World No. 3 in women’s tennis and leading player of the Top Five agency Elina Svitolina has signed an ambassador agreement with iQIYI, the largest online video platform in China.
Founded in 2010 by Internet giant Baidu, iQIYI is a Beijing-based online television and movie portal, providing fully-licensed, high-definition content (movies, TV dramas, variety shows, documentaries, animation). In 2014 iQIYI launched its own film production division, iQIYI Motion Pictures, to expand existing cooperative projects with overseas peers, including purchasing releases and co-producing movies. In April iQIYI announced a licensing deal with one of the biggest entertainment companies and the world’s leading internet television network – Netflix. iQIYI tops the Chinese market with more than 20 million paying subscribers. From 2017, iQIYI became the WTA’s digital rights partner in China, providing fans with never-before access to women’s tennis.
Stephane Gurov, director of the Top Five agency, considers this partnership as very symbolic: “iQIYI is a fast developing campaign, which is the leader of the market in China. Our player, Elina Svitolina, is the youngest player on the rise in the top-5 of women’s tennis nowadays.
iQIYI as one of the sponsors of WTA will be able to fairly represent Elina in Asia using their digital space in China and a huge army of subscribers, which includes 250 million people per day. At the same time, iQIYI gets an opportunity to involve one of the most vivid and demanded modern athlete to its events. Therefore, we believe that this partnership will be important for both sides”.
The 23-year-old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina has enjoyed a breakthrough year so far, winning titles in Taipei, Dubai, Istanbul and Rome. In 2017 Svitolina also set numbers of national records in WTA rankings, reaching Top-10 in February and Top-3 in September.