Serena Williams has added a tennis website to her vast business empire, which already includes a clothing line and investments in 34 startups.
Williams, a 23-time major singles winner, and her long-time coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, have launched a website called “Tennis Majors,” the pair said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
Williams and Mouratoglou are both investors in the project, and they will contribute to the site with their expertise and networks. In addition, Tennis Majors will use the 12-hectare Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, which was founded by the Frenchman in 2016 on the French Riviera, to film some of its content.
The website will have a major focus on tennis content, including features in both English and French about players, their training and off-court activities. It is aiming to achieve three goals: “entertain, inform and teach.”
The former top-ranked American and Mouratoglou, who have won 10 major singles titles since they first started working together in 2012, had long been mulling the idea of a tennis website.
“Tennis Majors was born during a discussion with Patrick two years ago at the US Open and to see such a major project become a reality is super exciting”, said Williams, the Open era Grand Slam record holder. “Tennis fans are passionate about their sport and its players and they want to know what happens behind the scenes. I am looking forward to starting this adventure.”
Pascal Chevalier, president and founder of Rewold Media, a leading publisher in France of thematic media including brands like Grazia and Marie France, is one of the platform’s main investors alongside Williams and Mouratoglou.
“For more than 15 years, the way to consume tennis content has been changing dramatically”, said Chevalier. “Yet, the current tennis offer is mainly limited to breaking news and results. It isn’t diversified enough; fans are thirsty for more behind-the-scenes, learning content as well as more privileged access to their favorite players, and Tennis Majors is aiming to provide them with that and even more.”
A trailblazer both on and off the court, the 38-year-old Williams last year became the first athlete to make the Forbes’ Self-made Women’s List, with an estimated fortune of $225 million. Through Serena Ventures, the tennis star has invested in 34 startups, in a portfolio worth at least $10 million, Forbes reported in June. Williams has more than a dozen corporate sponsorships, owns stakes in the Miami Dolphins and UFC and started her own clothing line in 2018.
Although Mouratoglou is perhaps most famous for his successful coaching partnership with Williams, the Frenchman is also a businessman in his own right.
Mouratoglou, the son of Greek businessman Paris Mouratoglou, the former chairman of energy company EDF Énergies Nouvelles, is the founder and chairman of the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Nice, France. Earlier this month, he announced a five-week tennis exhibition series behind closed doors in May, called the “Ultimate Tennis Showdown” at his academy to give players a chance to earn some money while all pro tennis events are suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic until at least July 13.
Last month, Mouratoglou wrote an open letter to the tennis world, in which he called for a fairer distribution of prize money to benefit the lower-ranked players, many of whom are struggling financially because of the shutdown.