Davis Cup targets wider reach with LaLiga backing

Croatia, with the Davis Cup after beating France, will defend the trophy under a new format.
Croatia, with the Davis Cup after beating France, will defend the trophy under a new format.PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID • Spanish football's wealthy LaLiga is to become a sponsor of tennis' revamped Davis Cup competition for the next four years, sports bodies said on Thursday.

Founded in 1900, the Davis Cup is the largest annual international team competition in sport, but has suffered as a spectacle since many top players began opting out.

To breathe life into the tournament, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) signed a 25-year deal worth US$3 billion (S$4.05 billion) last year with an investment group called Kosmos, fronted by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique.

It will now comprise a week-long, World Cup-style knockout event between 18 countries at the end of the regular season. This year's finals are in Madrid in November.

"The cross-sport partnership with LaLiga is innovative for the Davis Cup," ITF president David Haggarty said of the new sponsorship arrangement.

"This will widen our reach to not only tennis fans but other sports enthusiasts."

No financial details were given.

  • $4.05b

  • Value of the International Tennis Federation's deal with the Gerard Pique-headed investment group Kosmos.

LaLiga will promote the Davis Cup via international broadcasts in 200 countries during league matches throughout October.

They have also teamed up for the Davis Cup qualifiers, starting this weekend, in which 12 winners will seal places at the finals in Madrid alongside already qualified Croatia, France, the United States, Spain, Argentina and Britain.

LaLiga sponsored Spain's 2016 Davis Cup tie in India, while last year it announced a partnership with the Renault Formula 1 team. It also supports Spain's 64 sporting federations.

"LaLiga is pleased to partner Kosmos Tennis as it represents a great opportunity to link our brand and those of our clubs with a worldwide sport and entertainment icon," said Oscar Mayo, LaLiga's international business development director.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2019, with the headline 'Davis Cup targets wider reach with LaLiga backing'. Print Edition | Subscribe