Assistant Tournament Director DeeDee Felich, Bud Collins, Tournament Director Steve Simon, and Indian Wells Tennis Garden CEO Raymond Moore. Photo by Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open
In 2014, the Alan King Tennis Passion Award was given to the colorful Bud Collins.
The Passion Award, awarded at the BNP Paribas Open, was founded in 2004 in honor of Alan King‘s dedication to the sport of tennis. King’s love of the game translated through the attention and details placed on his beloved namesake, the Alan King Tennis Classic. That event is still known as the larger-than-life grandfather of tennis tournaments, an insurmountable benchmark for the production of tennis events around the world.
King was responsible for bringing the popularity of tennis to a new level, still unsurpassed in grandeur, by marrying the exclusive cache of Hollywood glitz and glamour, the notoriety made only through TV and his charismatic personality.
King, who passed away in 2004, left behind a large legacy not only in the entertainment world – but in the world of tennis. In those early years of Open tennis, The Alan King Caesars Palace Tennis Classic in Las Vegas – organized by King – set a standard by which all major tournaments would be measured. Some years later, we were fortunate to bring Alan to this desert and serve as our tournament co-chairman for 17 years. Alan’s inspiration, guidance and passion for the sport of tennis are evident in this tournament today.
The Alan King Tennis Passion Award recognizes and honors individuals who also share that same kind of passion for tennis. Past winners include Rod Laver, Billie Jean King, Tracy Austin, and other legends in the sport.