “It is a truly special occasion on a day like International Women’s Day to be able to gather all the people who have helped to make the WTA Finals the successful event it has been over the last four years. To have our WTA Founder Billie Jean King here, who has been a monumental catalyst for equality and social change, makes it even more significant. I hope that Singaporeans will continue to support women’s tennis and I look forward to welcoming you all to the best WTA Finals yet this October at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.”

Billie Jean King: Singapore has set the bar high for the next phase of growth in women’s tennis

In addition to a legendary career in tennis, Billie Jean King has been a champion and advocate of women’s empowerment, diversity, equality and inclusivity. Her founding of the WTA, uniting professional women’s tennis players in one tour, was groundbreaking and revolutionary in its charge to create a better future for women in sport.

Today, the WTA Finals celebrates the achievements of the greatest in women’s tennis. The Singles and Doubles players work their way throughout the season on the Porsche Race to Singapore to secure a prestigious spot amongst the top eight in the world.

In 2014, Singapore brought the WTA Finals to Asia-Pacific for the first time, allowing fans around the region to witness the greatest in women’s tennis live in action, and to be inspired by their stories.

Over the last four years, local and regional community initiatives such as the Tennis For Every Child (TFEC) programme, ActiveSG Tennis Academy, and WTA Future Stars have engaged deeply with over 63,000 participants, building a lasting legacy of enabling and inspiring the next generation to pursue their dreams.

Through its support of the WTA Finals, Singapore has also contributed significantly to raising the profile of women’s tennis in Asia-Pacific and beyond, growing participation, interest and popularity of the sport. In 2017, records were set with 133,000 people attending the ten-day festival of sport and lifestyle entertainment and 27.8 million social video views by fans around the world.

Sharing her thoughts at the launch, Billie Jean King said, “With the investment and growth of the WTA Finals during its tenure here, Singapore has set the bar high in the charge for empowering girls and women to achieve the best that they can. The women who shared the stage with me today are fine examples of how Singapore has created a conducive environment for women to pursue their passions. Singapore should be very proud of what she has achieved as a nation, and I would like to personally thank everyone here for supporting women’s tennis and the WTA Finals. I hope Singaporeans will continue to contribute to building a country which believes in the power of women and that the rest of the world can look up to.”

Advantage Singapore: The Final Serve

Advantage Singapore is an umbrella programme started in 2015 that comprises fan experiences and community engagements to share the excitement of Asia’s biggest tennis festival, thereby cultivating an enduring tennis legacy in Singapore.

A new fundraising initiative will play an integral role in Advantage Singapore: The Final Serve edition this year. In the lead-up to October, members of the public, volunteers and partners will be involved in a series of charity activities in support of SportCares to help youth from needy and vulnerable backgrounds live better through sport, contributing to the WTA Finals legacy.

“We are very proud to introduce the fundraising programme of Advantage Singapore: The Final Serve, which will be the first of many initiatives we will be launching this year to give the WTA Finals Singapore a fitting send-off. We achieved the objective of growing the WTA Finals into a world-class sports, lifestyle and entertainment event, complemented by a multiple award-winning hospitality experience. Not only do we plan on putting on a smashing grand finale for all our beloved fans here in Singapore and around the region, we want to continue giving back to the community. As the event promoter, we’re inspired by Billie Jean King’s own legacy, and we’re delighted to channel the Racquet Club hospitality experience into a force for good this year,” shared Sarah Clements, Vice-President of Tennis – Asia at Lagardère Sports.

As a start, Lagardère Sports announced that $10 from every sale of a Racquet Club pass will contribute towards the fundraising programme. A silent auction will also be held throughout the WTA Finals in October where guests can bid for racquets autographed by Billie Jean King and other past WTA Finals qualifiers.

For more information on hospitality and booking enquiries, email sg.hospitality@lagardere-se.com or call +65 6826 2718

www.WTAFinals.com is a one-stop centre for fans to get tickets, win opportunities to enhance your event experience and learn about all things tournament-related, from the rules of the game, to inside scoops, as well as the latest from leading players as they journey on the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard.

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