The elite Spanish football club, Barcelona’s defender, Gerard Pique will be a part in organising the Davis Cup Finals as the wealthy Spanish league La Liga decides to sponsor the event. They will be sponsoring the tennis event for the next four years. In tennis, Davis Cup is the greatest annual international team tournament where the tennis athletes represent their respective nations. However, most of the elite players of tennis are not participating in the event which is leading to a downfall in the viewership.
To revive the glory of the tennis tournament which was founded in 1900, the previous year, International Tennis Federation (ITF) signed a 25-year contract worth $3 billion with an investment group called Kosmos. Pique is the is the founder and president of Kosmos. “La Liga is pleased to partner with 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, La Liga’s international business development director.
The uncommon cross sponsorship will promote the live Davis Cup matches. “The cross-sport partnership with La Liga is innovative for the Davis Cup,” said ITF president David Haggerty. “This will widen our reach to not only tennis fans but other sports enthusiasts”. Traditionally, the event was held amongst 16 nations worldwide. And now the 18 countries will be participating in the tournament and the finals of Davis Cup will be held in Madrid in the month of November. La Liga will be promoting the tennis event in 200 countries during league matches in the month October and they have also partnered for the Davis Cup qualifiers.
The Australian Davis Cup captain, Lleyton Hewitt criticised Pique as the Kosmos group proposed some changes. “I haven’t been a supporter since they first flagged the possible changes,” Hewitt said. “I think having the finals in one place is ridiculous. I personally don’t think all the top players will play. Now we’re being run by a Spanish football player… that’s like me coming out asking to change things for the Champions League — it’s ridiculous.”