Pioneering PBI

Peter Burwash’s Vision of a Tennis-Filled Future

“To bring the gift of tennis to every corner of the world.” 

Such was the mantra Peter Burwash International’s (PBI) founder, the late Peter Burwash, adopted when he started his tennis management company in 1975. Peter had a vision to spread the love of tennis far and wide, particularly in areas that may otherwise never have been exposed to the sport.

To share tennis with as many people as possible globally, in addition to PBI’s regular programs, Peter initiated the PBI Tennis Show. Highly entertaining and educating for any audience, the PBI Tennis Show soon received the nickname “the Harlem Globetrotters of tennis” and was performed in 99 countries. 

Peter and the PBI Tennis Show engaged with players and potential players everywhere, ranging from the US Open to small Pacific islands, presenting tennis as a game for everyone, from the President of Mexico, Prince Rainier of Monaco, and the King of Tonga to excited fans in Bangladesh who had never seen tennis before.

PBI successfully encouraged people to get out and experience the sport for the first time, or to pick it up once again. Peter’s traveling enthusiasm also translated to tennis organizations — including national associations in Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates — that he encouraged to join the ITF. In Africa, he connected Tournament Directors to form the East African Circuit and in Hong Kong, Peter played a key role in helping the Hong Kong Open become part of the international circuit.

In addition to the invaluable reward of bringing tennis to countries and individuals who may otherwise never have had an opportunity to play, Peter’s outlook had a very real impact on the vision for his growing tennis management company. Today, PBI is known as a leader in the tennis management industry, but also one with a distinct international presence.


“It all dates back to the pioneering mentality that Peter set forth from the beginning,” said PBI President, René Zondag. “Our current portfolio of international venues stems from a mission to continue spreading tennis around the world and upholding the vision and standards Peter had started.”

Indeed, many contracts and industry connections resulted from the PBI Tennis Show. The traveling spectacle not only demonstrated PBI’s intrinsic passion for the game, but it also represented PBI’s broader values: an organization that could impart the joy of tennis in any country, no matter how remote. This reputation was particularly pivotal in India, where Peter strove to do more than just visit. He wanted to nurture strong relationships in the country that could ultimately help build a program that would last for years and make a direct impact on the local community.

As many know, PBI provided coaches for one of the world’s leading junior development programs in India during the early 1990s, known as Britannia Amritraj Trust (BAT). Peter’s foresight in this endeavor with the BAT program ultimately materialized as a partnership with the Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence in Bangalore, which today includes a world-class tennis program for some of India’s top players.

PBI’s relationship-building efforts and mission to benefit their host communities through tennis was similarly important for PBI’s locations in Singapore. The President of the Singapore Tennis Association always respected Peter and his organization, and specifically recommended PBI to The American Club Singapore when the private members’ club needed a top-notch management company for their four-court site in the heart of the city.

“Peter was a visionary who understood true service transcends tennis. He recognized that tennis instruction is important but, in the end, just a transaction; the real impact comes from selfless service. That was arguably one of the most important lessons Peter taught us,” said Zondag.