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Historic Davis Cup reforms approved at AGM

ITF and Kosmos’ transformational Davis Cup by BNP Paribas proposals receive 71.43% majority.
Inaugural event to be held in Madrid or Lille from 18-24 November 2019.

AUGUST 16 2018

Orlando, August 16th - The International Tennis Federation (ITF) AGM today voted in favour of the ITF and Kosmos’ transformational reforms to the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, which will secure the long-term status of the competition.

From 2019, the competition will see 18 nations and the world’s best players compete in a week long season finale to be crowned Davis Cup champions. The first edition of the new event will be held in Madrid or Lille from 18-24 November in Europe, with the inaugural host city to be announced in the coming weeks.

Dave Haggerty, President of the International Tennis Federation, said:

“I am delighted that the nations have today voted to secure the long-term status of the Davis Cup. By voting in favour of these reforms, we will be able to work with Kosmos to realise the huge potential of the Davis Cup and elevate it to new standards. This new event will create a true festival of tennis and entertainment which will be more attractive to players, to fans, to sponsors and to broadcasters.

In addition, the new revenues for nations that the event will generate will have a transformative effect on the development of tennis in all nations. Our mission is to ensure the next generation of players and this historic decision will benefit new players for decades to come.
I would therefore like to thank the nations for taking this historic decision. I would like to thank the ITF Board of Directors for their commitment and support and I would like to thank, Kosmos, for their passion and partnership. I have no doubt working together we will ensure a brighter future for tennis all around the world.”

Gerard Piqué, President and Founder of Kosmos, said:

"Today is a historic day and we are convinced that the agreement ratified by the nations certainly guarantees the future of the Davis Cup and the development of tennis at all levels. I would like to thank ITF President Dave Haggerty, the ITF Board of Directors and the entire team of ITF professionals for their work with Kosmos over the past few months and welcome a new stage in which we will continue to evolve together. I would also like to congratulate all those who, with their votes, have embraced this change and have seen the momentous decision that was in their hands.

This is the beginning of a new stage that guarantees the pre-eminent and legitimate place that the Davis Cup should have as a competition for national teams while adapting to the demands of this professional sport at the highest level. It is a great honour for me to be part of this historic process of a sport that I am passionate about and, without a doubt, in both personal and professional terms this is one of the happiest days of my life.”

The 25-year agreement represents a total investment of US $3 billion into tennis, creating substantial and historic levels of investment into the global development of tennis through the ITF and its 210-member National Associations. There will be a significant increase in the nation’s income from the competition and a new player prize fund of $20 million introduced, taking Davis Cup to Grand Slam prize money levels.

The new format will involve a qualifying round in February, in which 24 teams will take part in a home and away matches – a key element of the Davis Cup’s heritage. The 12 winners will secure a direct place into the final and will join the four semi-finalists of the previous year - who qualify without having to play in February - and two wildcards that will be announced before the draw for the qualifying round.

The Davis Cup Finals will be held in a round robin format from Monday to Thursday, with the countries divided into six groups and each qualifying round consisting of three matches - two singles and one doubles - of best of three sets. The first placed teams from each group and the two best runners-up will reach the quarter-finals on Friday, while Saturday and Sunday will host the semi-finals and the final. The two worst qualified teams from the round robin stage will be relegated to Group one for the following year and the rest of the nations that did not qualify for the semi-finals will have to participate in February´s qualifying round the following season.
The ITF and Kosmos have already taken all the necessary steps to successfully consolidate this transition and are planning to announce further details in the coming weeks.

Kosmos welcomes Larry Ellison as an investor to its Davis Cup reform project

Ellison has announced today his endorsement to the Davis Cup reform that Kosmos is developing in partnership with the International Tennis Federation, and his decision to become an investor of the competition through the company founded and presided by Gerard Piqué.

AUGUST 6 2018

Barcelona, August 6th - Kosmos is pleased to announce that Larry Ellison is set to become an investor in the Davis Cup reform project that the Company is developing in partnership with the International Tennis Federation (ITF). 

In a letter published today, Monday 6th August through his official website, Ellison announced his support for the reform programme that will launch in 2019. 

“I readily embrace innovative ideas and opportunities which is why I am not only lending my written support, but will also become an investor in this competition”. 

Larry Ellison, who also owns the Indian Wells Tennis Garden facility in California as well as the Indian Wells Masters 1000 tournament, also expressed his support for the possibility of Indian Wells being a potential venue for the 2021 edition of the new competition. 

