Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), one of the leading sports investment companies in the world – together with the International Padel Federation (FIP) and the Professional Padel Association, founder of Premier Padel, and Damm, owner of Setpoint Events which organizes the World Padel Tour (WPT), have reached a historic agreement for the acquisition of WPT by QSI.
Following this agreement, Premier Padel and the WPT will be unified into a single professional padel world tour – called Premier Padel – governed by the International Padel Federation.
The deal is the culmination of months of negotiations between the parties and will see QSI acquire the commercial assets of the WPT. Furthermore, the agreement also provides for the settlement of outstanding disputes between the parties, including those concerning QSI, the FIP and the professional padel players who have competed on both tours. The closing is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Throughout the remainder of calendar year 2023, the separate tours of WPT and Premier Padel will run as planned, while work is done on the unification of the competitions for the upcoming calendar year – forming a single global tour of Premier Padel under the governance of the FIP – starting in 2024.
The World Padel Tour, founded in 2013, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and has become the most important tour in the sport. It has hosted over 26 men’s and women’s tournaments in 14 countries, boasts 17 global sponsors, TV broadcasting rights in over 150 countries and an impressive social media following of nearly 4 million people.
Premier Padel – the official professional padel tour governed by the FIP and supported by the PPA and the International Padel Players Association (IPPA) – only launched in 2022 and in its first year it has become one of the fastest growing tours in the sport world. In the first year, more than 500 players from around the world attended Premier Padel tournaments, held in some of the most iconic venues in the history of the sport, including the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris. Premier Padel has secured multi-year broadcast deals covering more than 180 countries and reaching over 150 million households, while Premier Padel’s inaugural 2022 season attracted 22.7 million views on YouTube. Over 110 top professional female players joined Premier Padel in March this year.
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, President of Qatar Sports Investments and Premier Padel, said: “This is a historic moment for the sport of padel, which will see the two main professional padel tours unified into one global Premier Padel tour under the governance of the International Padel Federation starting next year. As the fastest growing sport globally, QSI is proud to be at the heart of the development of professional padel worldwide, always putting players at the heart of our mission to grow the sport everywhere. We are very excited about this next chapter.”
Demetrio Carceller Arce, executive president of Damm, said: “The World Padel Tour now begins a new phase led by QSI, which will help accelerate the international growth of the tour”. Carceller Arce added: “Damm is proud to have contributed to the development of professional padel, making the World Padel Tour a global point of reference, with more than 4 million fans. This has helped padel become the fastest growing sport in the world in recent years, with very positive progress for the entire padel sector.”
Luigi Carraro, President of the International Padel Federation, said: “As the governing body of padel worldwide, we are delighted with this union of two great tours into one fantastic global circuit. The International Padel Federation thanks Damm for having contributed significantly to the sport of padel through the World Padel Tour since its inception in 2013. We now look forward to the next fantastic phase of professional padel development and growth under Premier Padel, of which it will benefit the entire padel community, including national federations and – most importantly – the players and the new generations.”
The new Premier Padel global tour, which will start in 2024, will become the main tour of padel and one of the most interesting projects in world sport. Further details will be announced later.
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