The official new global padel tour – governed by the International Padel Federation (FIP) and backed by the Professional Players Association (PPA) and Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) has announced a landmark broadcasting deal, with ESPN revealed as the Official tour’s broadcast partner in LATAM, covering South America, Central America, Mexico and Caribbean.
The Disney-owned broadcaster has signed a four year agreement to be the home of padel in the Americas in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Widely-regarded as one of the world’s foremost sports broadcasters and a US giant of media, ESPN will elevate the sport of padel to never-seen-before levels in the key Americas markets – opening up accessibility and exposure to padel in nearly 50 countries as part of the deal. Significant other international broadcast deals are soon to be revealed, as the new tour has the goal of showcasing padel globally like never before in countries all over the world.
This week is also expected to see the launch of the Official tour’s new name, logo and other brand identities, which have been advised upon by some of the world’s top creative consultants.
Since its launch a month ago, FIP, PPA and QSI have made a flurry of major announcements connected to the new Official tour, including confirming at least ten (10) new tournaments will be held this year – including four category 1 events – with the first category 1 event confirmed to take place in Qatar on 28 March to 2 April. Registrations for the first Official tournament have already broken all records, with 123 pairs registered including players from 19 different countries. The prize money for each category 1 event – which is also a record – has been disclosed as €525,000 for each tournament, while significant new ranking points for the new tour have also been announced.
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.
Importantly, the new tour is the only Official tour in padel, being under the governance and regulation of FIP, having the benefit of FIP’s Official player ranking system, and falling within the auspices of the wider international sports community. Uniquely from a governance perspective, under FIP’s Official tour, player representatives sit on various committees directly helping to shape the future of their game.
Regarding the announcement of ESPN as a major new broadcast partner, Luigi Carraro, President of the International Padel Federation (FIP), said: “When we say we are taking padel to the top of world sport, we mean it – and this major 4-year deal with ESPN for South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean is testament to that. Disney-owned ESPN is one of the world’s foremost sports broadcasters and a US giant of media – the fact we have signed this partner reaffirms the global ambitions that we hold; and also the enormous interest in the new Official tour. There is much more to come.”