Winners Alliance, the commercial arm of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA), the breakaway tennis union founded by Novak Djokovic, has unveiled a partnership with Team Playmaker, a newly-launched agency.

Through the tie-up, Team Playmaker – led by Matt Grandis and Ross Meltzer, both previously of CSM Sport and Entertainment – has been appointed the official partnership development agency of Winners Alliance.

Between them, Grandis and Meltzer have spent over 50 years in sales and marketing, having previously been chief commercial officer (Grandis) and chief business officer and president of properties (Meltzer) at CSM.

Team Playmaker now aims to work with partners around commercial opportunities including “partnerships, sponsorships, athlete marketing, content, naming rights, jersey patch sales, events, activations, and licensing.”

Grandis joined CSM in March 2016, followed by Meltzer in January 2017. 

Grandis said: “This venture, backed by the strength of Winners Alliance, allows us to be dynamic and innovative in our work to generate more meaningful, memorable, and measurable growth for our partners. We’re eager to help our longstanding partners meet their unique business objectives.”

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Eric Winston, Winners Alliance president, added: “We’re confident that Team Playmaker will create innovative and impactful opportunities for our athletes at scale, and will set the standard for effective marketing strategy and revenue generation for the sports and entertainment industry as a whole."

Aside from its tennis involvements, Winners Alliance also has tie-ups with properties such as the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations, and the EuroLeague Players Association (basketball).

Winners Alliance recently raised an additional $40 million from existing investors including Pershing Square Foundation and Prysm Capital.

The group was founded in August 2022 to generate and maximize off-the-court commercial opportunities for players and their agents. It is seeking to emulate player organizations from other sports in generating new revenues for players, with trading cards, other collectibles, and video among its stated first targets.

Winners Alliance claims to have secured more than $10 million incremental value for PTPA tennis players in its first year through collective licensing and marketing agreements with Fanatics and subsidiary Topps, TUMI, La Rosche-Posay, Heineken, CSM, Zoomph, and Grey Goose.