WINNERS ALLIANCE RAISES $26 MILLION IN EQUITY TO SUPPORT OPERATIONS AND LONG-TERM GROWTH
– Funding will enable the PTPA to launch its Player Services Platform to serve professional men’s and women’s tennis players globally;
– Ahmad Nassar, Former OneTeam Partners Founding CEO and NFL Players Inc. President, Named PTPA Executive Director & Winners Alliance CEO;
– Bill Ackman, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., and Co-Trustee of The Pershing Square Foundation, Appointed Winners Alliance Chairman of the Board –
NEW YORK, NY (August 26, 2022) – The Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) – global advocates on behalf of men’s and women’s professional tennis players – today announced that it has launched Winners Alliance, a for-profit affiliate, to generate and maximize off-the-court commercial opportunities for players and their agents, emulating the successful model of players associations in other sports. Among its first initiatives, Winners Alliance will establish a sustainable group licensing program for video games, trading cards, collectibles, and related opportunities.
Former OneTeam Partners Founding CEO and NFL Players Inc. President Ahmad Nassar has been named the Executive Director of the PTPA and CEO of Winners Alliance. Winners Alliance Chairman Bill Ackman, via the Pershing Square Foundation, and Prysm Capital, a growth equity investment firm experienced in working with player associations, co-led the $26 million raise, alongside an investment from Mr. Nassar.
Said Ahmad Nassar: “I am excited to continue my career working to empower world-class athletes at the PTPA. Having a players association that unconditionally cares for every tennis player is incredibly important, and I am privileged to have the opportunity to take this organization to the next level.”
Nassar joins after serving three years as Founding CEO of OneTeam Partners, a group licensing, marketing, and media powerhouse representing the commercial interests of women’s and men’s athletes across multiple sports. Prior to OneTeam, Nassar led NFL Players Inc. as President and helped grow the NFL Players Association’s marketing and licensing business into one of the largest for-profit licensors in sports, doubling annual revenue and payouts to players during his tenure.
Said Vasek Pospisil, co-founder of the PTPA: “Ahmad is the perfect choice. He brings an unrivaled set of experiences and expertise working with women’s and men’s athletes across many sports. As we continue to build our player leadership and base, I know Ahmad’s perspective, background in licensing and marketing, and success in unlocking huge value for players and their associations will be a major asset. Players want an independent voice and a real seat at the table. With the launch and funding of Winners Alliance, we are now well resourced to make a material difference in players’ lives.”
The Winners Alliance Board of Directors reflects leadership across industries, with the inaugural board consisting of Chairman Bill Ackman, CEO and Portfolio Manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P., and Co-Trustee of The Pershing Square Foundation; Christina Francis, President of Magic Johnson Enterprises and former CMO of the Orange Bowl and NFL Players Association; Jay Park, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Prysm Capital; Muhammad Mian, Prysm Capital Co-Founder & Partner; and Ahmad Nassar.
“I have had a lifelong passion for tennis, both as a player and a fan, but have long recognized the challenges that most professional tennis players experience due to the sport’s inferior economics for all but the very top of the rankings ladder,” said Bill Ackman. “I could not be more optimistic about the opportunity to partner with Ahmad and Vasek and the new team they are building to help revolutionize the economics of the game for the players, and to accelerate the growth and sustainability of the sport to benefit all participants in the tennis ecosystem.”
“I am thrilled to join the board and continue my work on behalf of athletes,” said Christina Francis. “Ahmad is best positioned to lead the association and Winners Alliance, as he and I both see the value and importance of advocating for the business interests and livelihoods of athletes. My track record throughout my career will support the PTPA, Winners Alliance and their mission.”
Players Services Platform (PSP)
The PTPA will launch the Player Services Platform to enhance professional players journeys in the sport by leveraging the group buying power and brand value of all the players. PSP services will include global discounts on travel, food, and accommodations and other player necessities, benefit programs, insurance options, travel and logistics support, player concierge amenities, a tax advisory and attorney network, discipline appeals support, access to financial planners, player charity support, and media and public relations counsel, among other benefits.
The Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA)
Co-founded in 2020 by Vasek Pospisil and Novak Djokovic, the PTPA is an independent organization dedicated to the advancement and protection of professional men’s and women’s tennis players across their entire professional journey. The PTPA aims to address player challenges and influence fair change within the business of professional tennis. The PTPA movement is mobilizing players to create an equitable and sustainable ecosystem for players today and for generations to come, including health and safety issues, schedules, rules, purses, benefits, and education. The PTPA will be headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, with operations globally within the tennis community.
About Ahmad Nassar
Ahmad Nassar built his career by dedicating himself to working with athletes to help them get more value out of their professional careers. His vision helped form OneTeam Partners in 2019 as a joint venture between the NFLPA, MLBPA, and RedBird Capital Partners. Established to maximize the collective value of athlete rights across group licensing, marketing, media and investing, OneTeam was the first company owned by athletes and capitalized by a major financial partner. Under Nassar’s leadership, the sports company evolved into a multibillion-dollar company representing the commercial business interests of world-class athletes represented by the NFLPA, MLBPA, MLSPA, the USWNTPA, the NWSLPA, the WNBPA, the U.S. Rugby PA as well as men’s and women’s collegiate athletes.
Prior to OneTeam, Nassar spent more than a decade at NFL Players Inc., the for-profit marketing and licensing business of the NFLPA representing 2,000 NFL players. He managed operations and led commercial negotiations with the NFL and partners such as Fanatics and Electronic Arts. The organization evolved into one of the most progressive business-to-business entities in sports, generating multiple years of record revenue growth. During his tenure, Nassar led the creation and launch of ACE Media, an NFLPA-owned business focused on athlete lifestyle programming; co-founded and led the OneTeam Collective, the first athlete-driven business accelerator, engaging early-stage companies by licensing NFLPA group rights in exchange for equity. Along with founding partners from the WNBPA and USWNTPA, Nassar helped launch REP Worldwide, a landmark group player representation business that offered licensing and brand management services to athlete-driven sports properties.
About The Pershing Square Foundation
The Pershing Square Foundation (PSF) is a family foundation established in 2006 to support exceptional leaders and innovative organizations that tackle important social issues and deliver scalable and sustainable global impact. PSF has committed more than $600 million in grants and social investments in target areas including health and medicine, education, economic development and social justice. Bill Ackman and Neri Oxman are co-trustees of the Foundation. For more information visit: www.pershingsquarefoundation.org.
About Prysm Capital
Prysm Capital, LLC is a growth equity firm that partners with disruptive, category-leading companies in the technology, consumer, and healthcare sectors. With a long-term and company-first perspective, Prysm helps management teams achieve their next level of growth.
The PTPA conducted a global executive search process utilizing TurnkeyZRG, which recruited and vetted a diverse pool of CEO candidates from around the world.
For PTPA: [email protected]