On heels of Super Bowl ad, Hologic inks title sponsorship deal with Women's Tennis Association Tour

After introducing its brand to consumers in a Super Bowl commercial starring Mary J. Blige last month, Hologic is following up with another big-ticket marketing move—this time putting its name front and center among women’s tennis fans around the world.

The maker of 3D mammogram machines and other medical devices and diagnostics focused on women’s health has inked a multiyear deal with the Women’s Tennis Association to be the title sponsor of the WTA Tour.

This is Hologic’s first major sports sponsorship and will integrate Hologic’s branding into the WTA across all platforms, including on all net signage, beginning with next week’s Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, Jane Mazur, Hologic’s vice president of corporate communications, said in an interview. The company’s name will also appear on virtual ads at the tour’s WTA 1000 and 500 tournaments.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the WTA has described it as “the largest global sponsorship in WTA history.” WTA President Mickey Lawler told The New York Times that the deal is significantly larger on an annual basis than the tour’s last title sponsorship with cellphone maker Sony Ericsson, which the newspaper said averaged $14.7 million annually and ended in 2010.

“We’re very proud of the partnership and we’re excited to be working with the players and leaders in the WTA who are as convicted as we are in what we are trying to accomplish,” around women’s equality in sports and health, said Mazur. “The shared ethos of the two organizations was pretty apparent from the beginning.”

RELATED: Hologic goes big with Mary J. Blige at the Super Bowl

Mazur said the company was particularly drawn to the WTA’s strong support of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who disappeared from public life late last year after speaking out about sexual assault allegations against a retired government official in an essay that was later scrubbed from social media. The WTA has suspended all tournaments in China and Hong Kong until the allegations are addressed, cutting off a major source of revenue for the tour.

In a statement, Lawler said Hololgic “joins the WTA family at a pivotal time” as the organization embarks on “a new era of women breaking barriers and understanding how imperative our health is to reach our full potential.”

With the WTA’s 50 events in nearly 30 countries, the sponsorship gives Hologic a global audience of more than 900 million. In addition to getting naming rights for the tour, Hologic will also be working with the players and WTA tennis legends on women’s health messaging “where it may be relevant for them personally,” Mazur said.

So does that mean we’ll be seeing WTA World No. 1 ranked tennis player Ashleigh Barty or other WTA athletes in upcoming Hologic campaigns?

“Possibly,” Mazur said, although any initial messaging involving players would likely be on the earned media side. There is currently no additional money earmarked for advertising, she said.

RELATED: Grammy-winning artist Ciara is 'Cerving Confidence' in Hologic’s new cervical cancer awareness effort for Black women

WTA said it will work with Hologic to emphasize the importance of making time for annual women's wellness exams and preventive care, such as breast cancer screenings, which was also the focus of the Super Bowl commercial with Mary J. Blige.

Hologic will become the founding partner of the Hologic WTA labs, an initiative forced on health innovation and research-based projects specific to female athletes.

Hologic has previously focused most of its marketing energy on clinicians and laboratory customers who use its technology but has been “building for years towards the ability to be more out in front of the consumer,” said Mazur.

The company began dipping its toes in DTC marketing two years ago with efforts like its “Lady Parts” web series and a cervical cancer awareness campaign with Grammy-winning artist Ciara, a timely message as cancer screenings plummeted during the pandemic. But the Super Bowl spot, which also aired during the Olympics, was the company’s first DTC commercial.

In addition to its 3D mammography machines, Hologic medical device and diagnostics portfolio includes a market-leading combined Pap and HPV cervical cancer screening test as well as fibroid removal devices MyoSure and Acessa ProVu, which it picked up in its buyout of Acessa Health in 2020.