why is the new formula still not working?

why is the new formula still not working?

How to go from an emblematic competition that ignites entire stadiums to a small tournament that is played in total anonymity? It’s not just because of the brutal announcement of Roger Federer, retired since Thursday, September 15. In 2019, the Davis Cup, at least its format, has completely changed with the arrival of a new operator, namely the company Kosmos, owned by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique. Objective, bring in the best players in the world and make the competition more telegenic in order to develop it.

Three years later, and while France is currently playing its group stage in Germany, the situation is terrible. “Today, the Davis Cup represents absolutely nothing, it’s pathetic” gets annoyed Arnaud Clément, consultant for France Télévisions and Davis Cup finalist with the Blues in 2010, when asked for his opinion on the current situation. Franceinfo: sport has therefore looked into the question of why this news formula still does not work.

Because she did not keep her bet to bring back the best players in the world

This was the major objective to lure the ITF: the Davis Cup should not be played without its best ambassadors. Understand here, without the legendary Federer-Nadal-Djokovic trio and without the hyper-ambitious new generation represented by Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev, among others. Three years later, none of these six men, to name a few, is currently participating in the group stage of the Davis Cup.

If the retirement of one, and the injuries of the others, can justify this situation, only seven members of the current world top 20 are competing. For Lionel Maltese, specialist in sports marketing, it would be necessary to find “real funding to unlock a significant prize money because it is false, the players do not come to play only for their nation“.

This is mainly due to the choices to be made in an already overloaded calendar. Even more for players who are approaching 40 years old. “It’s mathematical in tennis, if a player exceeds a certain number of matches in the season, he gets injured.says the one who is also the organizer of the Marseille Open 13. So they don’t want to put themselves in the red with this Davis Cup because their priority, and it’s legitimate, remains the Grand Slam tournaments and the Masters 1000.”

Because the public no longer recognizes it

In sport, we can’t forget the fans, and with this new Davis Cup, we had nothing to do with their opinion.valued our consultant Arnaud Clement. It’s sad, but that’s also why the best players don’t come anymore. Playing in a full Pierre-Mauroy stadium, in front of 27,000 people, or even outside in small packed halls, that’s also what an athlete is looking for.

Except that today, the rooms, in Germany, in Scotland, in Spain or even in Italy, are empty. At best, a few hundred attend the matches of their respective nations. The schedules, in the middle of the week, and the unattractive posters, explain this massive job abandonment. “The fact that the competition is not the same every year and that there is a misunderstanding around its organization, it is complex for the consumer, explains Maltese. In any case, the brand, whether it’s Davis Cup or not Davis Cup, we no longer really understand what it is.”

A sentiment shared by Arnaud Clément: “We don’t understand anything, because the format is incomprehensible. France were playing against Germany, and even at home in Hamburg, there were no more than 1,000 people in the stands. For me, the Davis Cup is very important, it’s in the blood.

When we loved her so much, whether to watch her or play her, and see what she has become today, it hurts.

Arnaud Clément, France Television consultant

at Franceinfo: sports

Besides, what’s most annoying is that it’s still called the Davis Cup. But that’s not the Davis Cup. Today it has become a confidential tournament”.

Because it’s a marketing fiasco

Who says empty stands and desertion of the best players in the world necessarily means leaking sponsors and falling revenues around the event. “This is obviously a huge marketing failure.assures Lionel Maltese. You have to do a lot of thinking. Especially on the fact that without the presence of the best players in the world, you have no attraction. But that without a significant prize money, these best players will not come. This also involves a planned schedule, and finally the designation, well in advance, of the place of the final stages.

This season, the formula has therefore gone from one and the same period at the end of the season, to three distinct periods between April and November (a qualifying phase, a group phase and a final phase). Another basic promise – which was to lighten an already overloaded schedule – was otherwise not fulfilled. Another problem pointed out by the specialist: the much too late designation of the place of the final stages. This season, for example, it was only in April that the site in Malaga, Spain, was designated. Too late “to find new sponsors and good funding to increase the prize money for example.

“The solution, for me, is what Sébastien Grosjean proposed: organize it every two years. Unfortunately, the funding will not be the same, but the brand will be recreated. It is to do like some major international competitions [comme la Ryder Cup]. This is the only solution to be able to attract all the best players.”

Lionel Maltese, sports marketing specialist

at Franceinfo: sports

Arnaud Clément also shares the wish to see the competition one day pass every two years. In order to allow a significant reduction in the schedule and then to “revive the fervor around the Davis Cup which would find its public without difficulty.“But for the moment, we will have to be satisfied, or not, with this version.

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