When Micky Lawler took over as President of the Women’s Tennis Association, she set about transforming it into an unstoppable commercial growth engine. Game, set and match to her.
The Dutch-born, Columbia-raised WTA President Micky Lawler’s route into the game came via the ATP (Men’s International Tennis council). “I found myself by complete chance working as the communications officer for the ATP. At the time, the women’s game was a much younger sport – but the professional evolution of the men’s scheme seemed much more established, although it was interesting because the women went into markets where the men didn’t. Say the men were in London, Paris, Berlin, the women would go to smaller markets. But this changed quickly.”
Since her appointment in 2015, Lawler has worked tirelessly to transition the WTA from an august governing body to a commercial growth engine. They are, she says, at a pivotal moment in the organisation’s history. “There is tremendous opportunity to align with brands and organisations whose values we share. We are living in such a turbo-charged world in terms of the speed at which things need to get done to stay relevant, it feels like a race against results.” And in a results-driven world, Lawler is at once driven by the idea of being a custodian (“to me the end is passing it over to the next generation in a very healthy state and giving the athlete tournaments in which they can thrive”), and communicating the sport’s myriad of compelling stories.