HomeFinanceATP partners with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to elevate men’s tennis tour

ATP partners with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to elevate men’s tennis tour

ATP partners with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to elevate men’s tennis tour

The Association of Tennis Professionals, the organiser of the premier men’s tennis tour, has revealed a momentous collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

The PIF assumes the role of title sponsor for several esteemed ATP Tour events – including the highly anticipated season-ending ATP Final and the dynamic youth category Next Gen ATP Finals. The 2024 editions of these events are slated to take place in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Beyond these marquee finals, the PIF’s sponsorship extends to a selection of prominent ATP Masters 1000 events, such as the renowned Indian Wells Open, Miami Open and Madrid Open, and the ATP 500 China Open in Beijing.

Reports indicate that this partnership, structured under an initial five-year contract, also involves the PIF stepping into the role of naming partner for the men’s player rankings. This sponsorship has been held by market trading platform Pepperstone since 2022.

“Our strategic partnership with PIF marks a major moment for tennis,” commented Massimo Calvelli, CEO of the ATP.

“It’s a shared commitment to propel the future of the sport. With PIF’s dedication to the next generation – fostering innovation and creating opportunities for all – the stage is set for a transformative new period of progress.”

Reports indicate that discussions between the ATP and PIF regarding investment began as early as June 2023. Andrea Gaudenzi, Chairman of the ATP Tour, expressed the importance of preserving the sport’s integrity and history in discussions with outside investors, highlighting the significance of collaboration with existing stakeholders.

The ATP’s pursuit of external investment aligns with a broader trend in the sports industry, with private equity groups and sovereign wealth funds increasingly investing in sports properties as lucrative assets. PIF’s extensive sports portfolio, which includes investments in soccer, golf, motor racing, horse racing, and boxing, underscores its commitment to the sector.

“Through our collaboration with ATP, PIF will be a catalyst for the growth of the global tennis landscape, developing talent, fostering inclusivity and driving sustainable innovation,” added Mohamed AlSayyad, Head of Corporate Brand at PIF.

“This strategic partnership aligns with our broader vision to enhance quality of life and drive transformation in sport both within Saudi and across the world.’’

Despite the financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, tennis governing bodies have recognised the necessity of seeking external investment to remain competitive in the global sports landscape. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), for instance, recently secured investment from CVC Capital Partners, diversifying revenue streams.

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