9:51 pm
23 Jul 2024

Squash SM&E Holdings Commits To 'Game-Changing' Investment in Professional Squash

24 May 2023

The Sports, Media and Entertainment Group, led by businessman and philanthropist Mark Walter, has acquired a stake in Squash Media & Marketing (SMM), a commercial entity created and managed by the Professional Squash Association (PSA), as part of a major investment in the sport.

The investment will be used to optimise the structure of the PSA World Tour and will allow SMM to deliver more events with a view to increasing player compensation and improving the fan experience.

The additional funding will also be used to increase marketing of the sport and the PSA's athletes, develop new digital products and services to offer to squash fans worldwide and ramp up the creation and distribution of engaging content.

Mark Walter said: "I think professional squash is a global, highly diverse and exciting sport with a tremendous growth opportunity. We are excited to invest in the future of the sport and look forward to working with the PSA to make this a broader and more inclusive sport and to bring it to more fans."

Mark and Kimbra Walter have long been supporters of squash, including sponsoring the Windy City Open and PSA World Championships. With the Walters as the title sponsor of the PSA World Championships, the sport's biggest tournament four years ago became the first squash event to offer $1,000,000 in total player compensation - with equal compensation for men and women players. The 2022-23 PSA World Championships concluded earlier this month in Chicago, with Ali Farag and Nour El Sherbini being crowned World Champions on the spectacular all-glass court erected at Chicago's Union Station.

PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough added: "We believe that having the financial backing of The Walter Group will be a game changer for professional squash. Mark Walter has been an incredible supporter of the sport since 2015 and his investment will enable us to accelerate our development of the professional game.

"We have an ambitious strategy that aims to modernise and grow the sport at the highest level. We will also be looking to streamline the PSA Tour structure to increase the playing opportunities and earning potential for our athletes, as well as helping them rise up the PSA World Rankings.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for everyone involved in professional squash. Since our Chairman Ziad Al-Turki came aboard in 2008, the professional game has gone through unprecedented growth and this investment represents the next step in the sport's evolution. We look forward to releasing details of our long-term strategy to the squash community in due course."

Previously, SMM received an investment from Infront in February 2021, which positioned the leading sports marketing agency as a strategic commercial partner of SMM.