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Tennis: Ryan Sandilands to head WTA in Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore

20130930_WTA_cropOctober 1, 2013: The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has announced the appointment of Ryan Sandilands as the regional CEO, Asia Pacific.


Sandilands, who will be based out of a new WTA office in Singapore set to open in January 2014, will be responsible for driving the WTA’s growth strategy throughout Asia-Pacific, including business development, government relations, marketing, operations and media distribution.


With the year-end WTA Championships to be staged in Singapore from 2014-2018 and a record number of tournaments in China and Asia-Pacific, the naming of Sandilands represents a significant strategic investment to drive the growth of the world’s leading sport for women in some of the fastest growing markets in the world.


Sandilands will begin in his new role in the coming months and report to Stacey Allaster, WTA Chairman and CEO.


“I am thrilled to welcome Ryan to our team and know that with his entrepreneurial experience across sports, entertainment and brand development in Asia, he will build upon our success and take women’s tennis to new heights throughout Asia-Pacific,” Allaster said.


“Since 2008 we have invested heavily in China. With our crown jewel WTA Championships coming to Singapore, our announcement is another defining moment in the WTA’s history to build our fan base, our brand and business in China, Southeast Asia and key markets across the region.”


Ryan Sandilands will be the WTA's CEO, Asia Pacific.

Ryan Sandilands will be the WTA’s CEO, Asia Pacific.

Sandilands said: “The WTA is one of the fastest-growing sports entertainment properties in Asia-Pacific and I’m honored to join Stacey and her team to achieve the WTA’s vision to be the most inspirational and exciting sport entertainment experience in Asia.


“I look forward to building upon the strength of WTA players and tournaments in the region to grow and engage our fan base across multiple platforms and further extend the popularity of women’s tennis.”


In the newly created role, Sandilands will be responsible for developing and executing a commercial strategy to drive revenues across all markets in the region. He will be entrusted with strengthening key relationships across China and Singapore, including with the Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Sports Council and World Sport Group to ensure the staging of the best Championships in the history of the WTA.


Sandilands will also work with the governing bodies throughout the region, specifically with the Beijing Municipal Sports Bureau, China Open and the Chinese Tennis Association to continue growth in China.


Sandilands will also be responsible for marketing, media distribution across multiple platforms, sponsorship partnerships as well as operations to support the WTA’s tournament and player members.


Sandilands brings close to two decades of sports and entertainment experience to the role, most recently serving as Managing Director of North Asia based out of Beijing for global sports marketing agency Octagon.


In that role, Sandilands was tasked with expanding Octagon’s global footprint into North Asia and achieved both commercial and operational success through major clients such as MasterCard, China Telecom, Samsung, BMW and Johnson & Johnson, along with a strengthening of key governmental relations.


Prior to Octagon, Sandilands spent eight years with Cirque de Soleil, where he oversaw both corporate alliances and managed offices in Montreal, London, Shanghai and Sydney. In that role, he was responsible for significant increases in sponsorship revenues, the launch of a successful licensing programme and expansion of touring shows to new markets across Asia-Pacific.


Sandilands’ extensive communications and brand management experience also includes having worked at Carat, Mindshare, Ketchum PR and Bell Pottinger PR.


Born in Scotland, Sandilands earned a BA in Marketing and Politics from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Ryan, his wife Eva and two children Lily and Charles will be relocating from Beijing to Singapore in early 2014.

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