Re: Worrying times: lots of challengers missing in 2013
you act like only young players play Futures. If you cut Challenger events where do you think devilder and robert will play?
Anyway, financially it's mostly the responsibility of local organisers to raise the cash. It's not just the ATP's job.
There are always businesses willing to sponsor local sporting events. It's about having the skill and passion to sell the product to them.
However, there are areas they could help. There could be some sort of hardship fund where established Challengers could apply for assistance if struggling to attract sponsors.
A fund of even 1 million euros could potentially save a dozen struggling events. We're not talking big money here. Prize money, some wages and equipment are the only real expenses.
Another area the ATP could help is by trying to attract a global sponsor or at least regional ones. To make this viable there would be some minimum requirements expected of tournaments as regards livescores, streaming, etc. 2012 was the first year every event (I think) even had a livescore.
That shows you how badly the tour has been neglected. (But according to the cranky Bulgarian, above we're just whinging for nothing).
Formally dividing the Challenger tour into some regional blocks might help. e.g. a company would be sold sponsorship of portion or all of east Asian swing. (An upcoming Asian sporting goods company for example might not be too concerned with having its name on a billboard in Ecuador.
You only have to look at the success stories of last year to see that the Challenger tour is underexposed to potential investors.
You could have tied Jerzy Janowicz down on a multi-year contract last year for pennies, whether it be clothing, shoes or a sleeve patch. This year he is signing deals with Peaugot. Klizan the same. And these guys were hot juniors. Not some secret fluke successes.