‘Together for Tennis – ITF strong’
Dave Miley today in London unveiled his manifesto ‘Together for Tennis – ITFStrong’ (available at TogetherForTennis.com) to become President of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Nominated by Tennis Ireland, Dave Miley is the former ITF Director of Development, and his manifesto is driven by what is:
• Good for global tennis
• Best for the National Associations that own the ITF
Recognising the current fragmented nature of world tennis, his manifesto outlines a coordinated vision and plan to ensure tennis becomes a healthier and more global
sport. Working with key tennis stakeholders and the wider tennis industry, Miley has also set a goal to double the value of the global tennis market. In delivering this goal, he wants to see millions more playing tennis and consuming every aspect of the game – from purchasing club and national association memberships, coaching and equipment, to attending and watching professional tennis live and on TV and digital platforms.
In a wide-ranging manifesto covering areas including professional tennis, grassroots development, commercial growth and governance, Miley’s blueprint for the ITF includes:
- Restructure the ITF World Tennis Tour to be more user friendly and provide a pathway for all talented performance players
- Respect the current Davis Cup and Fed Cup formats and contract with KOSMOS while working in the longer-term to agree a format for these competitions that better respects their traditions and drives greater income
- A closer relationship with the Grand Slams with increased financial support for the global game
- Organise a Summit on World Tennis in 2020 involving the most important constituents to agree positive actions for tennis
- Increase the ITF commercial presence globally and develop new ITF properties including a combined Men’s and Women’s ITF World Championships
- A comprehensive review of the structure and staff levels and associated costs of the ITF Administration to ensure efficiency and effectiveness and that the best tennis and organisational expertise is in place
- Improve player relations by establishing an ITF ‘Player Commission’ made up of current players and ensure better communications with the international playing community at junior and professional entry level
- Establish a Chairman of the ITF Board to guarantee greater accountability and ensure the ITF operates with improved transparency
- More investment and tangible actions to increase tennis participation including the re- launch of the successful ITF Tennis Play and Stay Campaign, the promotion of the 25% slower green ball to grow junior and recreational tennis and the reintroduction of World Tennis DayITF Presidential Candidate Dave Miley said:
“Tennis is a great sport, but it is not growing as it should, especially in the more developed and traditional markets where it is facing significant challenges. The image of the ITF with important constituents and in the eyes of players and coaches on the junior and professional tour is at one of its lowest points in ITF history, while the ITF World Tennis Tour has been a costly disaster.
“Against this backdrop, it is even more important that tennis becomes less fragmented and that all in the game work together, recognising that a healthy sport will benefit everyone. TheITF needs ‘big picture’ vision and leadership and because of my unique experience in thesport, I believe that I’m the right person for this elected position and the person best qualified to spearhead a new direction and help create a new order for world tennis.
“When I look at other mainstream sports, I see many growing quickly while tennis remainsrelatively static. This is not acceptable for a great sport like ours. My vision is an industry working together over the coming years, in a combined effort to double the size of our global market to US$ 45 billion. It can be done. The result being the ITF generating at least US$ 250 million of annual revenues and increasing dramatically the funds given back to the shareholders – the National Associations – and to global tennis development. I have travelled to more than 150 nations in my time at the ITF and I not only recognise the differences in nations and regions, I also know that the National Associations are the shareholders. They do not work for the ITF – the ITF works for them.
“My Presidency will not be about one person. I intend to lead a movement of like-minded people, consisting of leaders within the ITF National Associations and the ITF Board, to positively change the ITF and the current fragmented international tennis order. Now is the time for the ITF to listen, to face our challenges head-on and to take strong actions when necessary. My discussions with many National Association Presidents over the last few months have convinced me that this is the right way forward for the ITF.”
In addition to his nomination by Tennis Ireland, Dave Miley has also received support from the President of the Olympic Federation of Ireland, Sarah Keane and the Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD.