The Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA), the breakaway tennis union founded by tennis legend Novak Djokovic and Canadian Vasek Pospisil, and its commercial arm Winners Alliance, have announced a new global partnership with international hotel chain Hilton.
Under the new partnership, Hilton will serve as the official hotel and lodging partner of the PTPA, offering benefits and hospitality to members of the PTPA.
Hilton will also work with several professional women’s and men’s players to create content that will tell their unique travel stories while on tour.
Mark Weinstein, chief marketing officer at Hilton, said: “We are thrilled to announce our global partnership with the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA), further extending our Hilton hospitality to some of the world's finest athletes with memorable stays at all of our 22 hotel brands.
“As we continue to build this alliance, we also look forward to creating exciting content with the world’s top tennis players and curating money-can’t-buy experiences and access for our Hilton Honors members.
“From offering holistic wellness experiences and dining options to empowering our guests with greater choice and control over their stay through the Hilton Honors app, at Hilton, we know the important role a Hilton stay has on making sure you can be your best – even when furthest away from home.”
PTPA executive director Ahmad Nassar added: “This collaboration tackles our travel challenges, enabling players worldwide to spend less time worrying about accommodations and more time focusing on their game.
“Aligning with Hilton, known for crafting world-class experiences, underscores their investment in our players’ lives and livelihoods.”
The PTPA was created by Djokovic and Pospisil in 2020 to advocate on behalf of players in the sport after becoming disillusioned with how the system was working against the players’ interests while serving on the ATP Tour’s players council.
Its formation was met with criticism by the current tennis hierarchy, with the ATP and WTA, the top men’s and women’s tours, respectively, arguing that adequate representation is already provided to athletes within their current governance structures.
However, since then, the PTPA has moved to build out its backroom staff and establish itself within the industry, naming former NFL Players Inc. president Nassar as its executive director and chief executive of Winners Alliance.
With Winners Alliance, it has built out its remit into forming partnerships with brands that help members with day-to-day tour administration and creating revenue for players. Traditionally, as self-employed athletes, tennis players have been responsible for securing their sponsorship deals and organizing their travel, accommodation, and branding.
Last year, the PTPA announced a partnership with digital intelligence platform Zoomph to measure and value players’ digital brands, while also announcing its first group licensing agreement with Fanatics Collectibles, a division of the digital sports platform and e-commerce company, to produce an annual set of player cards of women’s and men’s tennis players.
At the time, the PTPA said that partnership was a key part of its vision to establish a sustainable group licensing program “that generates incremental revenues for the players while also contributing to the growth of the sport.”
Winners Alliance has already secured $26 million in new funding from Pershing Square Foundation, led by billionaire Bill Ackman, as well as private equity firm Prysm Capital and Nassar.
Along with Nassar, the union has added several industry veterans including Adam Larry, who has consulted for and negotiated the collective bargaining agreements for North American leagues the NBA, NFL, and CFL. Other additions include a slew of lawyers, forensic accountants, and communications staff.