SAN FRANCISCO (August 23, 2018) – Universal Tennis, the Company behind the global tennis rating system UTR Powered by Oracle, has announced a new strategic investment and partnership with TEAM8, a leading sports and entertainment company owned by Roger Federer, Tony Godsick, Ian McKinnon and Dirk Ziff. TEAM8, the creator and principal owner of the exciting new Laver Cup tennis competition, is joined by additional significant investors participating in this financing including Blue Ridge Capital’s founder John Griffin, and existing shareholders Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle, and Mark Leschly, Chairman and CEO of Universal Tennis.
UTR Powered by Oracle has experienced rapid worldwide growth amongst players, clubs, Federations, coaches and tennis professionals who are adopting the rating and tournament/event management system as a valuable resource to measure skill and organize play. Unlike any other system, UTR Powered by Oracle provides players, coaches and organizers with a dynamic, objective measurement of tennis level based purely on head to head match results.
“Universal Tennis has a compelling product, plan and vision to provide innovative solutions to improve tennis for all players and those involved in the business of tennis,” said Tony Godsick, CEO and President, TEAM8. “Our entire team looks forward to collaborating with UTR and innovating in numerous ways to improve the tennis experience for players, coaches, organizers, manufacturers and sponsors and grow the game we all love.”
Universal Tennis has quickly accelerated its growth since its January 2018 acquisition and restructuring led by Mark Leschly and a seasoned group of investors, advisors and operators in tennis, sports, technology and media. The Company has established industry-leading strategic partnerships with Oracle, Tennis Channel, the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), and United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), and is the official rating system of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA).
Additionally, the Company has refined and relaunched its products, introduced a fully integrated tournament/event management system, and forged value creating partnerships across the tennis landscape to support a number of elite tennis tournaments, clubs, sponsors, and academies worldwide including IMG Academies, Saddlebrook Resort & Spa, Cliff Drysdale Management, Kim Clijsters Academy, Les Petits As – Le Mondial Lacoste, OrangeCoach, Good to Great Tennis Academy and HEAD USA, amongst others.
More and more players, coaches, professionals and Federations are realizing that UTR can increase participation, improve the game at all levels and support their individual efforts to advance the sport. In the coming months, UTR will release new products that will significantly enhance the ability of all players (tournament and recreational) to get a UTR rating, find and create play, and have more fun with tennis.
“As we enter our next phase of growth and expansion, we are delighted to have the support and guidance of our new partners at TEAM8. Roger, Tony, Dirk and Ian are all proven and exceptionally talented individuals. What sets them even further apart is their integrity, character and authentic interest in supporting tennis. We are unified in our collective vision to democratize tennis and make the sport even better - more accessible, less costly, and more fun,” said Mark Leschly, Chairman and CEO of Universal Tennis.
Universal Tennis continues to actively seek new, global collaborative partners in the tennis industry as the company continues to grow and build on its momentum.
UTR Powered by Oracle is committed to bringing the best of technology to supporting, enhancing and growing the game of tennis for everyone to make it more enjoyable and engaging. Just as every golfer carries a handicap that's applicable on any course, every tennis player in the world can register, get their UTR and compare their level with others for free at www.MyUTR.com, and can learn more by watching the “What is UTR Powered by Oracle” video.
TEAM8 is a leading boutique sports & entertainment company focused on the management of iconic athletes, consultation with global brands and the creation and management of premier events. The company was established in 2013 by Roger Federer, Tony Godsick, Ian McKinnon and Dirk Ziff, who remain as Partners in the business. Godsick serves as Chief Executive Officer. TEAM8 clients include 20-Time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer, US Open Champion Juan Martin del Potro, ITF World #1 Coco Gauff, and New York Rangers All-Star Goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist. TEAM8 is also the creator, majority owner and manager of the Laver Cup, a new tennis event that pits the greatest players from Europe against all-stars from Team World. The Laver Cup generated intense interest and rave reviews in its debut last year in Prague, and is riding that momentum into its second annual competition on September 21-23, 2018 in Chicago. Leveraging the track record and network of its management team and partners, TEAM8 intends to be at the forefront in managing top athletes, and acquiring, investing in and strategically partnering with organizations and brands in the sports, media, technology and event spaces.
Universal Tennis is committed to bringing the best of technology to support, enhance and grow the game of tennis for everyone. The Company is behind UTR Powered by Oracle, the revolutionary global tennis rating system that provides a single unifying standard for all tennis players, regardless of age, gender, geography or economics. Today, the UTR Powered by Oracle community platform is gathering data from 8 million match results from over 800,000 players in more than 200 countries. Universal Tennis has strategic partnerships with Tennis Channel, Oracle, OrangeCoach, Cliff Drysdale Management, IMG Academy, Kim Clijsters Academy, HEAD USA and many others. UTR Powered by Oracle is the official rating system for Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). To sign up for UTR Powered by Oracle, please visit www.MyUTR.com, and view the What is UTR Powered by Oracle video to learn more.