01 February 2022

FIP announces partnership with QSI

LAUSANNE, BARCELONA, LONDON, PARIS, DOHA, NEW YORK, BUENOS AIRES – 1 February 2022 – The International Padel Federation (FIP) – the governing body of padel – has today announced a landmark new chapter in the history of the sport, which will see an official new padel tour launched immediately. The global tour will be fully regulated by FIP, fully supported by the world’s top players, and will benefit from a major new strategic partnership with Qatar Sports Investments (QSI). It will be the only official tour in the sport of padel.

The ground-breaking new padel tour will be founded on a completely new global calendar of international and national competitions – including four top category (often called major) events – which will all take place in spectacular venues around the world. At least 10 tournaments are scheduled for each of 2022 and 2023 – starting with the first major tournament in March – ramping up to over 25 tournaments a year by 2024. Dates, locations, prize money, branding, sponsors, broadcasters and all other details are to be unveiled shortly.

Importantly, the new tour is the only official tour under the governance and regulation of FIP – including having the benefit of FIP’s official player ranking system – while the tour will also fall within the auspices of the wider international sports community and institutions.

This new chapter for padel under the leadership of FIP sees the professionalization and globalisation of the sport fully supported by the world’s leading players, represented by the Professional Players Association (PPA); and a new global strategic partnership with QSI. QSI is the investment group behind several world-leading sports brands and businesses, and will provide unparalleled expertise and business acumen in developing sports and brands on the global stage.

Helping to drive this transformation of padel, a new venture has been established that is focused on key areas such as:- the international organisation of the tour; a new commercial business model (overhauling media, digital and sponsorship rights revenues); a dynamic new global brand for the sport and its tours; improved player welfare, sports infrastructure and prize money; and generally revolutionising the long-term commercial success and visibility of the game.

Uniquely from a governance perspective, player representatives will sit on various committees in the new commercial venture, directly helping to shape the future of their game.
Padel is one of the fastest growing sports in the world with over 25 million players globally (a figure that has doubled in the past 5 years), with participation equally split between men and women, spanning all ages and backgrounds. In several territories, the sport is second only to football in terms of popularity. Over recent years, FIP has been progressing ambitious plans for the sport to be part of the Olympic Games as soon as Los Angeles 2028.

Luigi Carraro, President of the International Padel Federation (FIP), said: “Today is an historic day for the sport of padel, which for the first time will be fully regulated and professionalised on the world stage. Finally, our sport has the freedom to shape its destiny; and under FIP’s governance we will develop the sport in every corner of the world across all levels – including beginner, amateur, youth and professional padel. Today is also an historic day for our players and our national federations, who will be placed at the heart of our sport’s development for the first time. And we could not be more fortunate to have the most experienced, innovative and creative strategic partner in QSI, who will take this sport to the highest levels of excellence and success – both on and off the field of play. There simply could not be a more exciting time for padel.”

Nasser Al-Khelaifi, President of Qatar Sports Investments, said: “The world has only seen the tip of the iceberg of what the sport of padel can achieve on the global stage. Padel players are some of the most talented, inspiring and gracious athletes in the world of sport – it’s time for this wonderful game and its incredible athletes to be showcased to fans around the world; and for the sport to finally achieve its commercial and sporting potential under the leadership and governance of the International Padel Federation. QSI is proud to be building and shaping the long-term future of padel – and creating something really special for the fans – in partnership with the International Padel Federation and the players.”

Alejandro Galán, President of the Professional Players Association (PPA), said “It is no exaggeration to say that this new venture is transformational for our sport. Our beloved game will reach new heights with the players having an active role in shaping the sport’s future, while our sport will be regulated and run by the world governing body FIP. Further, thanks to QSI, our sport and our players will get the investment, support, experience and know-how needed to propel the game onto the global stage – where it belongs.”

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