Adam Helfant to be named new ATP chief [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Adam Helfant to be named new ATP chief

smucav
01-08-2009, 12:47 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/jon_wertheim/01/07/atp.chief/index.htmlSI.com
Posted: Wednesday January 7, 2009 6:49PM; Updated: Wednesday January 7, 2009 6:59PM
Jon Wertheim
INSIDE TENNIS
Helfant to be named new ATP chief

Q: I gather you have some news from the tennis world.
A: I'm told by multiple sources that the search is over and the ATP has finally settled on a new chief executive: Adam Helfant, 44, a Harvard-educated former Nike executive with both a legal and marketing background. The contract is being finalized and an official announcement is forthcoming.

Q: Is this a surprise?
A: In several ways, it is. For one, as tennis' nerve center has gone "off shore", there was a sense that the job was going to go to a non-American. (One suspects that, in part to appease the European contingent, Helfant will relocate from the U.S. to London.) Also, the slate of candidates bandied around was comprised of classic tennis insiders, figures familiar with the sport who had either worked for the ATP or a management agency or had run a tournament. Helfant is none of the above.

This is a classic case of an outsider surprising the field. This can be both a plus and minus. He's likely to bring a broad range of experience to bear. On the other hand, outsiders tend to get frustrated by the snarled politics and inherent conflicts and competing fiefdoms that so often prevent the sport from moving forward. Too often, they eventually throw up their hands and say, "Who needs this?"

Q: What sealed it for Helfant?
A: I was told that the top players (which often means their agents and advisors) strongly supported his candidacy and thought highly of the global nature of his work at Nike. His predecessor, Etienne DeVilliers, was brought on with the mandate for change, which is polarizing in and of itself. But his real undoing came when he lost the backing of the top players.

Q: What is Helfant's mandate?
A: It's not quite Obama territory, but he has his work cut out for him from Day 1. One of the big jobs entails replacing Mercedes and shoring up the ATP's sponsorships, no small challenge in these times. He'll also need to address the never-ending calendar issues and assure that the new ranking system and tournament commitment system is in working order. Then there are broader marketing and broadcast issues, the ongoing quest for players to receive more revenue from the Grand Slams, the residue of the match-fixing scandal. No question he'll have his work cut out for him. At the same time, the process spanned months so one strongly suspects he is going into this position with eyes wide open.

Copyright � 2007 CNN/Sports Illustrated.

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 12:51 AM
Great choice. More of the same garbage from the ATP.

Surprise that Drewett didn't get it, but Helfant is going to be the Federer and Nadal poodle.

Nathaliia
01-08-2009, 01:06 AM
Who is this dude?

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 01:09 AM
Who is this dude?

A former Nike rep. So we go from Mickey Mouse to a poodle.

Stensland
01-08-2009, 01:10 AM
according to google he used to be a marketing director at nike. as gwh pointed out he seems to be quite the de villiers. i don't see why people would fire him just to hire someone pretty much like him. but then again, we're just outsiders. who knows how he made his case prior to the appointment.

Nathaliia
01-08-2009, 01:13 AM
First time I hear the name but from your opinions I don't like it already. Out of poodles I like only ExcaliburII the poster from Argentina.

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 01:22 AM
I will be glad to be proven wrong about this guy, the whole Nike thing and that Federer/Nadal being sponsored by Nike, not a good look.

cobalt60
01-08-2009, 01:24 AM
Who can we blame if he screws up?;)

Stensland
01-08-2009, 01:31 AM
ok, some basic facts:

went to harvard and MIT (engineering)

worked for the NHL earlier

then went to nike's legal department

elevated to vice president of u.s. marketing in 03

duong
01-08-2009, 01:33 AM
Helfant is going to be the Federer and Nadal poodle.

Maybe that's what you mean, but I think it might be worse : Federer and Nadal would have been Nike's poodles in that case.

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 01:34 AM
Maybe that's what you mean, but I think it might be worse : Federer and Nadal would have been Nike's poodles in that case.

No, you got it right the first time.

Johnny Groove
01-08-2009, 01:35 AM
elevated to vice president of u.s. marketing in 03

At least the guy has some good marketing experience, something the sport is in desperate need of

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 01:37 AM
At least the guy has some good marketing experience, something the sport is in desperate need of

Devilliers did well in his other fields of business, but couldn't get it done in tennis, could he.

Johnny Groove
01-08-2009, 01:38 AM
Devilliers did well in his other fields of business, but couldn't get it done in tennis, could he.

Well yeah, but I'm hoping that Helfant does a better job than EDV, not too much to ask is it?

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 01:43 AM
Well yeah, but I'm hoping that Helfant does a better job than EDV, not too much to ask is it?

Mark Miles did a better job than Mr.Disney, but that's not saying much. Honestly the ATP deserve the admin they have had since it was founded.

Kitty de Sade
01-08-2009, 01:46 AM
At least the guy has some good marketing experience, something the sport is in desperate need of

Good marketing people will save this planet. :hug:

You are absolutely right- the ATP is in dire straights and needs someone with some sort of a clue to run the marketing department. He should have been touted to lead that, not the whole operation.

I'd love to be wrong, but this guy has no viable experience where it matters. We'll see how long the top players support him. A cursory look tells me it may well be horiztonal mobility with Mr. Nike replacing Mr. Disney.

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 02:07 AM
The ATP as an organisational structure needs to be reformed, because it's not exactly a players association. The ATP as it is currently isn't working as a players group, it's working against them most of the time and benefitting the TD's and the players are just commodities and when their stock has run out, they are discarded for the next cattle intake.

At the same time, in an individual sport, and their self-interest doesn't always help. They need each other to survive, but one holds a larger balance of power which is why the ATP originally formed cause they weren't happy with the direction of the tour at the time and players wanted to have larger say in what goes on within the game.

As a players association, which does not mean having TD's on board, hence the players need a union to campaign as individually isn't cost-effective. The ATP was formed as a partnership between TD's and players, initially it worked as it got off the ground, but it hasn't for a long time and there needs to be proper groups representing the respective interests, unlike what they have now. But they have to work closely together, and it's not effective under one banner.

Doing ATP surveys is fine and all, but they really count for shit, when the questions are worded in such a way that they would bias results.

cobalt60
01-08-2009, 02:12 AM
Didn't some players try and mutiny and span their own "union" of sorts? It did not work if I remember correctly. GW- could you give some background on that if you remember about it?

Deboogle!.
01-08-2009, 02:17 AM
Why are people condemning him before he's even taken the position? It seems to be a curious choice but I assume the (newly elected) board played a role in this, so I would be a bit surprised if he was just another Mr. Disney. I, for one, am at least willing to give him a chance before I write him off. At least he has major sports experience.

Lee
01-08-2009, 02:20 AM
Didn't some players try and mutiny and span their own "union" of sorts? It did not work if I remember correctly. GW- could you give some background on that if you remember about it?

I think it was headed by Wayne Ferreira but I don't remember the details either :p

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 02:21 AM
Didn't some players try and mutiny and span their own "union" of sorts? It did not work if I remember correctly. GW- could you give some background on that if you remember about it?

There were some tenative rumours about IMTA, but it never got off the ground. Tarango, Wayne Ferreira, Hewitt was meant to be a supporter as well, but for something like this to get off the ground, it needs some big backing. There have been other sports, that have needed rebel leagues to wake up the establishment and then they come together and the game kept going forward, not saying that this is the right way for tennis to go.

cobalt60
01-08-2009, 02:21 AM
I think it was headed by Wayne Ferreira but I don't remember the details either :p

Dementia Lee. It has set in bigtime for us :( ;)
Anyone? Care to enlighten the elders?

cobalt60
01-08-2009, 02:22 AM
There were some tenative rumours about IMTA, but it never got off the ground. Tarango, Wayne Ferreira, Hewitt was meant to be a supporter as well, but for something like this to get off the ground, it needs some big backing. There have been other sports, that have needed rebel leagues to wake up the establishment and then they come together and the game kept going forward, not saying that this is the right way for tennis to go.

thank you :)

Lee
01-08-2009, 02:26 AM
Dementia Lee. It has set in bigtime for us :( ;)

Tell me about it :sobbing:

fast_clay
01-08-2009, 02:27 AM
wow... the ATP choked on match point...

