£2.7 million - the cost of winning Wimbledon

The cost of raising a professional tennis champion has been calculated at approximately £2.7 million
Friday 10 July 2015 - 10:30

Andy Murray will collect £1.8 million if he triumphs at Wimbledon on Sunday, adding to the £24.5 million he has already collected in prize money during his career, but what does it cost a player to reach Centre Court?

AAT has estimated that to nurture a Wimbledon winner to greatness costs in the region of £2.7 million.

The calculation was based on coaching a potential tennis star and entering tournaments from age 5 to age 22 (which is when people start to get noticed).

The calculations

Costs begin comparatively low with introductory lessons starting at around £40 per week, but tennis can quickly become an expensive career choice. The biggest ‘pay-out’ on the balance book before the age of 16 is specialist tennis tuition with additional costs for entering and travelling to tournaments.

Spare a thought for those who don’t make it to the professional circuit. Just to reach a UK national level and play on the junior European tournament circuit is likely to cost parents in the region of £250,000.

This figure includes a cost for parents, who will probably have to take unpaid leave to accompany their budding tennis star to tournaments acting as chauffeur, motivational coach and fan club.

It’s estimated that a top class player could be investing around £620,000 per year in their career. This takes into account a team of experts, from coaches and physiotherapists to nutritionists, fitness trainers, public relations and sponsorship experts, travel and accommodation at the ATP World Masters Circuit and equipment. But sponsorship would help to off-set these costs.

“Raising a Wimbledon winner is like managing a small business,” says Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of AAT.

“The parents of future tennis stars need to be on the ball when it comes to balancing the books and managing the household accounts. But let’s face it; there can be no better reward than seeing your child lift the trophy on Centre Court.” 

The cost of raising a professional tennis champion - AAT’s calculations

Age Cost Components
Coaching costs based on International Training Federation (ITF) training recommendation for professional players
Total
5 One private lesson per week, 50 weeks per year. £1,800
     
6 to 8 400 hours of group sessions at £4,400. Two sets of equipment at approx £377. £9,554
(per year)
     
9 to 11 Includes £5,303 per year for coaching and training for county to national level at approx three practice sessions and two private coaching sessions per week.11 UK tournaments per year at approx £250 per tournament including multiple entry fees at £2,750 and travel. Loss of potential earnings for a parent if they took unpaid leave to attend accompany their child at £1,813 per year based on ONS average median earnings for full time employment in London. Approx. £754 for equipment per year. £21,740
(per year)
     
12 to 13 Includes £31,250 for LTA recommendation of 15 hours per week of private tuition. Physiotherapy for tennis elbow at £50 per session (two per week for eight months) at total cost of £3,600. Competing in seven Tennis Europe tournaments per year (this is the number Tennis Europe believe a performance player would be playing at this age) - total cost for two people including flights and accommodation at £10,500. Competing in three to five UK tournaments per year based on approx cost of £250 per tournament - total cost of £1,250. Loss of potential earnings for a parent as before - £1,813 and approx £754 for equipment per year. £98,334
(per year)
     
14 One year at Bruguera tennis academy, plus a couple of visits from parents or guardian at £29,380. Competing in seven European tournaments - approx £10,500. Approx. £1,134 for equipment. £41,014
     
15 and 16 It's not possible to define the financial impact turning professional will have on a player in the year they actually turn professional, or the increases likely after time spent at a tennis academy, so this is an estimate of training and competition costs in these two years.
Includes £38,000 per year for coaching. Competing in seven Tennis Europe tournaments per year (this is the number Tennis Europe believe a performance player would be playing at this age) - total cost for two people including flights and accommodation at £10,500. Competing in three to five UK tournaments per year based on approx cost of £250 per tournament - total cost of £1,250. Loss of potential earnings for a parent as before - £1,813 and approx £714 for equipment per year.
£104,554
Subtotal   £276,996
Costs for a professional player will vary according to their standard of play i.e. how many tournaments they need to play in the early years to reach the ATP World Tour circuit and Grand Slams.
Costs are estimates, and do not take into account any prospective sponsorship costs or time-out due to injury.
 
17 and 18 The IFA suggest that a performance player would be participating in approximately 40 to 50 tournaments per year. They would be travelling just with their coach or parent.
Tennis coaching at £40,000. Physiotherapy at £15,000. Parent's salary loss of £35,000. Travel and accommodation at £115,000. Total per year of £200,000.
£380,000
     
19 and 20 Tennis coaching at £150,000. Physiotherapy at £50,000. Parent's salary loss of £35,000. Fitness Coach at £40,000. Nutritionist at £30,000. PR and Sponsorship at £20,000. Travel and accommodation at £75,000. Total per year of £400,000. £800,000
     
21 and 22 Tennis coaching at £250,000. Physiotherapy at £75,000. PA at £30,000. Fitness Coach at £45,000. Nutritionist at £40,000. PR and Sponsorship at £72,000. Travel and accommodation at £100,000. Total per year of £612,000. £1,224,000
Total   £2,710,996