Craig Tiley is recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative and forward thinking chief executives. His charismatic and passionate nature combined with his business acumen has leveraged him to the forefront of sports administration and the leader behind Australia’s largest and most successful international sporting event.
Craig has been Tournament Director of the Australian Open since 2006 and was appointed CEO of Tennis Australia (TA) in 2013. His relationship with the playing group and relentless focus on improvement has transformed the Australian Open into the players’ favourite Grand Slam and Australia’s favourite sporting event, bringing 796,000 people through the gates annually, delivering more than $400m in direct economic benefit to Australia and reaching a global audience of more than 900 million households.
His enthusiasm, combined with his personal values of teamwork, loyalty, excellence and humility has seen the doubling of TA’s revenue to more than $300m, expanded the reach into Asia and the creation of an internal media unit which includes host broadcast, production and distribution of content internationally. Craig is also a Male Champion of Change, passionate about shifting mindsets around gender equality and diversity, both on the tennis court and in the workplace.
Initially recruited to TA in 2005 to head up Tennis Australia’s High Performance team, his role was expanded to Director of Tennis in 2006. His responsibility for the sport at a national level saw him introduce the National Academy system across all states, the expansion of Hot Shots (one of the nation’s most successful sporting starter programs), a new international short form of tennis, FAST4, a national body for coaches, a multi-million dollar facilities program, world class athlete support services, the expansion of the AO Series and the $900m redevelopment of Melbourne Park, including the enviable facilities of the National Tennis Centre.
Prior to joining TA, Craig was a professional tennis player and high-level coach. At the University of Illinois, he led the fastest tennis program turnaround in US collegiate history, breaking a 100 year-old record for most consecutive wins. He won two NCAA Div. I national titles and twice earned the US National Coach of the Year award, which was presented by the President of the United States during a White House Ceremony. He also coached several top ten professional players and captained the South African Davis Cup team.
Craig was born in South Africa to a sport loving family. He spent 2.5 years as a Lieutenant in the South African Army where he received the 6th ever Army's Meritorious Award. Craig holds academic degrees in kinesiology, economics and business, has produced two best-selling tennis videos and has served as a keynote speaker and leadership consultant. Craig and his wife, Chicago-born Ali, have three children, Marlowe and twin boys Archer and Weston.
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