Evolved the Rogers Cup into a world-class event on the ATP World Tour and WTA Tour.
His relationship with players, coaches and agents on the tour attracted the best of tennis to Canada.
Former Tournament Director and Chairman of the Canadian Opens
John Beddington has been highly involved in the event management of tennis in Canada for 35 years. He is a highly regarded international sports management expert who helped create and develop the two Canadian Opens on the ATP World Tour and WTA Tour, into the world class tennis events they are today.
Beddington not only helped build the sport of tennis in Canada, but he is a life long tennis player, who began his management involvement in 1965 as a committee member of the Southdown Lawn Tennis Club in Sussex, England.
Beddington is the only Canadian citizen who is a member of The All-England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon. Prior to his work with Tennis Canada, he ran several major tennis events in Europe including the Brighton Festival of Tennis, the Commercial Union Grand Prix of Tennis and the year ending Commercial Union Masters tournaments, the Colgate Grand Prix, The Crossley Carpets Tennis Tournament, the Middle East Tennis Tour, the Martini Geneva Open, the Toyota Series and the year ending Toyota Championships and the Love Doubles. He founded IMG’s tournament management division and oversaw many of their events while a Senior International Vice President of that organization.
Beddington joined Tennis Canada in 1979, and until 1995 he was tournament director and then tournament chairman of the Canadian Open Tennis Championships in both Toronto and Montreal. He was also the executive vice- president of Tennis Canada for 10 years. Beddington assumed responsibility for all tournaments, competitions, sponsorships, television, marketing and international relations with the ATP World Tour, WTA Tour and the International Tennis Federation in addition to having primary responsibilities for the Canadian Opens.
During the 17 years he ran the two flagship events, John helped build them from an original budget of less than half a million dollars to a combined budget of over 15 million dollars. In the process, he created two world-class events, one in Toronto and one in Montreal which in 1994 were both voted by an independent, international panel to be amongst the world’s ten greatest tennis events. In Beddington’s final year as Tournament Chair the combined net profit was three million dollars.
His relationship with players, coaches and agents on Tour attracted the best of tennis to Canada. Beddington instilled great pride into the tournament and this Tour stop became a must-see for everyone. He traveled the world to promote the Canadian events and his leadership allowed the tournament to grow at an exponential rate.
“John and his team took this event to a top-tier global status,” expressed Michael S. Downey, president and chief executive officer, Tennis Canada. “In many ways, the success of today’s Rogers Cup tournaments can be attributed to the foresight displayed by John through two decades of leadership.”
His diligent, energetic work allowed Tennis Canada to move to the forefront of Canadian sports governing bodies. The profits he helped generate allowed Tennis Canada to move away from the constraints of federal government funding and to chart a full business plan for the future. In 1995, Beddington left Tennis Canada to return to England as Group Managing Director of a global sports marketing company.
He remains active in tennis, founding the end of year Champions Tour event which is held annually at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which he ran for ten years. He now acts as a consultant for several corporations which choose tennis to achieve their business objectives as well as being heavily involved on a voluntary basis with numerous charities and running the occasional tennis event.
Beddington has received several organizational awards and tributes as a result of his involvement in staging and management of over 150 international tournaments. He was praised by Tennis Canada upon his departure in1995 as “the single biggest driving force in the success of the organization in its 100 year history.” Beddington’s dedication and contributions continue to be felt by a new generation of players and administration.