Portia Archer appointed CEO of the WTA

BY Preta Peace Namasaba June 6, 2024 12:25 PM EDT
Portia Archer is the new CEO of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the principal organizing body of women’s professional tennis, has appointed Portia Archer as its new CEO. Archer has more than 20 years of experience driving growth and transformational success across multiple organizations in the global sports and media industries. Her extensive business strategy experience will be vital in advancing the WTA, which has more than 2,500 players from nearly 100 countries competing for $146 million in prize money.

“The WTA is an organization I have long admired. It has pioneered the growth and development of women’s professional sport around the world, and I am excited to have the opportunity to join the team as we deliver our ambitions for the Tour and write the next chapter of the WTA story,” Archer said about her appointment.

Archer will lead the daily strategy and operations of the Hologic WTA Tour and the WTA’s relationship with its players and tournament members. She will work alongside the WTA Chairman and CEO of WTA Ventures, the newly established commercial arm of the WTA to drive the future success of the sport. Her appointment allows Steve Simon, currently WTA Chairman and CEO to focus on governance and strategic development in his role as Chairman.

She takes the helm of women’s tennis amid organizational turmoil and controversy. The WTA faced opposition following the announcement that the next three season-ending WTA Finals would be organized in Saudi Arabia. Although its collaboration with the Saudi Tennis Federation is projected to increase investment in marketing, digital, and fan engagement, many have criticized the Kingdom’s human rights records and patriarchal laws. The 2023 WTA Finals, hosted by Cancun, Mexico were held in less-than-ideal weather conditions with temporary courts constructed on a golf course.

Archer previously served as the chief operating officer of the NBA G League, the official minor league of the NBA. She made history as the first to hold the position as it was newly created when she took over. Archer was responsible for overseeing all business and commercial operations for the NBA’s development league and driving expansion in fan engagement and commercial performance. She helped lead the G League through the COVID-19 pandemic.

As vice president of global distribution and digital at HBO, Archer expanded reach and launched digital channels in more than 15 international territories. She led the sports rights acquisition strategy, launch, and management of NBC’s first direct-to-consumer, live-streaming business, and predecessor to Peacock TV while at NBC Universal/NBC Sports Group. Archer holds an MBA in management and finance from Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s in public policy and economics from the University of Chicago.

Archer, who is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University Sports Management will take up her new position with the WTA on July 29, 2024.

“I am delighted to welcome Portia to the WTA. She will be a fantastic addition to our leadership team, bringing a wealth of management experience and helping to drive operational excellence across the organization as we work together to further elevate women’s tennis for the benefit of players, fans, partners and tournaments,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman.