- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Sony Ericsson is ending its sponsorship of the WTA tour at the end of the 2012 season.

Sony Ericsson became the title sponsor of the women’s tennis tour in 2005 tour under a six-year, $88 million deal. Although the contract was extended through the end of 2012, the mobile phone company’s name was dropped from the tour’s title in 2011.

The WTA said in a statement Friday that “2012 will be the eighth and final year of the partnership. They have been a great partner and we will miss them.”

Sony Ericsson PR manager Graciela Pineda says “this was a strategic decision based on the evolution of the business and the brand.”

LM Ericsson announced in October it would sell its 50 percent stake in Sony Ericsson to Sony for $1.46 billion.

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