Why tennis, and its sponsors, will survive the match-fixing claims

Sport has been rocked by scandal over recent months and tennis is the latest to fall victim to allegations of match fixing.

Tennis is not only a popular betting sport, it is also ideal for fixing matches for a number of reasons. There is only one person that needs to be involved, the game often turns on a few points and a few points thrown can change the result.

Live betting means that odds of over 40-50/1 can easily be available, so a $50,000 bribe can be covered 2 to 1 with a $3,000 bet at 35/1.

Rumours about betting fraud have always circulated around typically minor and first round matches.

In 2008, tennis set up the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) which has been looking at fraud and has already banned six players for life in addition to other measures.

The current excitement because of the release of a document from 2008 is unfortunate but will not result in major fallout for tennis and tennis sponsorship.

It is old news and when it first broke, the sport was quick to set up the TIU in response to the inability to prove fraud.

At the time, there were 28 players implicated and 10 were strongly implicated. But without proof, the tennis federations thought they could not destroy the careers of these players. No major stars or major games were involved.

Since its creation the TIU has banned six players and issued 22 press releases about sanctions against players. This is proof it is active and not hiding ALL the scandal.

The sport's organisers have handled the recent set of allegations well and have responded exactly as they needed to. They have, quite rightly, pointed out that this is in fact old news and has proven that it takes the issue seriously. The existence of the TIU is confirmation of this.

They have also stated that they will review any new evidence see if they can take the matter forward. Other sports certainly have a lot to learn from the way tennis has handled these damaging allegations.

In terms of its attractiveness to sponsors, a large part of the sponsorship of players is linked to tennis clothing and equipment and that market needs stars so I cannot see that changing.

As no major tournament results or tournament officials have been implicated the sponsorship of these tournaments is also safe.

Jacques de Cock is a faculty member at the London School of Marketing

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