In November 2011 we established a Pro Squash Doubles Advisory
Committee to draft a report examining the current state of play, the
existing business model and analogous business models of the tour. Our objective was to understand the longer-term opportunities for the Pro Tour. We organized three subcommittees to undertake the evaluation and to report findings on Research & Demographics, Tour Structure and Economics.
In short, we found that the current model is not sustainable. We need
a multi-platform tour model that taps multiple revenue sources, a
player-owned tour structured as a non-profit entity and we require a
dedicated staff reporting to a passionate Board of Directors. In light
of these findings, the Committee has been working hard over the past
few months to establish a structure that ensures the best path forward
for the Pro Dubs Tour. Following is an update of our progress.
We are excited to announce the formation of a new association, the
Squash Doubles Association: Pro Tour. A new website has been acquired:www.SDAprotour.com, and is currently under construction. The new SDA logo is also in the design phase and will be unveiled soon.
Structurally, the association has been partly modeled after the PGA
and PSA Tours. It will be comprised of two entities; the SDA Tour and
the SDA Foundation. The “SDA Tour” will be a non-profit 501c6 as to
its operations, tax exempt as to activities, but unable to accept tax
deductible donations (much like any country club). The players will be
the members and will each have a voting interest, and will in effect
control the tour. The “SDA Foundation” will be a 501c3
philanthropy/foundation, like CitySquash, and will be tax exempt as to
its operations, and can receive tax-deductible donations.
Boards have been established for each of the two entities.
Collectively, the members of the two boards will work together to make
all decisions for the first two years of operation. After this time,
the players will nominate and vote members in or out. The Board
members are Greg McArthur, Graham Bassett, Mark Chaloner, Morris
Clothier, Mark Dowley, Ben Gould, Mark Hayden (Chairman), Peer
Pedersen & Patrick Turner.
The goal is to have the tour fully support itself financially within
two years through growth in prize money, tournaments, pro membership, tour sponsorship, fan subscription and advertising. We are actively searching for fifteen Founding Members who will make a financial commitment of at least $10,000 to supply initial capital for the first two years of operation. Four parties have already committed to the
cause. In addition, the Tournament levy will be increased from 10% to
15% to raise an extra $15,000 in seed money.
From an operations standpoint, Andrew Cordova and US Squash will run the Tour. Andrew has been hired as Director of Development. He has already secured a new event at the BCC that will feature a men’s $20K full ranking tournament, women’s exhibition, men’s pro-am and a women’s pro-am. Additionally, he will be bringing the MC Open back on
the calendar as a full ranking event. US Squash, with Preston Quick as
the lead person, will act in a consulting role as General Manager of
Communication with the pro women players will continue over the
upcoming season. Our hope is that an agreement between all parties
will be reached and the tours will merge for the 2013/14 season. At
that time, the Board would be adjusted to balance the interests of
Due to limited resources, we were unable to reach an agreement with
James Hewitt to be involved with the tour. We wish to acknowledge Gary
Waite and James Hewitt for their determined effort in establishing the
ISDA. The game, the players and the fans have greatly benefited from
their work and vision. We do hope to collaborate in the future and
will actively help to promote Gary’s new glass doubles court &
facility at the NSA.
There remain details that require modifications, however the SDA will
be fully operational by the end of the summer. This group is collectively very excited about the new direction of the Pro Dubs Tour and we hope to have your full support moving forward.
PRO DOUBLES ADVISORY COMMITTEE:
Mark Chaloner, Andrew Cordova, Rob Deans, Mark Dowley, Ben Gould, Mark Hayden, Greg McArthur, Peer Pedersen, Steve Scharff, Patrick Turner, Chris Walker & Tim Wyant