Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'.... - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

This popped up on the BBC Sport website..and though it intrigued me, it also had me horrified at the thought of the ATP deciding that this was the future of tennis. A disco it may be at the moment but with Mr Disney at the helm, nothing is impossible...

Source: BBC Sport
Reporter: Jonathan Overend

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6139972.stm

"Here's a normal day on the tennis circuit: wake up, talk forehands and backhands over breakfast, sit through a day and a night of tennis, listen to a series of millionaires talk in press conference cliches and then go home.

Next day it happens all over again.

Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic sport when it's played and presented well, but it happens every week for 11 months a year in pretty much the same format. That can get rather monotonous.

The tennis top table - or at least sections of it - recognises the need for change.

Executives such as Etienne De Villiers at the ATP and Larry Scott at the WTA want tennis to be more entertainment driven, hence new features in 2006 such as electronic line-calling, on-court coaching and pre-match TV interviews.

ut as one of tennis' major investors told me last week, "Hawk-Eye has been the first innovation since the introduction of the tie-break!"

The sport needs to evolve to attract new audiences and, in search of such evolution, I found myself heading out of Madrid on the road to nowhere at approaching midnight last Friday night.

Twenty minutes later, on arrival at one of the city'¿s largest universities, I was met with neon lights and nightclub security. No picnic hampers and rugs but glow-sticks and wristbands.

The muffled thump of heavy beats could be heard. Welcome to Night Tennis.

Finally someone has created an ingenious way of connecting and engaging with tennis-curious 20-somethings.

This was essentially a club night with big-name DJs, but the central focus was the ultra-violet tennis court and the short, sharp matches involving university players.

With music pumping, the rallies would ensue in an eerie blacked-out atmosphere. The balls, being naturally fluorescent, were easily seen by the players and the lines - made with reflective tape - stood out like a futuristic vortex.

Skillful video engineers projected live images and graphics onto a huge screen on one side of the arena. Around the court, party-goers stood with beer in hand, stepping back as the players stretched out for wide shots.

It worked. It really worked.

With the tennis over, the court became an instant dancefloor as Darren Emerson and Groove Armada took to the decks.

"It's probably one of the most unusual gigs I've ever played," said former Underworld man Emerson. "But at the end I wanted a knock-up on the court!"

Crucially, the man in charge of this dynamic experiment wasn't a greying board member trying to get down with the kids, but a 28-year-old marketing man more familiar with the clubs of Ibiza and South Beach than tennis clubs.

Dean Taylor, sponsorship and marketing manager at Sony Ericsson, has struck potential gold with his concept.

"The more I look at tennis, the more opportunities I see to present it in a new and experimental way," he said.

"Tennis fans love tennis, and I wouldn't want to change that, but we want to find ways of getting a new audience and by blending tennis with music, creating a visual and audio spectacular, I think we achieved that."

Nine hundred revellers packed the university hall on the Friday night. They were hooked in by radio promotions, campaigns on campus and targeted media hits. The plan is to now take it on the road.

"We want to refine it and then take it to places where people perhaps aren't aware championships are taking place," said Taylor.

"I think the first event worked really well - 900 young people who weren't necessarily tennis fans came to watch tennis. Unbelievable!"

It came at the end of an exciting, experimental year on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. Chief Executive Larry Scott said: "I think we've innovated more in 2006 than we have in the last five years put together at least.

"We've got the coaches more involved, brought in the electronic line-calling, broken boundaries in terms of players availability before and after matches, and the reaction that we've gotten from fans, from TV broadcasters and the players themselves has been terrific.

"It's a very exciting time for the sport and by bringing in a younger target audience than tennis has traditionally been associated with, the stars are really aligning in terms of the opportunity for the sport to progress."

Under the aligning stars, the next Night Tennis event is planned for Miami in the new year; perfect as the Sony Ericsson Open coincides with the Winter Music Conference and the invasion of worldwide DJ talent.

A pre-Wimbledon event in London should be the target after that with the aim of getting ATP and WTA players competing and perhaps some eventual TV coverage.

We danced, we peered through the gloom and, in UV light, perhaps we saw the future. "



After reading this the image of a Discotheque Wimbledon was immediately planted in my head. The roof would have been completed, further enhancing the club effect. The Royal box would no longer harbour His/Her Majesty but instead a 50 year old DJ Sammy, mixing up her decks. Please save our game Your comments please...

Janko Tipsarevic - Jamie Baker - Philipp Kohlschreiber - Wojciech Starakiewicz
Nikola Mektic - Leonardo Kirche


Supporting British tennis at: http://www.freewebs.com/britishtennis/

Last edited by JustJames; 11-11-2006 at 08:49 PM.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 07:41 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

ATP and WTA has nothing to do with the slams, so dont worry about that
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 07:42 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

Is Mr. Disney trying to work himself out of a job?

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

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Originally Posted by mirkaland View Post
Is Mr. Disney trying to work himself out of a job?
He's not put his name too it yet.... sounds like something that would be right up his street though.

