Davis Cup backer Kosmos puts ex-Barcelona man Puig in charge of marketing
Kosmos, the sports and media investment group founded by Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique which has revamped men’s tennis’ Davis Cup, has appointed Marc Carrión Puig, formerly head of brand at Pique’s club FC Barcelona, as the new head of marketing and digital at its tennis division.
Although Puig is being brought in to replace Marcal Valls, who was previously in charge of Kosmos’ marketing team, he will additionally head up the organisation’s digital team.
Puig will lead the marketing, digital, ticketing, hospitality and catering strategies during Kosmos Tennis events. At Barcelona, the LaLiga giants where Pique has played since 2008, his role included developing the Catalonian club’s brand positioning, as well as increasing sponsorship activity across markets such as the US, Latin America and Asia.
Before joining Barcelona two years ago, Puig worked as assistant brand manager for PepsiCo, the US soft drinks and snack foods giant, and had a spell at Danone, the international food corporation.
Kosmos, founded in 2018, has significantly altered the structure of the Davis Cup, men’s tennis’ main national teams competition. On the back of a 25-year, $3-billion partnership between the ITF and Kosmos Tennis signed in 2018, the traditional format of home and away ties has been replaced by a new competition which culminates with an 18-team finals held at a single venue. The inaugural version in Madrid last November was won by home nation Spain, and was widely deemed a success.
The new tournament has received significant financial backing from Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and chief executive of Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce company which is the Davis Cup Finals’ presenting sponsor.
In 2020, the Davis Cup Finals will once again be held in Madrid, from 23 to 29 November.
Puig’s main goal, to grow attendances at and interest in the Finals, will however be complicated by the men’s professional tennis tour, the ATP, having launched a rival competition in January this year.
Six weeks after the revamped Davis Cup debuted in Madrid, the rival ATP Cup followed suit in Australia, featuring 24 teams competing in a total of 129 matches across Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.
Tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have both called on the organisers of the ATP Cup and Davis Cup to merge the national teams competitions to reduce the number of games on the sport’s calendar.
David Haggerty, the ITF president, told Sportcal in December that he was hopeful the arrival of new leaders at the men’s ATP Tour will result in a single, bumper annual national teams tournament on the calendar by the end of his second term, and said earlier this month that a plan to merge the two competitions could be in place by June.