How did the first round become the most popular circuit of players in just a few months?
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How did the first round become the most popular circuit of players in just a few months?

How did the first round become the most popular circuit of players in just a few months?

Unlike tennis Where the only ATP circuit is used by the players (WTA for the players), the padel differs from its big brother by the plurality of its circuits around the world. Nowadays, 2 major laps were present, sharing not without tensions the best players on the planet. The WPT (World Padel Tour) and the APT (American Padel Tour) were therefore the main headliners of the International Padel until a few months ago when a new one has appeared, The first padel , a new brand new, innovative circuit, and which leaves much more field of action to the main sport players: the players. Back on the success story of the first padel, the new flagship of the padel.

A perfect timing for the first round

When we talk about the first padel, we must necessarily start with its creator, a well -known name in the world of sport, especially towards the French capital: Nasser al-Khelaïfi, boss of QSI (Qatar Sport Investment) and general manager of PSG. Fan of racket sport and in particular of Padel, the Qatari businessman wanted Invest in the padel For some time and has found in the first Padel a very good opportunity to register in this sport that he loves so much.

In terms of timing, launching this new circuit in early 2022 is no coincidence. Indeed, strong tensions were created between the association of professional players (PPA) and the instances of the World Padel Tour, about many subjects, in particular on Exclusive contracts at the circuit and on the cash Prizes too low For a sport that rises more and more in terms of audience. Almost all of the players, led by the president of the Alejandro Galan players' association, then express their dissatisfaction and do not hesitate to send the WPT in a case that is far from over. In any case, several members of the world top 20 have already participated in the first 2 tournaments of this circuit and display Total support for this kind of initiative.

Alejandro Galan, world number 1 and president of the Association of Players (PPA)

QSI rest on his strengths: knowledge of the environment ...

For its beginnings, the first padel opted for a simple but very effective system, Quality rather than quantity. For the year 2022, "only" 9 tournaments are organized under the leadership of QSI, against about thirty for WPT. But we must not forget that the implementation of this circuit has been carried out in a few months, from the creation of the logo in search of sponsors and the complete organization of tournaments.

This rapid and almost perfect organization is due to two main elements: Knowledge and resources. Indeed, QSI is not at its first try to manage large sports institutions and organize large -scale events. The company has been in the management of PSG since 2011, passing the club in another dimension in a very short time. Handball and women's football teams are also led by QSI. But Nasser Al-Khelaifi is also managing director of the Bein Sport group, very influential media group in Europe and the Middle East. In terms of sport, administrative and financial management of a project, we can say that the company has serious And is not afraid to face a challenge like that of the world padel.

Nasser al-Khelaïfi and Luigi Carraro, president of the International Padel Federation

And his almost unlimited money

Second characteristic, and undoubtedly the most important: the resources. Indeed, QSI has many means at its disposal to organize but also convince people to participate in their events. To convince FIP (International Padel Federation) to give their agreement for tournaments to be approved and count in the global classification, the company had to align an important amount of money for guarantee their success. And that has rather succeeded. Of the 9 planned tournaments, 4 “adults” will set up Chronologically in Doha, Rome, Paris and Mexico City. The first 2 having already taken place and met A great success With conquered spectators, players proud to have participated and welcoming organizations happy with the influence they were able to take advantage of.

But for the smooth running of tournaments and that the public comes in number, you have to attract players, convince them that the tournament is worth it. For this, the organizers have brought together A total cash prize of $ 525,000, much more than those offered by the WPT or even the APT which are rather between 120 and 140,000 dollars. More motivation for players: play in Mythical places in global sport Like the Foro Italico in Rome or Roland Garros in Paris. All these elements make that The first tournaments of the first padel are a success And give management for the coming years.

The facilities of Greenweez Paris Premier Padel Major, in Roland Garros

A viable and sustainable economic model

We said, QSI and the first padel have invested (Padel level) both in energy and in financial resources to make this circuit a success and positively impact the international PADEL. However, the Qatari company is rarely wrong and all the money invested will necessarily be profitable one day or another. It may already be, both the first 2 tournaments are a success for both the public and for the organization.

The diffusion model is also reliable and thoughtful with a distribution in 2 groups of diffusion rights:

  • The “Free-to-Air” model will be applied in Spain, A free diffusion model in clear, on TV. WPT, for example, is broadcast on Hispanic territory by the Movistar + chain which is paying. The goal is therefore to give Access to international international padel for all, And to make the circuit known to the greatest number of Spaniards as possible.
  • The paid model, for all other world countries. ESPN for the American continent (so South America, one of the biggest markets in the Padel) Sky Sports and BeIN Sports for Europe are the official broadcasters of the first padel. In these countries, the dissemination of the padel is in the majority of cases already encrypted, no shortfall is therefore to be anticipated. The goal here is quite different: generate income with TV rights without serving the reputation of the circuit.

The arrival of the first padel in the landscape of the world padel is very good, this circuit represents one (if not) Better organization than professional padel never had. The main elements of the circuit, the players, are finally respected, both at the level playing conditions that in terms of wages (Cash prize much higher and just). The common goal is therefore to increase the popularity of sport, Through its professional athletes and why not enter the small Papers of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) for the Olympic Games 2024.


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