WTA Tour loses its title sponsor

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The Independent Online

Sony Ericsson's sponsorship of the WTA Tour is to finish at the end of next year.

The company became the title sponsor of the women's circuit in 2005 under a six-year deal worth $88m (£55m at current rates). Although the contract was extended until the end of 2012, the mobile phone company's name was dropped from the tour's title this year.

Announcing the change, the WTA said yesterday: "2012 will be the eighth and final year of the partnership. They have been a great partner, we will miss them."

Sony Ericsson's PR manager Graciela Pineda said it was "a strategic decision based on the evolution of the business and the brand". LM Ericsson is selling its 50 per cent stake in Sony Ericsson to Sony for $1.46bn.