NicoFan
01-08-2009, 02:36 AM
Why are people condemning him before he's even taken the position? It seems to be a curious choice but I assume the (newly elected) board played a role in this, so I would be a bit surprised if he was just another Mr. Disney. I, for one, am at least willing to give him a chance before I write him off. At least he has major sports experience.


I'm quite pleased with the choice. Harvard and MIT. Marketing experience with one of the biggest sports companies in the world. Not a tennis insider, but at the same time, obviously has the respect of the top players.

I'm looking forward to seeing what he'll come up with to help the sport.

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 02:40 AM
wow... the ATP choked on match point...

They might as well have hired the head of IMG to this position.

fast_clay
01-08-2009, 03:47 AM
yeah.... like, i guess in the current financial climate, it may have made sense to tryand hire someone who can bleed a rock... but, who it is kinda reeks of a few suiting themselves... i had hoped it would be someone with, essentially(!!!), playing experience who had a very succesful tournaments directors stint, or solid experience in the sports business industry - just someone who could relate to the players problems that exist from top to bottom... usually when an appointment swings so hard in one direction, like it did with de villiers, a balance should be struck with the subsequent appointment... sadly, this isnt a democracy...

ah... another day perhaps...

El Legenda
01-08-2009, 03:50 AM
joined NIKE in 1995 in the Company's legal department, and was appointed Director of Business Affairs for Global Sports Marketing in 1997, Director of Global Sports Marketing in 1998, Director of U.S. Sports Marketing in 2001, Vice President of U.S. Sports Marketing in 2003, and corporate Vice President, Global Sports Marketing in August 2004. Prior to joining NIKE, he was in private practice and an attorney for NHL Enterprises, Inc.

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 04:02 AM
yeah.... like, i guess in the current financial climate, it may have made sense to tryand hire someone who can bleed a rock... but, who it is kinda reeks of a few suiting themselves... i had hoped it would be someone with, essentially(!!!), playing experience who had a very succesful tournaments directors stint, or solid experience in the sports business industry - just someone who could relate to the players problems that exist from top to bottom... usually when an appointment swings so hard in one direction, like it did with de villiers, a balance should be struck with the subsequent appointment... sadly, this isnt a democracy...

ah... another day perhaps...

No co relation at all with his Nike job and the fact that Nike sponsors Federer and Nadal.

iSzavay.
01-08-2009, 04:09 AM
It should've been the senior McEnroe :(

Fee
01-08-2009, 05:09 AM
This story was broken a week ago by the Chilean press...

El Mercurio in Chile is reporting that it will be Adam Helfant.

http://www.emol.com/noticias/deportes/detalle/detallenoticias.asp?idnoticia=337720

but I love how it's more legitimate now that it's in the English language press.

I have to agree with Deb, I'm quite surprised at the comments in this thread about a guy who hasn't even taken the position yet or spoken publicly about his vision for the ATP. Everything I've heard about him for the last month has me feeling very optimistic about what he could bring to the table. The Board took their time with this appointment, they were very deliberate with this process, and they had a number of good candidates to choose from. I have my fingers crossed that he will be as player friendly and as fan friendly as his resume suggests.

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 05:52 AM
I have my fingers crossed that he will be as player friendly and as fan friendly as his resume suggests.

You are joking about the fan friendly thing aren't you? The ATP has never been fan friendly and pro sport isn't fan friendly, suppose it's relative when it comes that.

Deboogle!.
01-08-2009, 06:03 AM
You are joking about the fan friendly thing aren't you? The ATP has never been fan friendly and pro sport isn't fan friendly, suppose it's relative when it comes that.Her point was that the guy looks fan-friendly on paper. Maybe he will bring some of that to the ATP tour. We cannot know that until he takes his position and we see what he is gonna do. I really just don't get the preemptive slamming of him in this thread, though. Maybe he'll be so bad we wish for Disney's return, but maybe he'll do some good stuff. then again some people here seem to have already made up their minds to dislike him and will dislike anything he tries to do.

Fee
01-08-2009, 06:03 AM
You are joking about the fan friendly thing aren't you? The ATP has never been fan friendly and pro sport isn't fan friendly, suppose it's relative when it comes that.

No, I'm not joking about it. Helfant's marketing background gives me hope (and some other things, but I'm not going into that). Anyway, if you want to be pessimist in chief about it, have at it. You aren't upset that your previous comments from the other thread about Drewett being the obvious, pre-picked choice turned out to be wrong, are you?

NinaNina19
01-08-2009, 06:05 AM
Nike executive :rolleyes: . It will be like clay season all year long.

michelleg
01-08-2009, 06:33 AM
No more offensive poodle references. I happen to have one and am horrifed to read such derogatory references to such a lovely animal.

Via
01-08-2009, 07:10 AM
i am surprised that they pick a tennis outsider again. maybe there really isn't any one competent enough inside tennis, to govern tennis.

FairWeatherFan
01-08-2009, 07:39 AM
Good job on completely denigrating the guy before he even steps into the position. Illogical and unfair behaviour.

I for one wish him well in his new job and hope he performs better than De Villiers.

bluefork
01-08-2009, 12:53 PM
Good job on completely denigrating the guy before he even steps into the position. Illogical and unfair behaviour.

I for one wish him well in his new job and hope he performs better than De Villiers.

The last one was the DeVil and this one will be Hel, too. :p

In all seriousness, I agree with the above poster. Give the guy a chance to screw up before you tear him a new one.

Johnny Groove
01-08-2009, 01:04 PM
Just to put a face to the name

http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Content/Image/09-13-2007/Adam-Helfant.jpg

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 01:14 PM
No, I'm not joking about it. Helfant's marketing background gives me hope (and some other things, but I'm not going into that). Anyway, if you want to be pessimist in chief about it, have at it. You aren't upset that your previous comments from the other thread about Drewett being the obvious, pre-picked choice turned out to be wrong, are you?

Thanks for the no bullshit answer, yes he has a marketing and a law background, the guy is bright, this is obvious enough, but for being chief pessimist, there are enough reasons for it, it's not like there has been ever been a competent head of the ATP. I am sorry a guy who worked for Nike and the two top players being sponsored by Nike is a bit too cosy for me.

As for Drewett, well they didn't think he was good enough to do the job, it's more of a surprise that he didn't get the job, considering the current climate, then again maybe he wouldn't bend over enough for the right people.

The whole NHL thing, well was he there when they had the strike.

Action Jackson
01-08-2009, 01:37 PM
Her point was that the guy looks fan-friendly on paper. Maybe he will bring some of that to the ATP tour. We cannot know that until he takes his position and we see what he is gonna do. I really just don't get the preemptive slamming of him in this thread, though. Maybe he'll be so bad we wish for Disney's return, but maybe he'll do some good stuff. then again some people here seem to have already made up their minds to dislike him and will dislike anything he tries to do.

Pro sport know who their true masters are and for all the doublespeak it's not the fans. What sporting organisation makes a huge loss, when their attendances have grown, it's not exactly a competent one is it?

As for Disney's return, no one wants that, but he was a very successful man in the business world and very well educated bit like this cat Helfant, but didn't help him in this job did it?

If he actually has some balls and is prepared to make some tough decisions, while thinking them through thoroughly and not be a stooge to the TD's and the top players. He has to prove me wrong.

rocketassist
01-08-2009, 02:02 PM
Let's hope for 5 set TMS finals and some common sense back.

