Formula E founders vow to help padel reach its worldwide potential

  • The Hexagon Cup team based padel tournament has been launched in Madrid
  • Formula E’s original founding team have been key advisors to the new venture 
  • The advisors have vowed to use their experience in motorsport to boost padel 

A €1million (£860,000) padel tournament has been launched by the founders behind Formula E, Extreme E, and E1 in Madrid, who have vowed to help the racket sport reach its global potential.

The Hexagon Cup was officially presented in the Spanish capital, with the padel event set to comprise of a six term format featuring the sport’s top male, female and ‘next gen’ players.

Organisers revealed that each of the six teams will be chaired by a world-renowned figure from different sporting, business or entertainment industries.  

The Hexagon Cup will boast a prize fund of €1million (£860,000), which will reportedly be among the biggest on offer in the sport.    

Enrique Buenaventura, Alejandro Agag, Alberto Longo, and Simon Freer are among the key advisors to the new venture.

A €1million padel tournament has been launched by the founders behind Formula E

Enrique Buenaventura (pictured) is one of the key advisors for the venture

The quartet have vowed to use their experience of the motorsport industry to deliver innovation in padel to help attract global audiences, while respecting the sport’s heritage.

‘I have played padel since a young age and always been passionate about the sport,’ said Buenaventura, who was part Formula E’s original founding team and has been key to the Hexagon Cup concept.

‘It has been huge in Spain for years but I’ve witnessed it growing in popularity around the world, and more increasingly, using the lessons and learnings over the past decade in motorsport and sports in general, we saw an opportunity to help grow it further. 

‘As a member of Hexagon Cup’s advisory board, I am supporting the project with ideas and opening the doors with contacts.

‘Together with fellow members of the original Formula E founding team, we are advising and supporting a strong group of padel professionals and sports leaders who are turning this amazing idea into reality. 

‘It’s something very different to us but our basic rules are the same. Make it exciting, engaging, equal and accessible, and most of all, make it fun, for the players and the fans alike.’

Organisers have confirmed Spanish stars Paquito Navarro and Alejandra Salazar as the first signings to the new project, with the duo representing the Hexagon Cup team as its franchise players.

Salazar is the reigning world number one and a six-time world champion, while Navarro had held the top ranking in 2019 and has won 25 World Padel Tour titles during his career.

Buenaventura wants to drive padel to its worldwide potential using the new event

Women's world number one Alejandra Salazar will feature for the Hexagon Cup team

Salazar is a six-time world champion, and has been World No 1 for the last four years

Franchise player pairings will select their four team-mates during a player draft in November, with teams comprising of one male, one female, and two ‘next gen’ stars.

The tournament itself will see the six teams split into two qualifying groups, who will compete in head-to-head matches. 

Only the top two teams from each group will advance to the finals weekend. 

Organisers announced that fans will be in charge of the Hexagon Cup team’s draft selection, in-keeping with the event’s slogan ‘For the Fans. For the Players. For the Game’.

‘The Hexagon Cup will be a fantastic event. I love to play team competitions and this one is very special and different,’ said Salazar.

‘I like the equality for all players aspect and the option to give an opportunity to share the teams between top players and future stars. It’s an honour to be the franchise player of the Hexagon Team alongside Paquito. 

‘I can’t wait to interact with fans to choose the rest of our players and compete against the other five teams.

The Hexagon Cup will take place at the Madrid Arena from January 31-February 5 next year

‘I’ve heard the names of some of the owners of the other teams and it’s impressive. I can’t wait to meet all of them and of course we plan to beat their teams on court.’

The event will run from January 31 to February 5 at the Madrid Arena, with organisers vowing to deliver a ‘big show experience’.

This will include a Fan Village providing access to autograph sessions, player training courts, coaching sessions, live concerts and entertainment.

While the event will take place in Spain, where more people playing padel, organisers have highlighted the sport’s continued growth in countries like Argentina, Mexico, France, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates.

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