Saudi fund, ATP enter 5-year partnership

League: Tennis

Posted on: 28 Feb, 2024 at 06:14 PM

Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund -- the money behind the upstart LIV Golf league -- has furthered its foray into the sports landscape, entering a five-year agreement with the ATP.

The ATP, which is the governing body of men's tennis, announced the deal on Wednesday but did not disclose financial terms. The alliance between the two extends to the naming rights for the ATP rankings, which had been sponsored by Australian online broker Pepperstone since 2022.

The organization said in a news release that PIF will be the presenting partner of the Year-End ATP World No. 1, crowned at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, Italy. Additionally, the PIF will receive courtside branding at tournaments in Madrid, Miami, Beijing and Indian Wells, Calif.

Under a previously reached five-year deal, the ATP agreed to hold the Next Gen ATP Finals for players 21 and younger in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, through 2027.

ATP and PIF want "to elevate the long-term future of tennis," according to the news release.

"Our strategic partnership with PIF marks a major moment for tennis. It's a shared commitment to propel the future of the sport," said Massimo Calvelli, the chief executive officer of the ATP, in a news release. "With PIF's dedication to the next generation -- fostering innovation and creating opportunities for all -- the stage is set for a transformative new period of progress."

Saudi Arabia has made other inroads into sports outside of LIV, including tennis.

In January, legend Rafael Nadal signed on as an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation, and in October, he is set to participate with five top-10 players in the "6 Kings Slam" exhibition even in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital city. Joining him will be Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune.

In December 2022, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal signed a contract through June 2025 with Saudi club Al Nassr FCthat reportedly will pay him more than $200 million per year.

--Field Level Media