Isn't hard.

JolánGagó
01-08-2009, 02:12 PM
ok, some basic facts:

went to harvard and MIT (engineering)

worked for the NHL earlier

then went to nike's legal department

elevated to vice president of u.s. marketing in 03

Brilliant resumee but WTF has all that got to do with tennis I've got no idea.

NicoFan
01-08-2009, 02:14 PM
This story was broken a week ago by the Chilean press...

but I love how it's more legitimate now that it's in the English language press.



I noticed that too. I'll keep my opinion on that to myself however. :rolleyes:

Again, I think he's a good choice for the many reasons stated in numerous posts.

I don't understand why MTFers want a tennis insider, people who have proven over and over again that they are incompetent to run this sport. I would have given up completely if it was an insider from a tennis federation - good grief. Or a tournament director? They're the ones on the front line who have made this the most fan unfriendly sport on the planet. And I've only gone to a couple of tournaments which were actually run properly.

Although I have to agree with Action Jackson on that point. Tennis never has been a fan friendly sport. Even if Helfant wants to make the sport more fan friendly, he will be beaten down by everyone inside the game today - the players, the tournament directors, the tennis federations. Doesn't matter who runs the sport, there is absolutely no chance of tennis ever becoming fan friendly.

Snowwy
01-08-2009, 02:21 PM
The whole NHL thing, well was he there when they had the strike.

As if you would understand that strike..

JolánGagó
01-08-2009, 02:31 PM
I really just don't get the preemptive slamming of him in this thread, though.

Neither do I. Please close this clownish thread ASAP.

JolánGagó
01-08-2009, 02:35 PM
No more offensive poodle references. I happen to have one and am horrifed to read such derogatory references to such a lovely animal.

I agree. Same happens to me and pigs. I've been long horrified by so many derogatory references to such a noble beast in this forum but since we had this lovely crunchy piglet for Christmas dinner I just can't take it any longer.

Please close this thread ASAP.

ChinoRios4Ever
01-08-2009, 04:39 PM
Frauderer and Nadull's toy will lead the ATP? :scared:

Fee
01-08-2009, 04:52 PM
Thanks for the no bullshit answer, yes he has a marketing and a law background, the guy is bright, this is obvious enough, but for being chief pessimist, there are enough reasons for it, it's not like there has been ever been a competent head of the ATP. I am sorry a guy who worked for Nike and the two top players being sponsored by Nike is a bit too cosy for me.

As for Drewett, well they didn't think he was good enough to do the job, it's more of a surprise that he didn't get the job, considering the current climate, then again maybe he wouldn't bend over enough for the right people.

The whole NHL thing, well was he there when they had the strike.

You're welcome, and to be perfectly clear, that was a serious answer that I gave you.

Here's one thing to consider when bashing Helfant... unlike EdV, he's a tennis fan. He's been a tennis fan for years, and he has been involved in one aspect of it before. He's not as 'cosy' with the top two as you think considering that he left Nike in late 2007 and he didn't meet with them in December until after the Board had voted him into the position. I understand your skepticism, but please try to give the Board some credit for taking their time in making this decision and making it a very serious, very deliberative process. If you look at the current members of the Board, you'll understand why it had to be that way. Seriously, do you think that Ljubicic was going to pick a candidate just to feed his own ego?

kaylee
01-08-2009, 06:32 PM
Well said Fee!

Action Jackson
01-09-2009, 02:12 AM
You're welcome, and to be perfectly clear, that was a serious answer that I gave you.

Here's one thing to consider when bashing Helfant... unlike EdV, he's a tennis fan. He's been a tennis fan for years, and he has been involved in one aspect of it before. He's not as 'cosy' with the top two as you think considering that he left Nike in late 2007 and he didn't meet with them in December until after the Board had voted him into the position. I understand your skepticism, but please try to give the Board some credit for taking their time in making this decision and making it a very serious, very deliberative process. If you look at the current members of the Board, you'll understand why it had to be that way. Seriously, do you think that Ljubicic was going to pick a candidate just to feed his own ego?

One thing about "Mr. Swoosh ", he doesn't seem the type who wants to be out there like de Villiers, more content to stay in the background and that's good. Then again there were people saying that the South African was good for the job.

Federer and Nadal were with Nike back when he was working there and of course they are familar with him, it's not like they haven't been number 1 and 2 for a short period of time, pretty much since 2005.

As for being sceptical, well not really, just realistic, mainly because the ATP aren't a professionally run organisation, because of the way it's structured, which I have gone into detail about. This leads to decision making that lacks clarity and sense because of the differing factions under the one umbrella, making changes for the sake of making changes and don't think through the consequences thoroughly.

So what fan friendly gimmicks can we look forward to? They might as well appoint the CEO of Lehman Brothers.

Fee
01-09-2009, 03:37 AM
One thing about "Mr. Swoosh ", he doesn't seem the type who wants to be out there like de Villiers, more content to stay in the background and that's good.

How did you come to that conclusion?

Lee
01-09-2009, 04:01 AM
The whole NHL thing, well was he there when they had the strike.

The strike was 2004-2005. If Ducky's bio of him is correct that he joined Nike in 1995, then no. I believe NHL was pretty busy expanding during his time there.

Leo
01-09-2009, 04:39 AM
I remain optimistic about him as a businessman, but the Nike connection does worry me.

CooCooCachoo
01-09-2009, 10:33 AM
We might as well cut this guy some slack as none of us who criticize him in this thread probably know anything about him.

Considering the fact that the ATP desperately needs to attract some new sponsors, and maintain partnerships with the current ones, someone with a marketing background does not seem to be a bad choice. I am not too happy with the fact that he doesn't have a tennis background per se (which for me signals a lack of passion for the sport, which I think someone of his position should have), but he might deliver. I guess I'm cautiously hopeful.

Rumour
01-09-2009, 12:30 PM
The NHL experienced a lockout, not a strike, from 2004-05 since it was mainly the owners who were unhappy with the economic status quo, rather than the players. As for Helfant's prior position as an attourney for that league, I don't really know just how relevant that experience will prove to be heading up the ATP i.e. was that role primarily in a legal capacity compared to being a top executive where he would obviously have a lot more on his plate in terms of administration, finances, marketing etc.?

Action Jackson
01-10-2009, 02:32 AM
How did you come to that conclusion?

I did some background reading on him and that was one of the common themes that came through in comments from people that worked with Mr Swoosh , hence the word seems in my original statement.

Fee
01-12-2009, 12:37 AM
There will be more articles in Monday's press (I guess you could call them the 'official' stories - Robson, Wertheim, two others), but I thought this one was interesting:

Will New ATP Chief Helfant Take a Pay Cut?

by Lynn Berenbaum

Who is Adam Helfant? Why did he leave Nike? What’s he going to do for tennis? And will he take a pay cut to do it?

By now it’s not breaking news that Adam Helfant, who’s been on the short-list to fill the ATP CEO slot since the fall, will be offered the post.

Though the contract is not finalized, and the ATP Comms shop isn’t confirming (nor are they denying, actually), it’s a safe bet that the deal is happening.

What is unclear, however, is why Helfant departed Nike in 2007. Helfant was suddenly replaced in September of 2007 by John Slusher, son of legendary sports agent Howard Slusher. The press release never bodes well when it doesn’t say anything about where the incumbent is headed. And when it’s got ‘no comment’ plastered all over it, it can’t be good, can it? (I’m just asking….)

FTR, he also dumped about 5k shares of Nike stock a few months earlier, though there’s no telling if one had anything to do with the other.

A lot of speculation has been swirling around about the ATP CEO post and the notion of kicking it to a tennis outsider. Granted, unlike his predecessor, Helfant was the head of marketing for a major sports brand. But does that mean he knows anything about the tennis community en masse, or, well, even care? That is rather a sticking point given the chilly reception of outgoing executive chairman and president Etienne de Villiers, who had been cast upon with a suspicious eye due to his lack of experience in the sport. Or in his case, any sport. Add to this the geographic areas of global growth tennis has been experiencing, and it seems somewhat odd that an American would be hired.

