Google Down the Line!: THE LOW DOWN: Ex-Nike exec Helfant rumored to be new ATP CEO

Friday, January 9, 2009

THE LOW DOWN: Ex-Nike exec Helfant rumored to be new ATP CEO

Is this the face of the new ATP CEO? Rumor has it ex-Nike global sports marketing VP Adam Helfant, 44, will become the next head of the men's professional tennis tour.

According to,

Helfant's marketing experience at Nike, where he was involved in some tennis deals, and reputation as a skilled, fair-minded negotiator is said to have resonated positively with players and administrators concerned about the tour's ability to weather the current volatile economic conditions.

Helfant headed up some of the biggest deals for Nike including those involving NBA stars Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and Carmelo Anthony.

With all the current issues on the ATP World Tour that need to be addressed - scheduling, tour sponsorship, match-fixing - it'll be interesting to see if another tennis outsider can come in and effect real change. We all saw what happened with former Disney chief Etienne de Villiers.

No official announcement has been made yet. Stay tuned.

(image via


  1. Is this guy American? I remember reading a number of places how the players wanted a European CEO. Hmm.

  2. This will never happen, but I would love to see someone really *out there* take over and shake things up, like a Lendl or McEnroe. The changes might be crazy, stupid, or great, but at least it would get people and media talking about tennis again.

  3. johanne: yeah, he's an american and you're right when you said the ballers possibly wanted a european to grab the helm. but according to reports, the ballers actually support the choice. go figure?

    natch: never, no way, no how

    *comps natch's next therapy session*


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