Adam Karp Joins IRT; Promotes Player Pipeline
Former top-five ranked International Racquetball Tour (IRT) professional Adam Karp has joined the International Racquetball Tour as Vice President, Event Development. In this position, Karp will focus on player development by working with tournament directors to expand the IRT’s presence in the United States and internationally.
Satellite events (Tier 2 – Tier 5) serve a critical link in the tour’s schedule, providing opportunities for rising stars to gain ranking points and experience against top competition while sharing in the spotlight the professional affiliation brings.
With almost half of the top-twenty ranked IRT players having an international affiliation, the international market holds promise for IRT expansion. Latin America offers the greatest potential, given a passionate fan base and the number of up-and-coming players from countries like Mexico, Colombia and Bolivia. Mexican-born Alvaro Beltran’s success in rising through the ranks and attracting a large following on both sides of the southern U.S. border is an example of the opportunity for players and fans.
The potential to have a large portion of the IRT’s schedule taking place outside of the United States is strong. Korea has a permanent facility built after hosting the World Championships in 2010. Multiple countries have shown interest in hosting events according to IRT President Jason Mannino. “We are encouraged by the number of countries who have expressed interested in bringing an IRT event. Just in Mexico alone, we now have five clubs interested in hosting Tier 1 events and a variety of other locations considering satellite stops.”
Mannino cites Karp’s international reputation and experience as a key reason for recruiting him to his current role. Karp will build on relationships cultivated in places like Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras, Japan, and Canada as well as the United States. “His playing resume includes back-to-back national singles titles, four national doubles titles, a Pan Am championship, two world doubles titles, and a ranking as high as #5 on the IRT. I contacted a club in Chihuahua, Mexico and the director still has a poster of Adam hanging up on a wall.”
After retiring from professional racquetball, Karp worked for an information technology staffing agency before starting his own company. The skills developed identifying and then matching needs with resources will serve him well. “I want event directors to be thrilled to partner with the IRT.”
By serving as a player development pipeline and showcasing world-class talent, the IRT will help the sport grow. Karp’s excited and challenged by the prospect. “Racquetball has been a huge part of my life and I’ve been away too long! I’m thrilled to be back as a member of the IRT leadership team.”