Premier Padel, the new padel tour organized by the International Padel Federation (FIP) in collaboration with business group Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), has hired sports marketing and entertainment agency Octagon to run its first tournament in Spain.
Earlier this month, Premier Padel announced the addition of the Madrid Premier Padel P1 tournament to its tour, with the tournament to take place from August 1 to 6 at the WiZnik Centre in the Spanish capital as part of a multi-year deal between the tour and Madrid authorities.
It is the second P1 (category two) tournament to be announced by Premier Padel after the Argentina Premier Padel P1 was unveiled earlier this year.
According to Spanish news outlet 2Playbook, Octagon has been tasked with the organization of the new tournament, as well as responsibility for its media, sponsorship, and ticket sales.
The agency also runs events for international beach soccer organizers Beach Soccer Worldwide and FIFA’s Beach Soccer World Cup.
To organize and market the new tournament, Octagon and Premier Padel have created a new subsidiary, Premier Padel Spain, which will be led by Octagon president Joan Cusco. The tour has similar subsidiaries in Italy, France, and Mexico where other tournaments are being held.
David Serriahima, general director of Octagon, has been appointed chief executive of Premier Padel Spain, while Xavier Bartroli, director of Octagon, will act as vice-president. Juan Santiago Bellmunt, Octagon secretary, will also serve as a director of the new company.
The appointment of Octagon comes as World Padel Tour (WPT), the established series now rivaled by Premier Padel, tries to prevent the new Madrid event from going ahead as part of a bitter dispute between it, the Players’ Association (PPA) and FIP since the Premier Padel tour was launched at the start of the February.
The FIP then claimed Premier Padel will be “the only official tour in the sport of paddle”, replacing WPT, and “the only official tour under the governance and regulation of the FIP”.
At the end of last month (May), WPT started legal action against the FIP, PPA, and QST over the establishment of the new circuit. The series said it filed the lawsuit for ‘unfair competition’ against the trio for attempting to exclude the WTP from the market and replace it with the Premier Padel Tour.
In the lawsuit, the WTP said the FIP had distanced itself from its role as an impartial, non-profit regulatory body.
It also accused the defendants of inducing a breach of contract by WPT players, as well as benefitting from that breach, boycotting the normal development of the WPT circuit by taking advantage of the FIP’s dominant position and denigrating the WPT.
The complaint, filed at the Madrid court in Spain, will be decided in early July if it will accept the precautionary measures requested by the WPT, including suspending the participation of any player with a WPT contract from any Premier Padel tournament.
This year’s Premier Padel tour began in Qatar in March and features tournaments in Rome, Italy; Paris, France; Monterrey, Mexico; and now also Madrid, Spain.
UK-based sports marketing agency Pitch International markets the global media and sponsorship rights to Premier Padel.
Organizers were able to secure multiple rights deals across several European countries ahead of the first tournament including with pay-television giant Sky in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.
It also secured a significant broadcast agreement with international pay-television broadcaster BeIN Sports across 37 territories covering France, the Middle East, and North Africa, Asia Pacific, the US, Canada, and Turkey.
In addition, a deal was announced with Viaplay, the streaming platform run by European media giant Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT), in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the Netherlands, while Charlton TV has snapped up rights in Israel.
ESPN, meanwhile, secured a major set of Premier Padel rights, in a four-year arrangement covering close to 50 countries across South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.