A bigger question is compensation, and whether Helfant’s going to stick with the salary trend introduced by de Villiers. During his rocky 3½-year tenure, one of the most impressive things “Mr. Disney” did was simultaneously increase revenues for the ATP, and cut his own salary.

This was a bold move for any growing business, and to many, it showed his dedication to the sport as a sign of good faith.

According to their IRS 990 filings, under the leadership of Mark Miles, ATP CEO compensation was $931,770 for 2004 and 2005 with revenue at $33.6M and $37.5M respectively. De Villiers dropped the salary figure down to $763,966 in 2006, while pulling in an estimated $53M in ‘06 — roughly a 40% revenue increase over one fiscal year.

In 2007, de Villiers bumped his salary to $1M, when revenue for the year rose to $60.3 million. It should be noted that total expenses for the Tour rose to $61.3M in 2007 from $47.6M in 2006, which is due in large part to the $18M in legal fees accrued through the trial with the Hamburg tournament.

I should point out that I’m not saying de Villiers shouldn’t have exited. Both players and fans alike had good beefs to pick with de Villier-era legacy items like the round robin format, the loss of the Mercedes sponsorship; changes in the calendar, rankings system and tournament branding; not to mention the Hamburg trial (still ongoing). I do think most of us in the tennis world think he had only good intentions, but “ATP World Tour Masters 1000″ doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, nor does it seem logical that the officials didn’t even know the rules and had to wake him up in the middle of the night to find out what they were.

The SEC 8-K for Helfant reports that his earnings for 2007 included a base of $900k, plus bonuses and options. Had the departure not be so hasty, he would have had his base bumped to a $1M in 2008.

Given a downturn due to the global economic crisis it’s not unimaginable that revenues will be undercut this year. Will Helfant take a tip from his predecessor and leverage his earnings based on performance?

This new guy has a incredibly tough row to hoe, and this isn’t a job for everyone. Tennis has a very unique challenge mending fences within itself, and has seen capricious growth, but faces a tough competitive environment, and a global recession. Sports that have much more reach than tennis are hurting badly, and entertainment entities never fare well when the economy sours.

Interestingly, Bonnie Ford over at ESPN.com started off her column on this today noting how Helfant, like the incoming President of the United States, attended Harvard Law.

What she didn’t mention is that this guy could carry just about the same flavor of hopefulness for a brighter future and change that Mr. Obama does.

Can’t he?

Let’s hope.

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-01-09/682.php

NicoFan
01-12-2009, 01:25 AM
Thanks Fee. Good article. :yeah:

Action Jackson
01-12-2009, 01:35 AM
Thanks for that article Fee, gives some good background info about the man and the job that is at hand.

Henry Chinaski
01-12-2009, 02:31 AM
18 million legal fees. fuck me.

Fee
01-12-2009, 02:33 AM
Thanks Fee. Good article. :yeah:

Thanks for that article Fee, gives some good background info about the man and the job that is at hand.

You're welcome. Lynn's a good writer, I'm happy to spread her work around. There are a few active links in the original article (back to the SEC filings and such), worth taking a look for anyone who wants the background info.

Action Jackson
01-12-2009, 02:54 AM
18 million legal fees. fuck me.

Not a surprise is it?

Fee, I might be an ultra critical prick a lot of the time, but I appreciate something that has been well produced irrespective of whether I like the organisation or not.

Fee
01-12-2009, 03:03 AM
Fee, I might be an ultra critical prick a lot of the time, but I appreciate something that has been well produced irrespective of whether I like the organisation or not.

Okay. I'm not quite sure why this comment was directed at me, I've never called you a prick. I'm not too thrilled with the ATP as an organization either, and I hated EdV as much as most people here. I'm glad he's gone.

Action Jackson
01-12-2009, 03:14 AM
Okay. I'm not quite sure why this comment was directed at me, I've never called you a prick. I'm not too thrilled with the ATP as an organization either, and I hated EdV as much as most people here. I'm glad he's gone.

No, you didn't, but I come across as one and I know this, but I have my reasons to be suspicious of the Swoosh man. As for EdV, well he has some fans somewhere, that aren't related to him.

Thanks for the further links, it's never a bad thing to have a lot of resources and the writer does point out some of the things that I find strange with the appointment.

Blarghman
01-12-2009, 03:32 AM
The strike was 2004-2005. If Ducky's bio of him is correct that he joined Nike in 1995, then no. I believe NHL was pretty busy expanding during his time there.

The NHL experienced a lockout, not a strike, from 2004-05 since it was mainly the owners who were unhappy with the economic status quo, rather than the players. As for Helfant's prior position as an attourney for that league, I don't really know just how relevant that experience will prove to be heading up the ATP i.e. was that role primarily in a legal capacity compared to being a top executive where he would obviously have a lot more on his plate in terms of administration, finances, marketing etc.?

Saw a couple of mentions of the NHL 'strike' here that aren't referencing the right event at all. From this profile (an old one) on SportBusiness Journal (http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.feature&featureId=699), it's clear that he was not involved in the 04-05 lockout, but the 94-95 lockout, as he was

associate general counsel, NHL Enterprises, 1992-1995;

Hopefully this, from the same article, is also a good sign:

Perhaps it is Helfant's aversion to the spotlight that allows him to succeed in a job that is subject to intense scrutiny, both inside and outside Nike.

Fee
01-12-2009, 03:33 AM
No, you didn't, but I come across as one and I know this, but I have my reasons to be suspicious of the Swoosh man. As for EdV, well he has some fans somewhere, that aren't related to him.

Thanks for the further links, it's never a bad thing to have a lot of resources and the writer does point out some of the things that I find strange with the appointment.

Okay, I get it now. No worries.

I can see why people would be cautious with Helfant's appointment, especially when so many people were sure that an American would never get the position (even I was thinking along those lines) but somehow this board got convinced he was the best man for the job after 3 months of interviews. Even if he was only supported by the bare minimum majority (and I don't know if that's the case), he is the one they chose. He's willing to move to London and work out of the European office, he deserves some credit for that.

FYI, it's no coincidence that the AO announced a prize money increase two days ago, but that's a different thread I suppose.

Action Jackson
01-12-2009, 03:38 AM
Well he managed to convince the right people, but I think Kelli made an interesting point, in that as a marketing man that he could do an excellent job, but not as the head of the ATP.

Sure, he might be based in London, but it's going to be interesting to see how long it takes for comments to come out about him having a pro-American bias.

Spes
01-12-2009, 03:46 AM
I'll wait to pass judgement when he gets into the seat.

fast_clay
01-12-2009, 05:50 AM
heh heh, the new guy is gonna feel the heat when he makes his first big decision... he may not like the spotlight, however, after de villiers' sh!t reign, its gonna be hard to escape any sort of mass scrutiny... or, maybe he's pretty good at making it look like nothing is going on... not neccessarily a bad thing sometimes...

anyways, it'll be interesting to see how this guy plays the role...

Kitty de Sade
01-12-2009, 04:43 PM
Well he managed to convince the right people, but I think Kelli made an interesting point, in that as a marketing man that he could do an excellent job, but not as the head of the ATP.

:hatoff:

I've had some people disagree with that comment, which is fine- I stand by it though, having been through it first hand in music.

A person does this one thing well, they make a ton of money and instantly people believe he/she has the answers to fix everything. Attracting sponsors, balancing the budget and digging the business out of a 7 figure hole is one thing- righting the entire ship is another.

