Padel must build on Hexagon Cup exposure

hexagon cup winners

As the dust settles on the first Hexagon Cup, firstly, congratulations to all involved in pulling it all together and showcasing padel across the world.

Through its broadcast partners, the Hexagon Cup was beamed to more than 700 million homes in more than 190 countries, providing an great platform to introduce more people to the sport and its support its worldwide growth.

It should certainly have whetted the appetite as the quality of the matches across the week - particularly the three thrilling finals yesterday - demonstrated the skills and drama of the sport.

One of the highlights of the event has been the superb commentary from Ned Boulting and Mauri Andrini. The pair dovetailed brilliantly and you wouldn't have known this was there first time working together. They brought the matches alive with their passion, excitement and Mauri's knowledge and ability to translate Spanish!

Looking at it from a media perspective, in its native Spain, the Hexagon Cup has received plenty of attention and those that promote padel have equally given it a platform. It has, however, not necessarily caught the imagination of the wider media. This has to be considered should there be a second Hexagon Cup.

In the UK, with the exception of its backers - Daily Mail - it is hard to find a mention of the tournament in other media, but not giving PR to a rival publication will be one reason. As for the Mail's coverage, it has been more 'celebrity' driven than sport driven. While all coverage is positive, it would be great to see it in the sports pages not just the news pages.

I looked at many of the major online sports news platforms such as NBC Sports, BBC Sport, Sky Sports, Bein sports and CANAL+ sport. Only the latter really gives padel a regular platform (happy to be corrected on this!). You can find padel stories in news sections - with plans for new clubs or the celebs who play, but padel as an elite sport needs to push these organisations to ensure it has dedicated sections on these major sport platforms and that it isn't found through just a 'search'.

Finally, if there was one change to the next Hexagon Cup, a suggestion would be to have a more players from other countries playing. For this first edition, it made sense - economically and for PR purposes - to bring in the top players, however this has meant the majority are from the dominant nations of Spain and Argentina. Next year's event needs to be more diverse with players from other countries to widen its appeal and showcase padel as the truly international sport it is.