(Bloomberg) – Billionaire Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Foundation and investment firm Prysm Capital have led a $26 million investment in a new organization designed to help professional tennis players pursue business opportunities off the court .
Winners Alliance, a for-profit affiliate of the Professional Tennis Players Association, has named Ackman as chairman of the board. Among its first initiatives, the organization plans to establish a licensing program allowing gamers to be paid for their likeness used in video games, trading cards and related fields.
The board also includes Christina Francis, president of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Prysm Capital co-founders Jay Park and Muhammad Mian, and Ahmad Nassar, who previously ran athlete agency OneTeam Partners and NFL Players Inc. Nassar, who was appointed Executive Director of PTPA and CEO of Winners Alliance, also participated in fundraising.
For tennis players who have risen to the pinnacle of the sport such as Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the awards are regularly supplemented by lucrative partnerships with brands like Sweetgreen, Tiffany & Co., Richard Mille and Mercedes -Benz. But for hundreds of other lesser-known contenders, injuries or winless streaks can make the professional tour financially difficult.
“With the launch and funding of Winners Alliance, we are now well equipped to make a meaningful difference in the lives of gamers,” said Vasek Pospisil, who co-founded the PTPA with 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.
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“I have always had a passion for tennis, both as a player and as a fan, but I have long recognized the challenges that most professional tennis players face due to the economy. bottom of the sport for all but the top of the rankings,” Ackman said. in an emailed statement.
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