He has two distinct job responsibilities here. He was a Nike bigwig- okay, I understand that one. There is the $$$$$ part. What has he done to indicate future success as the head of the ATP? His background is in law and business. I'm not automatically discounting him, but why this guy and not someone else? :shrug:

Regardless, Helfant got what he wanted. His persuasive powers convinced the people in power to give him his title shot. We'll see what he does with it.

Fee
01-13-2009, 07:33 AM
Doug Robson is one of my favorite tennis writers...

http://blog.douglasrobson.com/2009/01/09/the-helfant-era-begins.aspx

The Helfant Era Begins

Posted by Douglas Robson at 1/9/2009 8:23 PM and is filed under tennis

It’s unofficially official: Adam Helfant is the ATP’s new chief. While first reported Thursday by Jon Wertheim at SI.com (and later on USA Today), a source close to the negotiations told me that the deal had been inked only today. As late as yesterday, there were still some fine points to be worked out. The ATP is expected to announce Helfant, a former Nike exec and Harvard-trained lawyer, as Etienne de Villiers’ replacement on Monday.

What’s interesting is that I’m told Helfant will assume both the chairman and chief executive roles within the ATP, the same titles held by de Villiers. There was discussion and speculation during the four-month search that those positions would be split, especially after de Villiers used his voting role on the ATP board to ramrod forward his vision for change in the game (for better and sometimes for worse). Perhaps fearing fecklessness, maybe Helfant wouldn’t take the job without both roles. Or perhaps the search committee could not take the time to find both a chairman and a CEO in these urgent times.

While ATP insiders such as Mark Young and Brad Drewett certainly were serious candidates, I was surprised also to learn that WTA CEO Larry Scott was in the mix until near the end. Scott would like to lead a combined WTA-ATP tour, which could explain why he didn’t land the job. I'm told the men aren't too keen on this idea. Another source told me that top players were wary of candidates too connected to the women’s game or seen as too inside the ATP, which is one reason why Helfant emerged as a leading candidate early on.

Helfant has an impressive resume, which includes an engineering degree from MIT, a law degree from Harvard and, most recently, a top post at Nike where he oversaw global marketing for the Oregon-based behemoth. One blank spot is why he left Nike in September of 2007. No one has given me a good answer or has been willing to share an explanation.

Phil de Picciotto, who oversees the athlete and personality group at Octagon (and whose roster of tennis clients include Gilles Simon and Tommy Robredo), said there was round support from players and tournaments for Helfant. That was not the case with de Villiers, who was perceived, at least by players, as leaning too far towards the tournament directors’ side.

“If there had been a jump ball this time around,” said de Picciotto of the selection process, “the players would have won. Last time, the tournaments won.”

That it wasn’t a two-man race at the end is not entirely clear, but it does make sense in light of de Picciotto’s comment that Nike veteran Helfant now sits in the top leadership position. After all, who are the two most important personalities in the men’s game? Nike guys Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Still, said de Picciotto, that’s not why he got the job. “Adam was the ideal candidate because he is an outsider but has been very connected to the game,” explained de Picciotto. “While American, he has a world view and he has had major input in the marketing of a world brand. Plus he had the trust of the top players.”

Another source went further, emphasizing that Helfant is anything but an outsider or naïve about tennis. “He has a vast understanding about tennis from his work at Nike,” the source said.

I was told Helfant has an incredible intellect, is principled, hard working and gets along with people. The source said he’s coming in with his eyes open to the challenges ahead and an understanding of why the last regime failed -- an important position for one's eyelids in the often-conflicting fiefdoms operating in the alphabet soup of tennis. In the end, the ATP’s constituents – many of them angling for a non-American at the helm -- saw that Helfant was “the best candidate regardless of his passport,” the source said.

In view of its loss of sponsor Mercedes and other broadcast and still unfolding economic turbulence, Helfant’s hiring is almost an admission that the tour needs to be led by someone with global marketing expertise, not tennis-specific knowledge.

I’ve never met Helfant personally nor do I know much about him. I look forward to meeting him in Melbourne and learning more about his vision for the game. Either way, you'll be hearing a lot about him. The media is sure to dissect his personality in the weeks and months to come.

Fee
01-13-2009, 07:40 AM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article5498891.ece

From Times Online
January 12, 2009

The Net Post: Adam Helfant to be ATP Tour chief and Australian tennis at its lowest ebb
Former Nike executive Adam Helfant will be the charged with guiding the ATP World Tour, says The Times Tennis Correspondent

Neil Harman

Unless there is a dramatic late change of heart, the new chairman and CEO of the ATP World Tour will be named this week and - as The Times indicated in an interview with board member Justin Gimelstob a week before Christmas - that man is Adam Helfant, a former Nike executive and alumnus of Harvard which proudly boasts of itself as "the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States".

Which not only marks out Helfant as a pretty intelligent man who might have a decent stab at unravelling the complexities of the tennis world, but confirms that if it is a tennis executive you want, then the educational flower of Massachusetts, is the place to start looking.

The 44-year-old will join fellow former pupils Larry Scott, the CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, Jim Curley, the tournament director of the US Open and Bill Babcock, the daddy of them all, who has been involved in professional tennis for 24 years, the last 18 at the helm of the International Tennis Federation, who has made the shrewd governance of the sport something of a speciality and been a quiet but hugely effective force as the grand slams have cemented their position as its four pillars.

It is the first time, for sure, that four men who attended the same school have attained such positions of power in tennis - and clearly with Helfant joining Scott as the driving forces of the men's and women's games, the Harvard influence will be enormous. It would fun to be in the same room when they first meet the formidable Babcock. They may be unconnected co-incidences but they go to the heart of what it takes these days to govern a sport. A lawyer's training will come in very useful if there are to be more calendar shifts and upset tournament directors who threaten legal redress.

According to the Sports Business Journal, when Helfant went off to college, it was not with the intention of becoming a lawyer but he ended up at a New York law firm after his Harvard stint, got recruited to the National Hockey League after four years and joined Nike's legal department in the mid-1990s. "Having distinguished himself as one of the sharper minds at a time when Nike was experiencing unprecedented growth, he was elevated to vice president of US sports marketing earlier this year," it is reported.

While Helfant held one of the most powerful jobs in sports marketing, getting him to talk about himself was nearly impossible. When sports executives who worked with Helfant were asked to describe him, their recollections all started with the same word: Smart.

"He is as thorough and as attentive to detail as any person I have worked with in this industry," said Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball's executive VP of business, who worked with Helfant on MLB's apparel licensing deals. "Adam's style is completely the opposite of the constant one-upmanship you see in this industry," Brian Jennings, NHL group VP of consumer product marketing said. "He lets everyone else talk a lot, then he just goes out and cuts a better deal."

Phil de Picciotto, of Octagon and a man of vast experience in tennis - he used to represent world No.1 Steffi Graf - says that simply being a Nike man (i.e. someone who has probably helped draw up the deals with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) is not the reason why Helfant has been appointed. "Adam was the ideal candidate because he is an outsider but has been very connected to the game and while American, he has a world view and he has had major input in the marketing of a world brand. Plus he had the trust of the top players." De Picciotto said.

There is much to be done - not least attempting to secure a deal to find a lead sponsorship partner for the ATP World Tour, after Mercedes withdrew it support from the start of the year. And one wonders what kind of deal the ATP has had to come up with to get its man.

As CEO of the WTA, Scott earned $1.6 million in 2008, a 62% increase over two years which meant he was one of the highest paid executives in women's sports. Etienne de Villiers, whom Helfant replaces at the ATP, was paid $1 million in 2007, up 33.3% from 2006. Total expenses rose to $61.3 million from $47.6 million in 2006. At the same time, revenue rose to $60.3 million from $55 million. Flip Galloway, the Chief Operating Officer of the ATP World Tour, earned $495,275 in 2007 while marketing executive Phil Anderton made $485,087.


