- You are actually running as a candidate to be the potentially the next ITF Presidency, how you look International tennis today?
Tennis is the best sport for so many reasons, but the indicators show clearly that it is facing significant challenges in the more developed and traditional markets. Participation in the USA has dropped from 24 million players in 2009 to 16.7 million in 2016 and in Europe, some of the major tennis nations have, over the past five years, witnessed significant reduction in players at the recreational level.
Racket and ball sales are down significantly in these markets and tournaments that previously attracted many spectators and sponsors have moved from Europe and North America to Asia.
The Global Tennis market is currently estimated to be worth US22.5 billion (Sports Marketing Surveys, 2019). When I look at other mainstream sports, I see many growing quickly while tennis remains relatively static. This is not acceptable to a great sport like ours.
- 2. What are the challenges in tennis development which you will lead as a tennis expert in that role?
The vision laid out in my manifesto is driven and underpinned by two top line objectives:
- The good of the game internationally
- Providing the ITF Member Nations – the owners of ITF- – the necessary service, assistance and resources to develop the game in their countries
I believe that with the help and support of its most successful National Federations, we can ensure that the ITF – as the governing body of tennis – is strong, able to lead our sport effectively and ensure that the ITF is financially stronger. I know, from my meetings to date, that the majority of Federation Presidents agree with this vision.
I want to put in place an organization that is more effective and robust and driven by the right expertise. My Presidency will not be about one person. I intend to lead a movement of like-minded people from political and technical areas to positively change tennis. Tennis is a great sport, but it is not growing as it should.
Also, I strongly believe the need to adapt the product of tennis at every level to the needs and lifestyles of the customer, the players and the spectators.
Tennis needs to be driven less by coaching and more by user friendly play and competition.
- 3. Tennis is very disintegrated in the international field. (ITF/ATP/WTA/GS/OC). Which are your ideas about it, and how do you think you will be working to create a healthy environment?
- My intention is to re-build partnerships and relationships and show respect for the other constituents – especially the players, whose trust and respect I believe we have lost. We need to work together for the good of tennis and have the ITF strong again.
- Regarding Davis Cup and Fed Cup, I do not intend, in the short term, to change the new formats. I was not happy with the process followed which led to the Davis Cup changes in 2018 and to the ITF family being so divided. It was Too Far-Too Fast, but I will respect the decision taken and the contract with KOSMOS.
- Build more effective relationships with the most important constituents in international tennis, providing leadership and vision as the governing body of the sport.
- Develop stronger relationships with and support from the Grand Slams and the National Association owned ATP and WTA Tournaments.
- In the first six months of 2020, organize a World Tennis Summit with representatives invited from the key constituents of professional tennis and the tennis industry.
- 4. Give us five key professional & personal values that you think you are offering to International Tennis to this position.
- I am proud to have been nominated for this important role of ITF President by Tennis Ireland, a nation that first played Davis Cup in 1923. I believe that I am the right person to bring our family together, to make the ITF strong and to ensure global tennis reaches its full potential.
- I am also proud of my achievements as an executive at the top level of World Tennis and this experience makes me well prepared for the political and leadership role as President. I am standing for President because I believe I can make a big difference to the sport I love and to the ITF, an organization that is like my family.
- Having travelled to most of the Countries that are served by the ITF, I understand the challenges facing National Associations. It is they who provide and pay for the player development structure, the international tournament pathway and much more and who usually only get criticism in return.
- In my professional and tennis life, I have always tried to operate with a very pragmatic management approach. I do not believe in change for the sake of change. New leaders should recognize and continue with positive initiatives implemented by their predecessors, and only change things that need changing.
- Bigger picture vision and leadership to see how the different areas are linked and not simply to look at each objective in isolation.
5. Which do you think will be your legacy for international tennis after being in that position or in your career.
- To make tennis a healthy and truly global sport at all levels. 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.
- I want to ensure a fairer pathway for all talented players at junior and entry level professional tennis.
- My ambition is to develop new properties that can generate more income for ITF, including the creation of an annual or biannual ITF World Championships
You can read Dave Miley complete Manifesto at http://togetherfortennis.com