Re: WTA influence on Prize Money?: ATP votes down 800k Prize Money Increase at IW
[The scene: Ellison on the back porch on his Hawaiian estate. His yacht is behind him. As Ellison sips his last bit of mango smoothie, his phone rings. It's Giles, his assistant in California.]
Giles: Good morning, Mr. E.
Ellison: It's a great morning, actually.
Giles: Well, one issue: You know how you offered that $800,000 to the Indian Wells purse --
Ellison: Yeah, sure. Love those guys. Heck, Nadal even stayed at one of my homes last year, remember? Nice kid, but left water bottles under all the chairs. Anyway, the tennis and players and the money -- let me guess: Someone asked where to send the thank-you note? Tell 'em not to worry about it.
Giles: Well, actually, sir, it's not that simple.
Ellison: They want more? These guys are more persistent than Ferrer. But OK, I guess I can --
Giles: No, no sir. They want less.
Ellison: Right. And I want Oracle's share price to go down.
Giles: No really, they don't want it.
Ellison: Less money? Among athletes? That's like joking about bombs in the airport security line.
Giles: I'm being serious.
Ellison: OK. Did they give a reason?
Giles: I guess they thought it messed with their business model?
Ellison: Right. And paying more for a property than the list price really screws up the market. And leaving a $100 on the table really screws up the model of the tip jar. [Voice rising.] And giving employees a larger bonus than they expected really screws up their budget.
Giles: Sir, I'm just the messenger.
Ellison: Of course. Sorry. But here's what I don't understand: Wouldn't an organization concerned about the growth of the game view more money as a good thing?
Giles: Well, the players would, but not the other tournaments.
Ellison: Why? Because it might pressure them to be a bit more generous, too? I shouldn't mow my yard because it might make my neighbors look like slobs?
Giles: You're really going nuts on the analogies today, sir.
Ellison: Sorry. But this isn't even low-hanging fruit. It's a vegetable. In this global economy, with players getting sidelined with injuries, with that paltry pension plan, the players are turning down more money. Where's the union?
Giles: Well, um, the players don't have a union, sir. The ATP is this umbrella of players and tournaments.
Ellison: That sounds like a recipe for conflict.
Giles: Yeah, that word is in heavy rotation in tennis.
Ellison: And wait, aren't the players threatening to boycott the majors until they get paid more? Wouldn't it help their cause if they made as much money as possible at their own events?
Giles: Well, yeah, but you're forgetting the other tournaments.
Ellison: I still don't get it. They might not want me to show them up. But how is it good for the game when they veto a prize money increase?
Giles: Good for the game? Since when did that become a concern?
Ellison: Silly me. I forgot.
Ellison: Oh, Giles, one more thing.
Giles: Yes, sir.
Ellison: Call up Tim Finchem for me, would you? Pretty sure my money is good with the PGA Tour guys.
Career Grand Slam Winner
Wimbledon 2004 ~ US Open 2006 ~ Australian Open 2008 ~ French Open 2012 and 2014
WTA Championships 2004
London Olympics silver medallist
35 WTA titles , including 14 Tier I titles
21 weeks #1 player