{There is much more to this article including a discussion of the new rankings, but I only posted the relevant part here}

Fee
01-13-2009, 07:52 AM
The ATP press release:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/1/en/news/newsarticle_1762.asp

ATP World Tour News
London, United Kingdom
January 12, 2009

ATP Appoints Adam Helfant
© ATP

London, UK - The ATP, governing body of the men's professional tennis circuit, today announces the appointment of Adam Helfant as ATP Executive Chairman and President. Mr Helfant, 44, will begin his role with the ATP immediately and will be based in London.

Mr. Helfant, an MIT and Harvard Law graduate, brings a wealth of global sports, business and legal experience following 12 years as a senior executive with NIKE, three years with the National Hockey League (NHL) as an attorney and four years as an associate at the international law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Most recently he served as NIKE’s corporate Vice President, Global Sports Marketing a role in which he was responsible for NIKE’s relationships and contracts with athletes, clubs, teams, universities and sports governing bodies throughout the world. Previous to that, he held a number of senior roles at NIKE including Director of Global Sports Marketing and Vice President of U.S. Sports Marketing.

Adam Helfant, ATP Executive Chairman and President, said:
“There is no doubt that men’s professional tennis is one of the world’s most popular sports and, as a lifelong fan, it is a great honour to have been given the opportunity to take the helm at such an exciting time for the ATP. The ATP World Tour is a truly global sporting event, featuring some of the world’s best athletes and followed by millions of the most dedicated sports fans and I could not be more excited about being its new Executive Chairman.”

ATP Tournament Board Representative Graham Pearce said:
“We are delighted to welcome Adam to the ATP as our new Executive Chairman. Adam is widely acknowledged as one of the most talented executives in world sport, with exceptional sports, business and legal experience. The ATP Board believes it has secured a new leader with the necessary strategic vision, operational strength and international perspective to lead the ATP World Tour.”

ATP Player Board representative, Ivan Ljubicic, said:
“I am delighted, on behalf of the players, to be able to welcome Adam to the ATP. It was our intention as a Board to recruit a world class Executive Chairman and in Adam we are delighted and excited to have achieved just that. Adam has outstanding experience of working at the very top of world sport and business and is extremely well qualified to take the ATP World Tour to the next level of its development.”

Action Jackson
01-13-2009, 08:27 AM
Lets see if this guy is steak and not all sizzle.

Kitty de Sade
01-13-2009, 04:23 PM
He knows exactly what to say, I'll give him that. Very nice choice of words to call himself a "fan" of the sport.

So a corporate suit with a background in law and sports marketing has been put in charge of the ATP, officially. He'll be fit to handle threats of litigation from honked off td's, he can negotiate contracts for existing talent like nobody's business and has the support of the top players- he should, seeing how they're fairly familiar with his work.

Fair enough.

I'll believe it when I see two things- a global television deal and the abiliity of the marketing department to understand that you cannot cut a US promo for RG with Roddick and Blake in it. :hatoff:

nobama
01-13-2009, 04:50 PM
I'll believe it when I see two things- a global television deal and the abiliity of the marketing department to understand that you cannot cut a US promo for RG with Roddick and Blake in it. :hatoff:A global TV deal would be nice. Or at least a Tennis Channel that actually showed live tennis. The $$$$ excuse is wearing thin...

Kitty de Sade
01-13-2009, 04:59 PM
A global TV deal would be nice. Or at least a Tennis Channel that actually showed live tennis. The $$$$ excuse is wearing thin...

I'm almost positive I heard Federer say that to someone during an interview. If the larger audience can't see tennis on a regular basis like the NFL or football, how do you go about attracting new people? No people, no interest- no interest, no sponsors, etc.

He has to balance the budget asap. The penchant to cry broke all the time is a little :yawn: FIND the money and put it back where it needs to be.

They put so much effort into restructuring the points breakdown. How was that more viable than securing a television deal? I don't see it, but if I missed the boat on that one, I'd love to know. :shrug:

scoobs
01-13-2009, 05:23 PM
Well, we'll find out if he's Mr Just Do It or if he's Mr Hot Air Max in no time :)

nobama
01-13-2009, 06:57 PM
I'm almost positive I heard Federer say that to someone during an interview. If the larger audience can't see tennis on a regular basis like the NFL or football, how do you go about attracting new people? No people, no interest- no interest, no sponsors, etc.

He has to balance the budget asap. The penchant to cry broke all the time is a little :yawn: FIND the money and put it back where it needs to be.

They put so much effort into restructuring the points breakdown. How was that more viable than securing a television deal? I don't see it, but if I missed the boat on that one, I'd love to know. :shrug:Yeah I don't get it. But every time someone bitches about the lack of tournament coverage on Tennis Channel the response is they don't have the $$$$$ to do so. How long can they keep using that as an excuse?

Another thing....what's up with this tennistv.com website? They're supposed to be showing matches from Sydney but as of last night the site still wasn't up and running. :o

Deboogle!.
01-13-2009, 07:24 PM
Yeah I don't get it. But every time someone bitches about the lack of tournament coverage on Tennis Channel the response is they don't have the $$$$$ to do so. How long can they keep using that as an excuse?Considering the economy is the way it is on top of everything, I don't see why it's so hard to believe that they are still having financial troubles. They can keep using it as long as they legitimately are having money troubles, which I really assume that they still are. I've even noticed significantly less original shows like the Center Court and No Strings series.

scoobs
01-13-2009, 07:40 PM
Yeah I don't get it. But every time someone bitches about the lack of tournament coverage on Tennis Channel the response is they don't have the $$$$$ to do so. How long can they keep using that as an excuse?

Another thing....what's up with this tennistv.com website? They're supposed to be showing matches from Sydney but as of last night the site still wasn't up and running. :o
Well they're due to show WTA Sydney matches this week but still nothing from what I can see.

They are supposed to start coverage from the QFs, which is...tonight...and still no signs of life from them :help:

scoobs
01-13-2009, 07:42 PM
Considering the economy is the way it is on top of everything, I don't see why it's so hard to believe that they are still having financial troubles. They can keep using it as long as they legitimately are having money troubles, which I really assume that they still are. I've even noticed significantly less original shows like the Center Court and No Strings series.
It seems to me that the aim has to be to get the product out there and Tennis Channel should be a prime target for the ATP to do that to boost viewership in the US.

I don't get why they can't come to some arrangement for broadcast rights. I mean, look - okay, so Tennis Channel doesn't want to stump up what the ATP asks for - now is it better for there to be no coverage at all then? Surely the ATP should look to cut a deal like to discount the rights and if viewership builds on the back of it, then the prices can be realigned further down the road. What's the earthly use of having a product if it's too expensive for people to buy?

kyleskywalker007
01-14-2009, 02:01 AM
He's gonna be the Hell-Efant to me :haha:

What a surname!

nobama
01-14-2009, 02:48 AM
Considering the economy is the way it is on top of everything, I don't see why it's so hard to believe that they are still having financial troubles. They can keep using it as long as they legitimately are having money troubles, which I really assume that they still are. I've even noticed significantly less original shows like the Center Court and No Strings series.Then what's the point of having the channel? So we can watch endless re-runs of DC matches/highlights or the finals of an event the day after it's happened? You'd think the tours would be able to cut a deal with them for coverage.

Fee
01-14-2009, 03:16 AM
There will probably never be a global television deal for two reasons: first, there is no global television network; second, the broadcast rights belong to the tournaments, so the ATP can't even negotiate them anyway. If the ATP had broadcast rights, you would see 'Master Series TV' at a heck of a lot more events. As it is, they utilize it for the events they own (or co-own as the case may be) and we get great coverage for those events - pirated or not. Perhaps the ATP and Board should reconsider control of the broadcast rights, but I don't see the tournaments handing over a potential source of income considering they have their own finances to consider (and the hefty licensing fee they already pay to the ATP to host a tournament in the first place). If there was a very reliable, online broadcaster that could broadcast all ATP events, it would be a step in the right direction, but that's not exactly the same as television coverage.

