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Caroline Wozniacki named face of Turkish Airlines' Business Class

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 12/20/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Women’s tennis’ top-ranked player, Caroline Wozniacki, has been named the latest high-profile sponsorship signing for Turkish Airlines.

Women’s tennis’ top-ranked player, Caroline Wozniacki, has been named the latest high-profile sponsorship signing for Turkish Airlines.

The Danish starlet spoke Monday at a press conference in Istanbul about the deal which makes her the face of Turkish Airlines' improved Business Class.

The deal makes Wozniacki the latest top sports figure to become associated with Turkey’s national carrier.

Turkish Airlines, or THY, has signed partnership deals with football clubs Barcelona and Manchester United, National Basketball Association star Kobe Bryant, and has become the naming sponsor of the Euroleague, the continent’s top basketball competition.

The details of the agreement between the THY and Wozniacki were undisclosed.

“It’s not my first time in Istanbul,” Wozniacki said. “I won my first tournament here so I have great memories here.”

The Dane won the Republican Girls’ tennis tournament in 2006 against Germany’s Tatiana Malek.

“Feels like yesterday coming here,” the 20-year-old recalled. “I think I changed a little since then. Coming to the same place brings nice memories.”

Wozniacki has rocketed from a no-name player to ousting Serena Williams as the world’s top-ranked women’s player in just four years.

“I’m very happy about my year, to finish the year as number one was something I always dreamed about,” Wozniacki said. “Now I want to improve and stay up there for long as possible. A Grand Slam [victory] will be the next achievement I will try to reach.”

Last week, the western U.S. chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation said it was urging Bryant to drop his Turkish Airlines deal. U.S. Armenians are calling for the United States to recognize the World War I-era killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as "genocide."

In Toronto, about 30 Armenians-Canadians protested against Bryant, holding signs that said "Kobe: Do the Right Thing," outside the stadium where the Lakers played the Raptors on Sunday, CNN reported.

THY's marketing and sales deputy director general, Faruk Çizmecioğlu, said the company had not received any information about such threats to its deal with Wozniacki.

“Such things can always happen but we are a commercial company, we have clients from all over the world,” said Çizmecioğlu. “Those things can happen in time, but they will be over. We have nothing to say about it. There are no precautions about such a situation in our deal with Caroline.”

When asked why the company was focusing on sports partnerships, Çizmecioğlu was clear.

“Sports are a global thing,” he said. “Major sporting events are followed by billions of people, which is definitely unmatched by any other activity. That is why we are preferring clubs like Barcelona and Manchester United, or competitions like the Euroleague.”

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