With the US Open already past history and all four Grand Slams over for this year, it’s fitting to take a look back at With an ever-increasing purse for players and mounting media attention at each and every tournament, the business of tennis has a major (excuse the pun) impact.
Host Cities Gaining Big
With a crowd of over 700,000 in attendance this year, the US Open resonated across the entirety of New York’s economy. While the predictions for the US Open’s economic impact on New York hovering around $ 756 million, USTA Chief Operating Officer Danny Zausner actually reported revenue of over $ 800 million through an interview with Fortune.
Interestingly enough, however, Forbes in 2012 ranked the four majors in terms of overall economic impact, with high to low as follows: Wimbledon, US, French, and Australian. Part of this calculation included social media activity generated, with a notable 6.6 million tweets in the single two-week period during the 2013 Wimbledon Championship.
Even the Australian, ranked last in economic impact by Forbes out of the four majors, generates more than $ 139 million in revenue.
Considering the hotels, restaurants, flights, and more that follows everyone during travel, all four Grand Slams profited considerably off lodging expenses. An interesting trend this year in all four majors, however, rests in public transportation. Around 60% of all the people in attendance of the US Open used public transportation, some of which goes to the state of New York in the form of sales tax.
Fun fact: An average of 28,000 kg of strawberries is consumed every year during Wimbledon (in addition to the 26,500 branded towels purchased solely from the shop at Wimbledon).
The Branding Case
In tennis’s biggest spotlight, every company fights for the chance to broadcast their offerings on the courts, the clocks, even the towels and water coolers. From 63 sponsorships, the four majors produced $ 268 million in revenue this year, with the US Open generating $ 89 million, the French $ 70 million, Wimbledon $ 65 million, and the Australian $ 44 million.
50% of these sponsors were banks (the next largest, notably, are watch companies at 24.7%). The single largest sponsorship came from IBM, as we know sponsors the game clocks and much of the insight data on ESPN’s broadcast.
With more than 7,000 seasonal jobs provided through the US Open, French Open, and Wimbledon in each tournament—ground keeping, maintenance, and concessions to name a few, the majors alone are one of the largest employers in their respective cities. About $ 40 million in compensation to employees is provided through the tournaments in total.
This year’s US Open featured a total purse of $ 42,253,400—the highest in all of tennis. The men and women’s draw winners—Djokovic and Pennetta—each were awarded $ 3.3 million and the runner-ups—Federer and Vinci—each acquired $ 1.6 million. And, of course, year by year the prize money for players who lose in the early rounds continues to increase (this year, players who exited in the first round were awarded $ 39,500). Even at Wimbledon, the total prize purse in 2015 increased 7% (for wheelchair prize money it increased 28%). This parallels with the French, where prize money notably increased by 15% the past three years.
Here’s a thoroughly detailed and insightful infographic from WalletHub with many more statistics on the US Open. However, these same economic impacts resonate through all four tennis majors.