As the WTA celebrates its 50th anniversary, the governing body of women’s tennis enters into a new phase by launching a commercial partnership with CVC Capital Partners with the goal of expanding the reach of the sport. The leading global alternative investment manager will contribute $150 million for a 20% stake in a newly-created company called WTA Ventures LLC.
Founded by Billie Jean King in 1973 on the principle of equal opportunity, the WTA has gone a long way in making tennis one of the few sports in which women and men compete on the same stage. Commencing in 2023, CVC will bring 25 years of experience investing in sports to accelerate the WTA’s commercial growth for the benefit of the fans, players, tournaments and other stakeholders in the game.
In general, the goal is to further improve global reach, expand the profile of women’s tennis, grow its value and increase prize money. Most notably, there will be critical changes to the tour calendar, which are supposed to make it easier for fans to follow their favorite players through the year.
CVC’s former and current investments include Formula One, Moto GP, Rugby, the French Football League, La Liga, Volleyball, and IPL Cricket. The WTA will continue to own the majority interest in the partnership and retain full regulatory and sporting responsibility for the women’s game.
“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,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and CEO.
Iga Swiatek, top-ranked WTA player stated: “I am proud to be a part of the WTA, as they are committed to innovating the sport, investing in the players, and promoting us all over the world. I’m inspired to be a part of the evolution of women’s tennis and building out the next 50 years of the WTA.”
Jessica Pegula, WTA world No.4 and member of the WTA Players’ Council said: “This is exactly what women’s tennis needs and I’m excited for what’s to come. For so long, we’ve been championing the sport for women across the world and it’s great to have the investment and belief in the players and WTA product.”