Nov 02, 2009 at 07:14 PM
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Help Us Answer the WTA's $88M Question

Task #1, and it's a big one, for newly appointed Women's Tennis Association Chief Stacey Allaster - renew or secure a new title sponsor for the WTA Tour beyond 2009.

Sony Ericsson's six year, $88 million sponsorship deal will expire at the end of this year. Allaster recently pointed to an 11% increase in attendance as a signal of the Tour's perseverance in difficult times. Still, the sponsorship market has changed a lot since '05 and Sony Ericsson's business has suffered at the hands of high end competition from Apple and R.I.M. The company is currently restructuring its business to better compete in the high end segment.

At the WTA Championships in Doha, Aldo Liguori, Sony Ericsson's corporate vice-president and head of global communications told reporters:

"The deadline to respond to the renewal is the end of this year.

We haven't made any decision yet, and all options are open. We will announce the decision alongside our partner at the appropriate time. That's all that I can say today because as of today we've not made any decision."

The renewal been on the mind of tour officials throughout the summer season. In Montreal and other cities, event organizers have assisted Sony Ericsson in pulling off pop up tennis courts.

What do you think - will Sony Ericsson and the WTA cut a deal by year end? If you vote no, tell us in comments who you expect to be leading candidates to replace Sony Ericsson.