Gerard Piqué, Kosmos President and Founder, said: “I personally want to publicly welcome Mr. Larry Ellison to this project, being an enormous privilege for us. We are very pleased and proud to join forces and have him financially backing our commitment for boosting and reinforcing the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. The agreement reassures the sustainability and ambition of our engagement together with the ITF and I know it will be welcomed as a positive announcement for the global tennis community”. 

Kosmos is partnering with the ITF on this historic and ambitions roadmap to reform the Davis Cup that will create a unique season ending finale with 18 tennis nations and their tennis stars performing in a world class city and venue. The project will create historic levels of investment in grassroots tennis and all the national tennis associations thanks to a 25 year long agreement between Kosmos and the ITF. The proposal remains to be ratified by national associations on August 16th in Orlando, Florida (USA) at the ITF Annual General Meeting. 

Kosmos, a company founded and chaired by the professional football player Gerard Piqué, and backed by Hiroshi Mikitani -Chairman and CEO of Rakuten (TYO: 4755)-, is currently building a global portfolio of sports, media and entertainment ventures, leveraging strategic synergies across forms of content, platforms, technologies and geographies. 
Gerard Piqué during the presentation of the new Davis Cup project.
Gerard Piqué during the presentation of the new Davis Cup project.

ITF announces plans for transformation of Davis Cup

FEBRUARY 26 2018

The ITF today announced plans for a 25-year, $3 billion partnership with investment group Kosmos that will transform Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and generate substantial revenues for global tennis development.

The ITF Board of Directors unanimously endorsed a proposal to create a major new annual season-ending World Cup of Tennis Finals that will crown the Davis Cup champions. Featuring 18 nations and played over one week in a world-class location in November, the event will be staged by Kosmos in partnership with the ITF.

Gerard Piqué, the Spain and FC Barcelona football star, is the founder and President of Kosmos. The group is backed by Hiroshi Mikitani, the Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, the Tokyo-based e-commerce company.

The investment from Kosmos will include significant increases in prize money for players and ITF member nations, and the funding of grass roots projects and other tennis development programmes.

The proposal is subject to further development, and the successful completion of due diligence and finalisation of a formal agreement.

ITF President David Haggerty said: “This is a complete game-changer for the ITF and for tennis. Our Board has supported a bold and ambitious plan for the future of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, one of the sport’s most cherished and important events and a key cornerstone in our ITF2024 strategy.

“Our vision is to create a major season-ending finale that will be a festival of tennis and entertainment, featuring the world’s greatest players representing their nations to decide the Davis Cup champions. 

“This new partnership will not only create a true World Cup of Tennis, but will also unlock record levels of new investment for future generations of tennis players and fans around the world.”

Several world-class cities have already expressed interest in hosting the new event, and the ITF and Kosmos will continue discussions with a view to launching the Finals in 2019.

The plans will be submitted to the ITF Annual General Meeting, to be held in August in Orlando, Florida. A two-thirds majority will be required for final approval.

Gerard Piqué said: “Kosmos is thrilled to join in this exciting partnership with the ITF. Together we can elevate Davis Cup by BNP Paribas to new heights by putting on a must-see World Cup of Tennis Finals featuring the top nations and top players. Kosmos will also invest $3 billion over 25 years into tennis that will help develop the game worldwide.”

Under the plans, the World Cup of Tennis Finals will be played over seven days in November in the traditional week of the Davis Cup Final. The Finals will feature a round-robin format followed by a quarterfinal knockout stage. Each tie will consist of two singles and one doubles over best-of-three sets. The 16 World Group nations will automatically qualify for the Finals, and a further two nations will be selected.

There will also be a play-off round held during the Finals which will include the eight nations that qualify from the Zone Group I events. The eight play-off winners will earn a place in the following year’s Finals.

There will be no change to the format of zone group competition. In Zone Groups I and II, home-and-away ties will continue to be played during the traditional three weeks in the calendar. Zone Groups III and IV will continue to consist of week-long round-robin events.

Further details will be announced in due course.
Gerard Piqué and David Haggerty, ITF president.
Gerard Piqué and David Haggerty, ITF president.
Gerard Piqué and Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten.
Gerard Piqué and Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten.

About us

Kosmos, a company founded and chaired by the professional football player Gerard Piqué, and backed by Hiroshi Mikitani -Chairman and CEO of Rakuten (TYO: 4755)-, is currently building a global portfolio of sports, media and entertainment ventures, leveraging strategic synergies across forms of content, platforms, technologies and geographies.

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