As for the Tennis Channel, yes they are broke and yes, it is all about money. Even if a tournament called them to come broadcast for free, TTC would still have to pay for personnel, travel, expenses, and the most expensive of all, renting the satellite truck and sending the signal out (think of it as one very long, very expensive cell phone call). I believe it's actually cheaper for them to carry feeds from other sources (like the Masters Series) than it is for them to braodcast a US event. I personally keep my fingers crossed for their survival - without them we would have less coverage of tennis, not more. At least we get the Slams and the European Masters from them.

If you really want the ATP to take away braodcast rights from the individual tournaments, write to the tournament reps on the Board and try to make that argument. I doubt they will buy it.

NicoFan
01-14-2009, 01:20 PM
Good points Fee.

I agree that the TC doesn't have any money, and to be honest, not sure they are spending what little money they have in smart ways. While it sounds impressive to have Grand Slam coverage, I'm not impressed with the extra coverage they provide, which can, if people have access to live streaming (legal or illegal), be seen in other places. I would rather have extended coverage of other tournaments where they pull in the feed from another source.

But for the survival of the game, the tournament directors must - I repeat must - hand over their broadcast rights. If Helfant does nothing else, he has to get through the thick skulls of the tournament directors and get them to see that television coverage is imperative for the growth of the game. Which will in turn, not only help attendence at tournament, but attract sponsors. I worked for a major sponsor of a midsize tournament, and television coverage is the numero uno issue on the negotiating table.

As for live streaming, the ATP also has to make sure that there is affordable live streaming for every event. It is the future, second only to television coverage. To be honest, for fans under 25, more important than television coverage. And with all the new gadgets that can connect computers to TV, a viable option for the sport to grow the game in the absence of television coverage.

nobama
01-14-2009, 01:57 PM
Good points Fee.

I agree that the TC doesn't have any money, and to be honest, not sure they are spending their money in smart ways. While it sounds impressive to have Grand Slam coverage, I'm not impressed with the extra coverage they provide, which can, if people have access to live streaming (legal or illega), be seen in other places. I would rather have extended coverage of other tournaments where they pull in the feed from another source.

But for the survival of the game, the tournament directors must - I repeat must - hand over their broadcast rights. If Helfant does nothing else, he has to get through the thick skulls of the tournament directors and get them to see that television coverage is imperative for the growth of the game. Which will in turn, not only help attendence at tournament, but attract sponsors. I worked for a major sponsor of a midsize tournament, and television coverage is the numero uno issue on the negotiating table.

As for live streaming, the ATP also has to make sure that there is affordable live streaming for every event. It is the future, second only to television coverage. To be honest, for fans under 25, more important than television coverage. And with all the new gadgets that can connect computers to TV, a viable option for the sport to grow the game in the absence of television coverage.All very good points. The PGA tour has broadcast rights so they're able to negotiate with the golf channel cable/national networks. Tennis needs something similar. Right now there are multiple events happening and on TTC the live coverage is almost non-existant. Instead we get paid programming and reruns with maybe SF or F coverage (if we're lucky) and often times tape delayed. That new tennistv website is promising, but $130 annual subscription might be too expensive for some folks. Unless they provide other options (just atp, just a specific tournament, etc).

nobama
01-14-2009, 02:03 PM
http://www.aamiclassic.com.au/files/09AAMICLASSICFEDERER14.1.09.doc

Q: Talking about the CEO, from what we understood at the end of last year the top players seemed to have been in favour of a European man and it is an American, so how did it come about and what do you think about that?

RF: Well, for me it doesn't matter where in the world he comes from, the new CEO. I remember Rafa saying he would like to have a European one. I spoke to him and he also said as long as he is a good man, at the end of the day that is what matters. I think it is important that the CEO we have today, he spends significant amount of time as well in Europe because that is a driving force from the players' side at the moment. But I still think it is important not to forget the rest of the world, especially America as well, because America is a huge market and they have already the US Open, which is one of the most incredible tournaments in the world. So we will look at all of those things, but I don't think it was an issue at the end of the day at the end if it was going to be an American or a European.

Q: Roger, how much contact have you had with him so far?
RF:. With him?

Q: Adam Helfant, and what do you think the biggest change is going to be between him and De Villiers?

RF: I had contact when he came to Dubai and saw me in December. I know him from Nike because he was working there, so I knew him before that as well. But Rafael, and I think Novak, had never met him, so he came to Monaco to see them which I thought was important, obviously, and it was important that the board also got to meet him and talk to him. His view is great. He has been in sports big time. He deals with Brazil and FC Barcelona and all the basketball players. I even had something going on with him at Nike when I was negotiating my Nike contract, so I saw what kind of a man he was. He is very honest, and I think that is a very good thing.

meihaditalab
01-14-2009, 03:47 PM
obviously no one cares... :haha:

NicoFan
01-14-2009, 04:25 PM
http://www.aamiclassic.com.au/files/09AAMICLASSICFEDERER14.1.09.doc

Q: Talking about the CEO, from what we understood at the end of last year the top players seemed to have been in favour of a European man and it is an American, so how did it come about and what do you think about that?

RF: Well, for me it doesn't matter where in the world he comes from, the new CEO. I remember Rafa saying he would like to have a European one. I spoke to him and he also said as long as he is a good man, at the end of the day that is what matters. I think it is important that the CEO we have today, he spends significant amount of time as well in Europe because that is a driving force from the players' side at the moment. But I still think it is important not to forget the rest of the world, especially America as well, because America is a huge market and they have already the US Open, which is one of the most incredible tournaments in the world. So we will look at all of those things, but I don't think it was an issue at the end of the day at the end if it was going to be an American or a European.

Q: Roger, how much contact have you had with him so far?
RF:. With him?

Q: Adam Helfant, and what do you think the biggest change is going to be between him and De Villiers?

RF: I had contact when he came to Dubai and saw me in December. I know him from Nike because he was working there, so I knew him before that as well. But Rafael, and I think Novak, had never met him, so he came to Monaco to see them which I thought was important, obviously, and it was important that the board also got to meet him and talk to him. His view is great. He has been in sports big time. He deals with Brazil and FC Barcelona and all the basketball players. I even had something going on with him at Nike when I was negotiating my Nike contract, so I saw what kind of a man he was. He is very honest, and I think that is a very good thing.


Thanks for posting. As usual, intelligent comments by Roger. :yeah:

And why am I not surprised that Rafa wanted a European for the job. :rolleyes:

The players and fans on both sides of the pond need to get over this in fighting over who has more tournaments, more say, etc. etc. The sport - and other sports too - are facing years of economic crisis. Everyone has to work together to make sure that the sport comes through this.

And if I hear the European players whine about coming over to the States for IW and Miami this year, I'm going to scream. And the American players need to get their butts over to Europe for the clay court season - including Monte Carlo. Neither of course will happen - I will end up screaming because the European players always whine about crossing the pond, and the American players - to their own detriment - always are wimps about clay.

Deboogle!.
01-14-2009, 05:08 PM
Then what's the point of having the channel? So we can watch endless re-runs of DC matches/highlights or the finals of an event the day after it's happened? You'd think the tours would be able to cut a deal with them for coverage.You don't think the tennis channel would much prefer air live coverage as often as they can? I mean, duh, they're not stupid I don't think. What sounds like a good thing about this Helfant guy is that it doesn't sound like he wants to revamp the tour or anything, i mean the schedule still needs a lot more work IMO but beyond that, all this rebranding the tour etc, not sure if that seems to be his big focus, which is good. Hopefully he will stick to marketing and promotion and advertising and maybe most importantly, securing big sponsorships, etc. That's what the tour needs. Maybe within that, he can do some innovative things where TV is concerned. But as others in this thread have rightly said, it's a bit pointless to blame TTC when their hands are effectively tied by both a very low budget and the fact that there is no one body that controls the rights. What would be nice would be if at least in the US, the USTA could help ensure TTC gets coverage of all our domestic events. Something like that would be at least a step in the right direction and at least would be more feasible than trying to tackle the whole tour.

