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May 04, 2007

All's Equal


At the end of 2006, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced a new partnership with UNESCO to advance gender equality.  With the recent announcements that Wimbledon and Roland Garros will offer equal prize money for women, professional tennis is now in a place to further the cause of gender equality even more.  Venus Williams has accepted a leadership role in this effort following in the footsteps of the legendary Billie Jean King.  Professional tennis seems to be

 forming more and more relationships with global humanitarian organizations such as the UN which makes a lot of sense given the global nature of professional and amateur tennis. One question that these new partnerships raise is how should the professional tennis tours divide their charitable efforts between purely tennis-based organizations versus other global charities?  Should these partnerships change annually so more can be supported or should the players and tours focus on long-term relationships? Clearly, there are many worthwhile causes around the world, but players’ time is very limited and the attention they attract is very positive PR for the featured organization/topic.

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