why is the new formula still not working?

How to go from an emblematic competition that ignites entire stadiums to a small tournament played in complete anonymity? Not only 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. Aim, bring the best players in the world and make the competition more telegenic to develop it.

Three years later, and while France is now playing its group stage in Germany, the situation is dire. “Today, the Davis Cup has no representation, it’s a shame” Arnaud Clément, consultant of France Télévisions and Davis Cup finalist of the Blues in 2010, was angry when asked his opinion on the current situation.

Because he did not continue his bet to bring back the best players in the world

This is the main attraction of 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 overly ambitious new generation represented by Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev, among others. Three years ago, none of these six men, to name a few, were currently participating in the group stage of the Davis Cup.

If the retirement of one, and the injury of another, justify this situation, only seven members of the current top 20 in the world are competing. For Lionel Maltese, specialist in sports marketing, it is necessary to find “real funds to open a significant prize money because it is false, the players do not come to play only for their country“.

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

Because it is no longer recognized by the public

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

Except now, the rooms, in Germany, in Scotland, in Spain or even in Italy, are empty. Ideally, several hundred will attend the matches in their respective countries. The schedules, in the middle of the week, and the unattractive posters, explain this great departure from work. “The fact that the competition is not the same every year and there is misunderstanding around its organization, it is complicated for the consumer, explained in Maltese. In any case, the brand, whether it is Davis Cup or not Davis Cup, we can no longer understand what it is.

A sentiment shared by Arnaud Clément: “We don’t understand anything, because the format is incomprehensible. France was 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.

If we love him so much, to look at him or play with him, and see what he is now, it hurts.

Arnaud Clément, French television consultant

in Franceinfo: sports

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

Because it was a marketing failure

Who said that empty stands and the departure of the best players in the world should mean a drop in sponsors and a decrease in revenues around the event. “This is clearly a colossal marketing failure.assured Lionel Maltese. You have to do a lot of thinking. Especially the fact that without the presence of the best players in the world, you have no attraction. But that without significant prize money, these best players will not come. It also includes a planned schedule, and finally calling, well in advance, the place of the final stages.

This time, the formula moved from one and the same stage at the end of the season, to three separate stages between April and November (a qualification part, a group stage and a final stage). Another basic promise – that of easing an overloaded schedule – is otherwise unfulfilled. Another problem pointed out by the specialist: the very late calling of the place in the final stages. For example, at this time, it was only in April that the site of Malaga, Spain, was designated. too late”to find new sponsors and good funds to increase the prize for example.

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

Lionel Maltese, sports marketing specialist

in Franceinfo: sports

Arnaud Clément also shared the wish to see the competition one day pass every two years. To allow for a significant reduction in the schedule and then to “bring back the enthusiasm around the Davis Cup that will find the public without difficulty.“But for now, we must be satisfied, or not, with this version.

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