Tennis has been overturning gender stereotypes for decades. When top-ranked women’s tennis player Billie Jean King agreed to compete against one-time top-ranked men’s player Bobbie Riggs in 1973, it was billed as the Battle of the Sexes—and she defeated him soundly. But more than that, she showed people that gender equality isn’t simply a concept, paving the way for female athletes from Serena Williams to Abby Wambach. At Morgan Stanley, we understand determination and vision, having built our business by marrying old school grit with new world ideas and by putting inclusion at the core of all we do.
A Collaboration That Champions Success
That’s why it made perfect sense for us to team up with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). King founded the WTA fifty years ago, a full two years before the passage of the Title IX legislation guaranteeing equality for women’s sports. The WTA is the global leader in women’s professional sports and is comprised of over 70 events and four Grand Slams, spanning 30 countries and regions across six continents with a global audience of nearly 900 million people.1
As part of our new global partnership, Morgan Stanley will not only provide WTA players with the tools they need for financial success but will serve as the exclusive presenting partner of the WTA’s Come Play initiative. The initiative encourages girls of all ages and abilities to lead healthy and productive lives on and off the court and works to build the next generation of leaders through tennis clinics and other activities led by WTA players, alumnae and coaches.
One of those players is Leylah Fernandez, our newest Morgan Stanley Brand Ambassador. Fernandez, who at age 20, is a two-time WTA champion and has a career-high ranking of #13 in the world, was the face of the firm’s “See It To Be It” ad, highlighting the impact of seeing someone like you succeed and inspiring young players to follow their ambitions. “As a proud player within the WTA and a brand ambassador for Morgan Stanley, I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities to combine our collective resources and networks to further lift women up within the game of tennis and to show girls that they can make their dreams a reality,” she says.