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ATP lands five-year PIF sponsorship across multiple properties

ATP lands five-year PIF sponsorship across multiple properties

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the men’s professional tennis tour have agreed to a five-year agreement that includes branding rights to the ATP rankings, marking the kingdom’s latest foray into that sport and others.

The ATP already has a deal to hold its Next Gen ATP Finals, an event for players aged 21 and under, in Jeddah from 2023 to 2027. The agreement announced on Wednesday includes courtside branding for the PIF at the season-ending ATP Finals and tournaments in Indian Wells, California; Miami, Madrid, and Beijing. Pepperstone has sponsored the ATP rankings since 2022.

ATP CEO Massimo Calvelli described the new deal as “a major moment for tennis,” and the tour’s announcement highlighted areas in which it believes the sport will continue to flourish in Saudi Arabia.

Tennis has recently been consumed by the debate over whether the sport should follow golf and others in striking deals with the wealthy kingdom, where rights groups claim women continue to face discrimination in most aspects of family life and homosexuality is a major taboo, as it is in much of the rest of the Middle East. Also read: American Casey Kania Banned 2 Years For Positive Marijuana Test

The WTA women’s tennis tour is in talks with Saudi Arabia about hosting the season-ending WTA Finals.

“As part of our strategy to increase the value of women’s tennis, we constantly consult with both existing and prospective business partners about potential new forms of partnership. While we don’t rule anything out in the future, there is no fresh information available at this time,” a WTA representative said in an email Wednesday.

Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova have advised the WTA to avoid Saudi Arabia, while Billie Jean King, a former great player and Hall of Famer, has campaigned for engagement.

Since the murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has attempted to overcome his worldwide isolation. He also plainly intends to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy and lessen its dependency on oil. Also read: Donna Vekic Net Worth 2024, Annual Income, Endorsements, Cars, Houses, Properties, Charities, Etc.

Saudi Arabia has implemented extensive social reforms in recent years, including granting women the ability to drive and generally abolishing male guardianship regulations, which had previously permitted spouses and male relatives to regulate many areas of women’s life. Men and women are still expected to dress modestly, but the rules have been relaxed, and the once-feared religious police have been marginalised. Gender segregation in public spaces has also relaxed, with men and women now attending movie screenings and concerts, which was impossible just a few years ago. Still, same-sex relations are punishable by death or flogging, though prosecutions are rare. Authorities ban all forms of LGBTQ+ advocacy, even confiscating rainbow-colored toys and clothing.

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