I received the following press release from Universal Tennis and wanted to share it with y’all as soon as it went public. As you know, I have been a huge supporter of UTR for several years now, though I was a bit reluctant when I first heard about it. I have worked closely with them so that I could fully understand how the UTR system works and help share it with the ParentingAces community. I have also consulted with them to create and run the Sol Schwartz #SaveCollegeTennis All-In Tournaments the past two years. I continue to support the UTR mission and am pleased to bring you their exciting news!
Universal Tennis announces new CEO Mark Leschly, seasoned and experienced partners group and strategic partnership with Tennis Channel
Universal Tennis announced a series of strategic moves today that sets the stage for Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) to continue its positive impact on the sport by providing tennis players worldwide with a single, unifying language and standard:
- Universal Tennis announced Mark Leschly, Founder and Managing Partner of Iconica Partners, has come on as principal owner, Chairman and CEO.
- A new partners group has purchased control of the Company led by seasoned investors, advisors and operators in tennis, sports, technology and media.
- Universal Tennis is announcing a major strategic media partnership with Tennis Channel making UTR an integrated part of on-air broadcasts throughout 2018.
Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) is a system for providing tennis players across age, geography, gender and economics with a common language and standard. As the leading algorithm-based system for competitive tennis players, UTR has already experienced rapid grassroots adoption across college and junior levels worldwide. Now, together with heavyweights in Tennis with deep knowledge of the landscape in both technology and media, UTR is making tennis more accessible than ever before.
Our vision with UTR is to unify tennis and improve the experience for players worldwide,” said Leschly, CEO of Universal Tennis. “We want to create a level playing field and platform where any player can get a rating, track their progress and find competitive matches at their level, regardless of where they live. Together with our partners, we’re not only making the game more accessible, but also less costly and more enjoyable for players to both find more play and improve their tennis.”
As CEO, Mark Leschly combines both an in depth knowledge and experience in sports and tennis with nearly 25 years of entrepreneurial management and investment in technology-led businesses as a venture capitalist and startup CEO. He is a former ATP ranked player selected to the Danish Davis Cup team, two-time Captain and #1 player for Harvard Men’s Tennis and a member of the USTA Foundation Advisory Board and USTA Player Development Council. Mark is the Founder and Managing Partner of Iconica Partners (www.iconicapartners.com), a principal firm investing at the interface of sports, media and technology; and the Managing Partner of Rho Capital Partners, a leading technology focused venture capital and private equity firm with over $2.5B under management (www.rho.com). He is an owner in several sports teams and leagues including the Los Angeles Football Club (Major League Soccer team in LA), Professional Fighters League (a new MMA league), Team Liquid (esports) and Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA Minor League baseball team).
Joining the new ownership group are seasoned investors, advisors and operators in tennis, sports, technology and media including:
- Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle
- Ken Solomon, President of Tennis Channel
- Ken Hao, Managing Partner, Silver Lake Partners
- Jan Leschly, former CEO of SmithKline Beecham, Top 10 ATP player and former Chairman of Tennis Hall of Fame
- The Tennis Media Company
- Major League Baseball
- LA Dodgers investment group
Together with its investors and partners, Universal Tennis is working to foster the growth of tennis at all levels. UTR is supported and actively used by hundreds and thousands of players in more than 200 countries, as well as leading coaches and tennis programs from around the world.
To further build on this momentum, Tennis Channel will using the UTR system on-air immediately in live coverage, sharing the UTR Power Index, a daily snapshot of top tennis player matchups, potential upsets and trends.
UTR is building a powerful global tennis standard and language by which all players everywhere can measure, track, develop and interact,” said Tennis Channel President Ken Solomon. “The opportunity for this powerful tool to help us make the game even more accessible to an ever-widening universe is unprecedented.”
Universal Tennis is committed to bringing the best of technology to supporting, enhancing and growing the game of tennis for everyone to make it more enjoyable and engaging. Just as every golfer carries a handicap that’s applicable on any course, any tennis player can sign up for free for their UTR at www.MyUTR.com to see how their level of play compares to others.
About Universal Tennis:
Universal Tennis is the company behind UTR, a revolutionary system that provides a single, unifying language and standard for tennis players across ages, geographies and genders. The company’s vision is to unify tennis for everyone by bringing cutting edge analytics and community based technology to tennis players worldwide independent of level. UTR is a unique, algorithm-based system for tennis that allows anyone to measure, identify and track their level relative to other players, while also providing tools for coaches and organizers to run UTR Powered Events that are level based rather than age or gender driven. Today the UTR system is powered by over 6 million match results, across 600 thousand players in nearly 200 countries.To sign up for UTR, please visit www.MyUTR.com.