Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), one of the world’s leading sports investment companies – and together with the International Padel Federation (FIP) and the Professional Padel Association the founder of Premier Padel – and Damm, the owner of Setpoint Events which organises the World Padel Tour (WPT), have reached an historic agreement for the acquisition of WPT by QSI.
Following this agreement, Premier Padel and WPT will subsequently be unified as a single global professional padel tour – called Premier Padel – governed by the International Padel Federation.
The agreement is the culmination of months of negotiation between the parties and will see QSI acquire the business assets of WPT. In addition, the agreement will also see the resolution of outstanding disputes between the parties, including those affecting QSI, FIP and the professional padel players who have competed in both tours. Closing is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Throughout the remainder of the 2023 calendar year, the separate WPT and Premier Padel tours will be played as planned, while the unification of the competitions for the next calendar year – forming a single Premier Padel global tour under the governance of FIP starting in 2024 – is worked on.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, World Padel Tour, established in 2013, has served as the pre-eminent tour in the sport. It has featured over 26 men’s and women’s tournaments across 14 countries, boasting 17 global sponsors, television broadcasting rights spanning more than 150 countries, and an impressive social media following of nearly 4 million.
Premier Padel – the official professional padel tour governed by FIP and backed by the PPA and the International Padel Players Association (IPPA) – was only launched in 2022 and within its first year has become one of the fastest growing tours in world sport. Over 500 players from around the world competed in Premier Padel tournaments in its first year, played in some of the most iconic venues in sports history, including at Stade Roland-Garros in Paris. Premier Padel has secured multi-year broadcast agreements that cover 180+ countries reaching over 150 million households, while the inaugural 2022 Premier Padel season attracted 22.7 million views on YouTube. Over 110 leading professional female players joined Premier Padel in March this year.
Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, Chairman of Qatar Sports Investments and Premier Padel, said: “This is an historic moment for the sport of padel, ultimately seeing the two leading professional padel tours unified as one single global Premier Padel tour under the governance of the International Padel Federation – starting next year. As the fastest-growing sport globally, QSI is proud to be at the heart of driving the development of padel professionally all around the world, always placing the players at the centre of our mission to grow the sport everywhere. We are very excited for this next chapter.”
Demetrio Carceller Arce, Damm’s Executive Chairman, said: “The World Padel Tour is now beginning a new stage led by QSI, who will contribute to speeding up the tour’s international growth”. Carceller Arce added: “Damm is proud to have contributed to the development of professional padel, making the World Padel Tour a global benchmark, with over 4 million followers. This has helped padel become the world’s fastest growing sport in recent years, with very positive progress for the entire padel industry”.
Luigi Carraro, President of the International Padel Federation, said “As the governing body of padel worldwide, we are delighted to see the coming together of two great tours into one fantastic global circuit. The International Padel Federation thanks Damm for greatly contributing to the sport of padel through the World Padel Tour since its inception in 2013. We now look forward to the next fantastic phase of development and growth of professional padel under Premier Padel, which will benefit the whole padel community, including the national federations and – most importantly – the players and next generation.”
The new global Premier Padel tour starting in 2024 will become the leading tour in padel, and one of the most exciting projects in world sport. More details will be announced in due course.