Tennis, Italy world leader: sporting and economic success

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The success of Italian tennis it’s not random. The investments made in the last two decades in structures and major events have borne sporting, but also economic, fruits. While champions such as Jannik Sinner, Lorenzo Sonego, Matteo Berrettini, Lorenzo Musetti and Matteo Arnaldi were growing, the Italian Tennis Federation (now Fitp, as padel was also added) saw its turnover increase by 900%: in 2003 in fact, the production value was equal to 17 million; in 2023 the projection is for revenues of 170 million euros. In the same period of time, membership increased from 140 thousand to over 600 thousand.

Big events

A constant increase which had its flagship in the Italian Internationals in Rome (among the Master 1000 with an extended calendar) and in the ATP Finals in Turin. Without forgetting the Davis Cup finals hosted for a few years in Bologna and the Next Gen finals hosted in Milan until last year. The revenues of the Italian Internationals have gone from 1.6 to 21.5 in the space of twenty years, with an increase of 1,250%. The ATP Finals, the most important tennis tournament on the circuit which last week saw the eight best players in the world rankings compete on the Pala Alpitour synthetic surface, had an economic impact on the territory exceeding 230 million euros, with extra revenue for the State, included in the 230, above 50 million and a positive effect also on employment with 1500 full-time jobs created for the event.

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The turnover of the Finals

The turnover of the Apt Finals in Turin in 2023 increased to 70 million euros, considering first of all the 22 million from the ticket office. Regarding spectators, out of a total of 166,470 salable tickets, 160,612 were purchased (60% in Italy and 40% abroad, especially Switzerland, Germany and England). Adding the communication operators, the athletes’ staff and the places reserved for the ATP and the authorities, the maximum attendance will be 171,097. Another 18 million come from public contributions (15 from the Government, one and a half each from the Piedmont Region and the Municipality of Turin) and the remaining 30 from the sale of commercial spaces, merchandising, sponsors, special projects (such as the event sold as NFT) and TV rights. On this last front, agreements were signed with 61 broadcasters (including the Italian Rai, Sky Italia and Super Tennis), guaranteeing global coverage in 179 countries.

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The prospects

«The entire tennis and padel system is healthy – Binaghi explained immediately after the end of the competitions in Turin – twenty thousand new stable jobs have been created between the two disciplines in recent years». As for the possibility that the ATP Finals could remain in Italy after the 2025 deadline, Binaghi says he is confident, «I believe we can do it, we are certainly not talking about a small event; here last time there were forty of the largest world capitals on the planet, it is an event that also has extraordinary global media relevance as well as a big deal. We will do everything to try to keep it in Italy but certainly the competition from Arab and Asian countries passing through America will be terrible.”

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