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Executive Committee Member Bethanie Mattek-Sands Speaks at Hashtag Sports Conference

Former WTA doubles World No. 1 and PTPA Executive Committee member Bethanie Mattek-Sands was invited to speak on a panel at the Hashtag Sports Conference held in New York City from June 12-14. The panel, titled “Unlocking the Full Potential of Professional Tennis: Social Media’s Impact on Players’ Digital Brands and Fan Engagement,” focused on the immense commercial potential surrounding professional tennis players and how social media has redefined players’ abilities to build their own brands, connect with fans, and create off-court commercial opportunities.

Bethanie was joined on the panel by Neeta Sreekanth, SVP of Operations for Winners Alliance and the PTPA, and Amir Zonozi, President and Co-Founder of digital intelligence platform Zoomph. During the panel discussion, Bethanie shed light on the value of athlete-driven storytelling, the state of brand partnerships and sponsorships in tennis, the PTPA and Winners Alliance’s role in helping players procure collective off-court monetization opportunities, and much more. 

Here are four of Bethanie’s most powerful moments from the panel: 

  1. On the connection, or lack of connection, between players’ social media impact and their on-court results: “It’s not about the wins and the losses. They do matter, but what is the storytelling? What’s the brand connection?” 
  1. On how social media has changed her career: “It enables me to connect on a personal level with so many people.”
  1. On the state of partnerships in tennis and the untapped commercial potential surrounding world-class players: “There was an agency I was going to sign with that said, ‘if you can deliver results, we got you.’ I finished one of my best years ever. I literally couldn’t have had a better year than this… and they still couldn’t get me anything.”
  2. On the PTPA and Winners Alliance’s role in helping more players earn off-court, collective commercial opportunities through digital media and other avenues: “That’s a massive lane where there are a lot of opportunities that fall through the cracks that we’re going to be able to present to the players in a different way.”

Hashtag Sports is a recognition, event, and education platform for content creators, marketers, and creative talent across the converging sports, entertainment, media, and gaming industries. The annual Hashtag Sports conference features intimate networking, workshops, topical panels and roundtable discussions along with the Hashtag Sports Awards night.