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Women's Tennis Tour WTA Extends Sponsorship With Usana Through 2013

The women’s tennis tour extended its partnership with vitamin and health supplement maker Usana Health Sciences Inc. through 2013.

Usana will remain the WTA’s official health supplement supplier, sponsor a number of WTA events, including its tournaments in China, and start a global advertising campaign, the company and the tour said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg. Financial details weren’t disclosed, although the WTA said the agreement’s terms were “significantly upgraded.”

Players including reigning U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters, French Open finalist Sam Stosur, Australian Open semifinalist Zheng Jie and former U.S. Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin will become brand ambassadors for Usana, which first worked with the women’s circuit in 2006. Its products are used by more than 150 tour players.

“Tennis is such a global sport, and we’re in 15 countries around the world,” Dan Macuga, vice president of marketing and public relations, said in an interview.

The Australian Open starts Jan. 17 in Melbourne.

Salt Lake City-based Usana in August bought BabyCare Ltd., a Beijing-based maker of nutritional products, for $62.7 million in cash and stock to gain a direct-sales business in China.

“Today’s announcement is another great indication of the investment value that sponsors are finding in the WTA,” Stacey Allaster, the tour’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

The WTA, which hosts 52 events in 33 countries including two tournaments in China, in March renewed a deal with its leading global partner Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications Ltd. by two years. The women’s tour, which will have more than $87 million in prize money this season, also renewed an agreement with London-based Travelex in 2010 and struck new deals with Luxembourg-based Oriflame Cosmetics SA and Chinese sports apparel maker Peak.

To contact the reporter on this story: Danielle Rossingh in London at 3628 or drossingh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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