For the record, most of the major sports leagues in the US own the rights to a game. If you watch a baseball game they flash that message about "this broadcast is the property of major league baseball" blahblahblah, same for the NBA, NFL, NHL, etc. Is this even a feasible kind of setup for tennis? I don't know - once you enter an international market like tennis is, it gets a whole lot more complicated. So we can't just sit here and say that the ATP should take control of all the broadcast rights because logistically and legally speaking it is most likely just not that simple.

NicoFan
01-14-2009, 05:16 PM
most of the major sports leagues in the US own the rights to a game. If you watch a baseball game they flash that message about "this broadcast is the property of major league baseball" blahblahblah, same for the NBA, NFL, NHL, etc. Is this even a feasible kind of setup for tennis? I don't know - once you enter an international market like tennis is, it gets a whole lot more complicated. So we can't just sit here and say that the ATP should take control of all the broadcast rights because logistically and legally speaking it is most likely just not that simple.

True, I doubt it is simple. And considering how incompetent the leadership of the sport is at running the game, that adds to the difficulty level.

I'd have to look at how other sports deal with television rights, but golf is international and they own their broadcast rights. And the NBA, NFL, NHL, NASCAR, etc. broadcast worldwide.

Would love to know from others on the board how football (soccer) handles broadcast rights. For example, I get English Premiere League football (soccer) here in the U.S. - multiple teams, not just one team. It seems as if the league owns the broadcast rights rather than individual teams, but don't know for sure.

Bottom line, it has to be done, even if it is difficult. I'm repeating myself, but no sport can survive today without good television coverage. Add live streaming on to that now. With some exceptions, tennis sucks at both - and that doesn't bode well for the sport as a whole.

Deboogle!.
01-14-2009, 06:20 PM
I think it's different when a league/event is based in one country but licenses internationally. It's a lot easier to handle than tournaments spread across literally dozens of countries and trying to deal with broadcast rights. Because if, say, the NBA is BASED in the US, they can have their domestic deals and their international deals. But when each ATP event is based in a different country, it makes sense to me that it is much more complicated, because each event then has a domestic broadcaster and international broadcast licensing deals. Each event's interests are different, unlike the NBA or other similar league. It's just way more complicated, at least to me.

Definitely a better analogy is golf, but since I don't watch golf and don't have a clue how it works, I can't begin to comment on whether it'd be feasible for tennis to try to emulate that.

nobama
01-14-2009, 07:07 PM
Definitely a better analogy is golf, but since I don't watch golf and don't have a clue how it works, I can't begin to comment on whether it'd be feasible for tennis to try to emulate that.Golf has different tours - there is the PGA tour in the USA, European Tour, Asian Tour, etc. I believe the PGA tour in the USA owns the tournaments and broadcast rights so they're able to cut deals with the networks. Obviously it's much more difficult with tennis but hopefully this is one of the top priorities for the new Executive.

Stensland
01-19-2009, 02:06 PM
roddick had dinner with helfant.



Q. If you could help Adam Helfant prioritize things when he comes into the job, are there a few things you'd like to see him look at first?

ANDY RODDICK: I actually was lucky enough to have dinner with him the other night. I was pretty impressed. He didn't come in with kind of this braggadocio attitude of what he's done, whatever. He kind of came in and he had his notepad and his pen and he asked questions and he wrote down notes. He didn't come in like a know‑it‑all. He was kind of very concerned about a number of issues. If he didn't quite understand it, he would ask why we thought that.

so helfant obviously tries to take in as much as possible to be prepared for the job and consults all the big shots in the game.

does anyone know if de villiers had the same approach prior to his actual appointment? what was his preparation like?

*edit: some more:



...It was an impressive meeting, that's for sure. After the meeting, I was glad that they had chosen him.

Q. Can you say what some of those issues were?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, there's the normal stuff. There's the schedule, there's surface, balls, different things to promote the game, different campaigns, how to make it more relevant on a day‑to‑day basis at home.

I guarantee I'm forgetting five or six things we covered. But, you know, it's not anything new. I'm sure it's all been talked about amongst all of you, as well.

nobama
01-20-2009, 03:55 PM
I hope whomever replaces Ljubicic will actually have time to devote to the position. I think it's a bad idea for one of the top players to take the spot as they're too busy focusing on their career.


Ljubicic Wants Federer on ATP Tennis Board After Quitting Role

By Grant Clark

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Ivan Ljubicic quit his role as a player representative on the board of the ATP men's tennis tour and wants Roger Federer to replace him.

Ljubicic, 29, said in an interview in Melbourne he resigned after five months in the job to concentrate on his playing career and his family after becoming a father two months ago.

Federer has got increasingly involved in tennis politics, becoming president of the ATP player council in June and, according to Ljubicic, taking a role in the hiring of Adam Helfant as the tour's executive chairman. Ljubicic represented Europe's players on the seven-man ATP Board that Helfant heads.

``I would love Roger to do it but I don't know whether he'd like to spend so much time in politics,'' Ljubicic said after winning his first-round match at the Australian Open.

The 27-year-old Federer, who was unavailable to comment, may be a popular choice with players and tournaments -- the two constituencies of the tour that often have opposing agendas.

``He's great for the game, he's done so much, everyone looks up to him,'' U.S. player Robby Ginepri, 26, said in an interview. ``He has great leadership.''

Rafael Nadal said 13-time Grand Slam winner Federer was probably too busy to take one of the three player spots on the board as he targets Pete Sampras's record of 14 majors.

``It's not the moment,'' No. 1-ranked Nadal, 22, said in an interview. ``Maybe in the future he'd be a good choice.''

`Statesman'

Craig Tiley, tournament director of the Australian Open, said he ``couldn't be happier'' that Federer was taking a leading role among players.

``I believe that he is the statesman of our sport and to have him involved in the sport is fantastic,'' Tiley said in an interview.

Ljubicic became president of the ATP player council in 2006 and was elected to the main board in August last year. He was the first active player to serve on the board since Paul Annacone in 2003 and has won eight career singles titles.

``I have a family and I still want to play a lot of tennis,'' the Croat said. ``This was my No. 3 priority and I don't feel like the guys deserved this. I would love to come back when my career slows down a bit.''

Ljubicic said the 44-year-old Helfant, who worked with Federer as Nike's vice president of global sports marketing, brings high expectations following his appointment this month.

``There were a lot of positive recommendations for him and we hope they're right,'' Ljubicic said.

The ATP said the process for finding Ljubicic's replacement would be announced ``in due course.''

``Ivan has given huge amounts of time and effort in the last year to his role as a player board representative and we fully understand and support his reasons for standing down.'' Helfant said in an ATP statement.

Justin Gimelstob and David Egdes are the other player representatives on the ATP board.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Clark in Melbourne at gclark@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: January 20, 2009 08:42 EST

Fee
01-21-2009, 04:00 AM
I don't think it should be Federer, or any other top player. It's a very demanding role, being on the Board, especially with all of the potential changes coming this year. It would be nice if it was a doubles player from outside of the US. They have more time and many of them are pretty smart guys. Wonder if Jonas Bjorkman would be willing to give up his time at home with family for the spot? He could be a good candidate.

nobama
01-21-2009, 06:23 AM
I don't think it should be Federer, or any other top player. It's a very demanding role, being on the Board, especially with all of the potential changes coming this year. It would be nice if it was a doubles player from outside of the US. They have more time and many of them are pretty smart guys. Wonder if Jonas Bjorkman would be willing to give up his time at home with family for the spot? He could be a good candidate.Yep totally agree.