Apr 02, 2010 at 11:46 AM
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Sony Ericsson CEO Talks Tennis Sponsorship

Given Sony Ericsson's financial troubles, there were some that were surprised by the company's sponsorship renewal of the WTA Tour earlier this month -- even at a lower three-year, $27 million value. Sony Ericsson's previous $88 million title sponsorship of the Tour was set to end in 2010. CEO Bert Nordberg explained why the company continues to invest in tennis and how this week's Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscane pays off for the cellpone maker:

It's times like this you need to differentiate, and I think sponsorship is even more important. Doing it in Miami is very big for us because we can cover two regions, North America and Latin America, and bring customers here. I think that important to me was that it's worldwide -- the logo is seen all over the world in tennis. It's also great to do business [here] and meet the operators and distributors of our phones.

I've been to the Superbowl several times, and I think it's great, but it's short. This is a long tournament, and you can do different events and have different customers. We've done this for six years. We have no intention of finding something new. We don't disclose the numbers, but it's worth the money.

When you work in a global company like I do, there are very few things to sponsor if you want to go global. There are very few things that work. Tennis is one of them.