The WTA Tour has announced a strategic partnership with CVC Capital Partners which will see the private equity firm invest $150 million (£125 million) into women’s tennis.
In return, CVC will take a 20% stake in a newly created company with the working title of WTA Ventures. Full regulatory and sporting responsibility will be retained by WTA.
Women’s prize money is lagging behind that of the men; investment in the women’s game is sorely needed.
In 2021, WTA’s finances took a downturn when CEO Steve Simon suspended all tournaments in China and Hong Kong.
Peng Shuai’s allegations of sexual assault against former Chinese vice-premier Zhang Gaoli moved the WTA to insist on a transparent investigation before the tournaments could be restored.
The WTA is hopeful that the partnership will bolster the women’s tennis as well as commercial growth and the size of broadcast deals.
“This partnership with CVC brings experience, a network and capital to move our sport to the next level, embracing the ambition of our founding members, urging women’s tennis beyond its barriers and pioneering new standards for a more equitable and valuable sport,” Simon said.
The firm recently invested in the Six Nations, Premier Rugby, Spain’s La Liga and the reigning Indian Premier League champions the Gujarat Titans and has previously enjoyed a profitable partnership with Formula 1.
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