Janko Tipsarevic - Jamie Baker - Philipp Kohlschreiber - Wojciech Starakiewicz
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 07:51 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

I read that article and I seriously thought it was a joke...like something the onion would do.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 07:54 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesObv. View Post

We danced, we peered through the gloom and, in UV light, perhaps we saw the future. "
brave new world

playing in dark it's fun but outside the court

madness never had a teacher
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 08:27 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

Great, so the players will end up entertaining crowds of 20 year olds by playing tennis to the rhythm of blasting music and with 'fluorescent' balls, while being surrounded by flashing Disco lights.

...

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 08:33 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

Actually its something they've done with other sports here in the US - not on the pro level, but for amateurs for Friday and Saturday nights.

I don't think you have anything to worry about - its probably something they're thinking for an exhibition type event, but that's about it.

Chill people chill.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 08:34 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naranoc View Post
Great, so the players will end up entertaining crowds of 20 year olds by playing tennis to the rhythm of blasting music and with 'fluorescent' balls, while being surrounded by flashing Disco lights.

...

wow, sounds great. someone should get Mr Disney on this; it's right up his alley....

It's just you don't want to have a lot of expectations, because when you start to have a lot of expectations you just end up losing in the third round to God knows who. ~Marat Safin, summarizing his career

No comment:
Mawie: he kinda reminds me of me, he feels obligated to have every sentence be a joke
Maggie Tulliver: and he takes his clothes off when he sees a camera
Maggie Tulliver: it's a little pathetic
Maggie Tulliver: it's like his first reaction
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 08:51 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoFan View Post
Actually its something they've done with other sports here in the US - not on the pro level, but for amateurs for Friday and Saturday nights.

I don't think you have anything to worry about - its probably something they're thinking for an exhibition type event, but that's about it.

Chill people chill.
Hmm...that might be true, but you can never underestimate Mr Disney's future innovations. According to his calculations: Tennis = Entertainment = $$$. You never know what that might result in, as ludicrous as it may seem now.
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 08:59 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

It seems that marketing managers and directors are really trying to think outside the box when approaching the sport of tennis and the possibilities surrounding it... Too many times, people who call themselves "tennis fans" suddenly don't like or don't approve of the sport when it's placed outside of a formal country club atmosphere or other such thing... But if you really enjoy tennis at its basic level, with the game essentially staying the same as it's always been, it probably shouldn't matter what atmosphere it's placed in, nor how the game is marketed to attract "outsiders"... Will the competitive atmosphere and excitement of a match between Federer and Safin suddenly disappear because it's played with fluorescent tennis balls on a court with reflective tape?
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

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Originally Posted by idolwatcher1 View Post
It seems that marketing managers and directors are really trying to think outside the box when approaching the sport of tennis and the possibilities surrounding it... Too many times, people who call themselves "tennis fans" suddenly don't like or don't approve of the sport when it's placed outside of a formal country club atmosphere or other such thing... But if you really enjoy tennis at its basic level, with the game essentially staying the same as it's always been, it probably shouldn't matter what atmosphere it's placed in, nor how the game is marketed to attract "outsiders"... Will the competitive atmosphere and excitement of a match between Federer and Safin suddenly disappear because it's played with fluorescent tennis balls on a court with reflective tape?
Totally get your point mate...and I don't mind minor changes; cheerleaders at changeovers, model ball girls/boys, intro music etc are all fine with me. However it is the drastic changing of tennis that I fear, tennis is what it is, and that is what we all love.

As a tennis fan i would much rather see a Federer/Safin (using your example) match played under the lights at a packed Us Open, with the tense atmosphere, screaming crowd...than under disco lights with a bunch of sweaty 20 somethings, who know nilch about dance, all beat boxing. Just my two cents.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 09:14 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesObv. View Post
Totally get your point mate...and I don't mind minor changes; cheerleaders at changeovers, model ball girls/boys, intro music etc are all fine with me. However it is the drastic changing of tennis that I fear, tennis is what it is, and that is what we all love.

As a tennis fan i would much rather see a Federer/Safin (using your example) match played under the lights at a packed Us Open, with the tense atmosphere, screaming crowd...than under disco lights with a bunch of sweaty 20 somethings, who know nilch about dance, all beat boxing. Just my two cents.
Music blaring during a serious pro tennis match will simply not happen because players would refuse to play such matches in those conditions... Like NicoFan stated, this is probably more of an idea that would be used for an exhibition type event with pro players, and would certainly NOT be used at a grand slam event (which is FAR more rich with tradition).
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

Quote:
Originally Posted by idolwatcher1 View Post
Music blaring during a serious pro tennis match will simply not happen because players would refuse to play such matches in those conditions... Like NicoFan stated, this is probably more of an idea that would be used for an exhibition type event with pro players, and would certainly NOT be used at a grand slam event (which is FAR more rich with tradition).
Yes i understand that. I was simply responding to your suggestion that real tennis fans would appreciate a tennis match being played during a disco just as much as a normal 'tennisy' atmosphere.

Janko Tipsarevic - Jamie Baker - Philipp Kohlschreiber - Wojciech Starakiewicz
Nikola Mektic - Leonardo Kirche


Supporting British tennis at: http://www.freewebs.com/britishtennis/
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2006, 09:38 PM
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Re: Please Mr De Villiers 'NO'....

Oh, come on, you stick in the muds - why not dress the players up as Darth Vader v Luke Skywalker with laser beams instead of racquets and the last one alive wins the trophy
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