Ed note: On Sports welcomes a guest blogger today, CB senior writer Sharda Prashad, who has interviewed the new boss of the WTA several times in the past.
It was something of a coronation this morning when Stacey Allaster was appointed chairman and CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Allaster, who begins her new role overseeing the womens professional tennis tour immediately, cemented her status as the worlds most powerful woman in sportsand shes Canadian to boot.
The Windsor-born Allaster has been a staple on the professional tennis scene for years, overhauling Canadas two international professional tennis tournaments at Tennis Canada before departing to be the president of the Florida-based WTA at the start of 2006. Allaster has since been considered the front-runner in the race to replace Larry Scott, who led the organization before announcing his resignation in March to take over the NCAAs Pac-10 Conference as commissioner.
I am honored to lead the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, which since its founding by Billie Jean King 36 years ago has continued to break barriers and grow into a premier global sporting league, Allaster said in a statement this morning. The Tour and our sport have enjoyed unprecedented success over the past years, and we are poised for even greater heights in the years to come. Our primary and enduring focus will be our fans, our players and our tournaments, and continuing to build a premium sport and entertainment brand.
The worlds No. 3 tennis player, Venus Williams, who worked with Allaster to secure equal prize money at Wimbledon had this to say about Allasters appointment: Women’s tennis and the Tour have never been stronger as a business, and Stacey has been at the centre of this business success over the past years.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion added: Stacey has helped to lead the development of a stronger Tour product through the passage of a healthier and streamlined circuit structure. I believe that Stacey will be a great leader for the Tour, understands how players can help drive our business, and has all the tools to take our sport to even greater heights.”
Canadian Businesspublished a feature profileof Allaster (written by Prashad) in our Feb. 16, 2009, issue.