Since its founding in 1973, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and its players have been leaders in fighting for equality, including most notably in the area of equal prize money at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Billie Jean King, the founder of the Tour, also founded the Women’s Sports Foundation in 1974, a charitable educational organization dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity.
The social responsibility programme foreseen in terms of the partnership agreement, draws upon the history of the Tour and players in fighting for equality. The idea originated from the Iguales campaign at the Tour’s 2007 season-ending event in Madrid, and marks a new level of commitment by the Tour and players to raise awareness of gender equality issues, and advance opportunities for women.
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 $60 million in prize money at the Tour’s 63 events in 35 countries. More than 4.5 million people attended women’s tennis events in 2005 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world.