Michael Dowse is to step down from his position as chief executive and executive director of the US Tennis Association in March after two years in the role, the country’s national governing body for the sport has announced.
Dowse took up the role in January 2020 having been appointed in October the previous year after six years as president of Wilson Sporting Goods, the sports equipment manufacturer.
He succeeded the retiring Gordon Smith, who was the organisation's longest-serving chief executive and executive director, having assumed the position in November 2007.
Dowse is credited with leading a restructuring of the organisation and implementing “a new strategic plan that strengthened its financial outlook and focused on its mission to promote tennis at all levels in the US.”
He has also led the organisation through the Covid-19 pandemic, during which time it was forced to cut its staff by 20 per cent and closed its office in White Plains, New York, as part of cost-saving measures.
At the time, Dowse said the new structure would allow the USTA “to be more agile and more cost-effective while getting closer to tennis players at the local level.”
Participation in the sport in the US is said to have rebounded to record levels since then.
Dowse also led on the creation of the Tennis Industry United initiative, which brought a number of the sport’s bodies together to help drive the growth of the sport in the US.
Dowse said: “The USTA is now in a strong position for the future, and I am confident I will be leaving it in good hands and well-positioned for success … At the highest level of the sport – the US Open – as well as at every park and school where record numbers of Americans are now participating, with over four million new players just in the last two years.”
Michael J. McNulty III, chairman of the board and president of the USTA , added: “We want to thank Mike for his deep commitment to tennis and the steady hand he showed at a time of extraordinary challenge and uncertainty.
"He helped navigate the USTA through two years of the pandemic, staged two US Opens at a time when many thought it would be impossible, and helped refocus the USTA on its mission of growing the sport at the local level.”
Meanwhile, David Lampitt has been appointed as the first chief executive of Tennis Data Innovations, a joint venture by the ATP, the organiser of the top men’s tennis tour, and ATP Media, the global sales, broadcast production and distribution arm of the ATP Tour.
TDI was formed late last year to “manage the aggregated rights to ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour match data, coupled with certain media streaming rights, to enrich fans’ enjoyment of tennis and make tennis even more accessible to the digital audience.”
Lampitt is the first senior executive appointment since the formation of the company and will oversee “central management, product innovation and exploitation of tennis data in a variety of downstream markets, including betting and performance analytics.”
He brings with him significant leadership experience from a number of roles across sport, most recently as managing director of sports content and partnerships at Sportradar, the international sports data intelligence and digital content service provider.
Lampitt joined the organisation as a board director in 2012, subsequently helping to shape its commercial and strategic development, facilitate partnerships with leading sports organisations and deliver the company’s IPO in September.
Elsewhere, he has worked as chief executive of Supporters Direct, chief executive of Portsmouth FC and head of financial regulation at the English Football Association.
Lampitt said: “As a lifelong tennis fan, I’m delighted to be joining TDI at such an exciting juncture, as tennis looks to transform the way its data and content is leveraged across the modern game. I’m looking forward to building out the team at TDI and supporting the ATP and ATP Media’s joint mission to deliver the best experiences to tennis fans around the world.”
Mark Webster, chief executive of ATP Media and board member of TDI, added: "This is an important new venture with huge potential upside, and we needed someone with deep understanding of the space to lead the team. We’re delighted to have attracted someone of David’s skill and experience to come on board as chief executive.”