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Whirlpool extends sponsorship of Sony Ericsson WTA Tour

November 9, 2006

• Tour’s Premier Sponsor in Europe signs on for additional three years through 2009

• Renewal highlighted by announcement of €163,000 raised for Habitat for Humanity “Aces for Homes” program, the official European social cause of Whirlpool and the Tour

Contact:
Tom Price, Director of Communications, Europe and Central Asia
+44 151 280 4485; tprice@habitat.org

Tricia Deering, Senior Communications Manager, Europe and Central Asia
+36 1 411 2170; tdeering@habitat.org

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Lucija Popovska (right) collects the Euro163,000 Aces for Homes donation from the WTA Tour and Whirlpool Europe.


MADRID, Spain
Whirlpool Europe and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced today the extension of their groundbreaking sponsorship agreement for an additional three years, through 2009. The extension marks an incredibly successful and innovative partnership that was launched in April 2004, and that has been highlighted by increased brand awareness, consumer engagement and community outreach for Whirlpool. The deal also signals the increasingly global popularity of women’s professional tennis, the world’s leading sport for women.

Whirlpool will continue its relationship with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour to help leverage its integrated marketing campaign to raise awareness of the Whirlpool 6th sense technology and engage with consumers across Europe. The Tour, which comprises the world’s leading women’s tennis players will continue to provide the perfect brand match for Whirlpool. The core characteristics of Whirlpool 6th sense technology - intelligence, precision and performance - closely replicate the skills required to compete and succeed at the top of women’s tennis, providing an ideal platform to showcase Whirlpool products.

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World number 8, Elena Dementieva, signs the cheque for Habitat for Humanity.

“We are extremely excited to be continuing our partnership with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour,” said Giuseppe Perucchetti, Vice President, Brand Marketing, Whirlpool Europe. “The Tour offers us an ideal opportunity to connect with our consumers and showcase our technology across Europe. We are also delighted by the amount of money raised for Habitat for Humanity from the Aces for Homes initiative and would like to thank the players on the Tour for scoring so many aces!”

“Whirlpool has done a great job leveraging the power, glamour and appeal of our players and matching it with their core brand strengths” said Larry Scott, CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.  “We are thrilled that our partnership with such an innovative world-class brand such as Whirlpool will be continuing into the future. This sponsorship has been incredibly successful because of the integration of television, new media and community outreach to engage consumers. Our players and tournaments have truly engaged with Whirlpool and we look forward to building on the success to date over the next three years.”

“Whirlpool has become a great partner of women’s tennis and I’m really excited that this partnership has been extended,” said Elena Dementieva. It’s a great brand and players really support the community outreach and charitable initiatives, which have made this sponsorship unique in many ways.”

Whirlpool’s sponsorship of the Tour has been marked by a series of innovative elements. Activities include broadcast sponsorship of women’s tennis on Eurosport, significant on-court signage presence at tournaments throughout Europe, including the Sony Ericsson Championships, highlighted by a new and consistent look for the player bench and umpire’s chair area. Further activities include print advertisements utilizing Tour stars to promote Whirlpool’s 6th sense technology, sponsorship of the Tour’s TV News Service in Europe, the “Aces for Homes” charity program in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Whirlpool Fantasy Tennis, which enables fans select teams of real players and chart their progress throughout the season and finally, 6th sense player of the year award. Whirlpool will continue to benefit from and build upon these elements under the new deal.

In addition to the renewal, Whirlpool and the Tour announced that €163,000 has been raised through the joint initiative ‘Aces for Homes’, which aimed to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, the official social cause of Whirlpool and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in Europe. In June 2005, €10 was pledged for every ace scored on the Tour. Since then, a staggering total of 16,300 aces have helped raise the funds, which will go towards rebuilding 45 homes in the community of Nochikuppam, a village in Chennai region, South East India that was decimated by the tsunami.

Don Haszczyn, Area Vice President, Europe and Central Asia, Habitat for Humanity saidThe exemplary support and advocacy of Whirlpool and the WTA Tour over the initial three years has helped many families out of slum housing and into simple, decent homes. Their continued partnership will give hope to many more families in need and a big boost to getting the issue of inadequate shelter onto the public agenda across Europe and beyond. A huge thanks to Whirlpool and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour from all at Habitat for Humanity and from those families whose lives they have touched.”

In addition to Aces for Homes activity, Whirlpool will continue to have access to some of the top seeded women players to carry out projects and raise the profile of Habitat for Humanity. Top players Amelie Mauresmo, Nadia Petrova and Mary Pierce have all served as official ambassadors for the program and participated in various activities to support Habitat for Humanity. Initiatives involving Tour players in Habitat for Humanity builds across Europe and the Whirlpool ‘Love Food’ cookbook, a unique collection of favorite recipes from the players, endeavor to raise awareness and further funds for the charity.

Whirlpool will also utilize its sponsorship to provide unique opportunities for consumers to watch live action tennis and personally meet some of the world’s leading players.

The partnership extension with Whirlpool represents the continuation of another premium brand among the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s growing list of market leading partners, which includes Sony Ericsson, Dubai Duty Free, Porsche, Travelex, Wilson, Bed Bath & Beyond, Gatorade, USANA, Luxilon, Waterford and Saddlebrook Resort, among other Tour partners.

Whirlpool Europe
With 14,000 employees, a sales presence in over 30 European countries and manufacturing sites in seven countries, Whirlpool Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation. The world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances Whirlpool Corporation has annual sales of more than $19 billion, more than 80,000 employees, and more than 60 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.

Whirlpool’s European Operations’ Center is located in Comerio (VA), Italy. For further information on the company, please visit the Web Site www.whirlpool.eu.com

About Habitat for Humanity Europe and Central Asia
Habitat for Humanity is a nondenominational Christian charity dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. It has built more than 200 000 houses; more than one million people are living in Habitat homes they helped build and own through low-cost, no-profit mortgages. We have positively affected lives in 100 countries around the globe. Habitat’s Europe & Central Asia regional headquarters are in Budapest, Hungary. The ECA region is actively fundraising, building and renovating homes with families in need.
www.habitateurope.org