Falling Star: Mercedes-Benz Will Not Renew ATP Sponsorship [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Falling Star: Mercedes-Benz Will Not Renew ATP Sponsorship

nobama
09-28-2007, 06:03 PM
http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=17478&bannerregion=
Falling Star: Mercedes-Benz Will Not Renew ATP Sponsorship

By Tennis Week
09/28/2007

A sponsorship star will drive off the ATP Tour next year. Mercedes-Benz, whose familiar star logo affixed to nets has become a common sight at ATP events, will not renew its sponsorship pact with the ATP when its current three-year agreement concludes on December 31, 2008.

The departure of Mercedes-Benz, which has sponsored the ATP since 1996, is a significant loss to the tour at a time when it is preparing to launch the new-look ATP Tour in 2009.
The Mercedes-Benz/ATP partnership began in 1996 with a four-year agreement that was first extended in 1999 and renewed for a second time in 2002. As the Official Car of the ATP and the main sponsor of the Tennis Masters Cup, Mercedes-Benz provides official transportation at ATP tournaments, showcases prominent car displays at tournament sites and positions its Mercedes-Benz ‘star’ signage on nets. SMRI research found that 80 percent of tennis fans could identify Mercedes-Benz as the Official Car of the ATP.

In a release announcing the move, the ATP said it is "currently in discussions with a number of potential new sponsorship partners" however the loss of Mercedes-Benz is a big blow to the Tour. Two years ago, ATP Chairman Etienne de Villiers proclaimed the partnership between Mercedez-Benz and the ATP as "one of the most successful and visible in all of world sports."

In order for tennis' television audience to grow — which is imperative in persuading sponsors to reach into their pockets and buy commercial time during tennis telecasts — the game's governing bodies must be willing to create a cohesive schedule that builds audience attention toward the four primary peaks that are the Grand Slam tournaments.

Under de Villiers' leadership, the ATP is attempting to streamline the schedule, shorten the season and, through a mandatory player participation rule, create a competitive climate in which tennis' top stars play against each other more frequently. The ATP is planning to rebrand its tournaments to their winners ranking point levels of either "1000", "500" or "250". The new look 2009 calendar will also ensure increased investment into men’s tennis, but the loss of Mercedes-Benz may mean some sponsors are adopting a wait and see approach to the Tour's proposed changes.

Kitty de Sade
09-28-2007, 06:10 PM
That doesn't suprise me at all that MB bailed. It will be interesting to see if anyone else follows suit.

nobama
09-28-2007, 06:20 PM
That doesn't suprise me at all that MB bailed. It will be interesting to see if anyone else follows suit.Yeah, so they can focus more on golf (among other things). Just shows how big sponsors view tennis these days.

FedFan_2007
09-28-2007, 06:23 PM
That's it tennis is dead. Meanwhile golf continues to get all the dollars.

Kitty de Sade
09-28-2007, 06:26 PM
Yeah, so they can focus more on golf (among other things). Just shows how big sponsors view tennis these days.

Sure, because we all know that golf is in dire need of publicity, promotion, and financial support right? :p

I am going to try to contain myself, and not read anything more into this than need be, but if I were part of the brass, I'd be concerned. I just wonder how long they can turn a blind eye to what is going on here. To have a major player like MB jump ship is not a good sign to say the least.

Corporate sponsors are not going to back tennis unless they feel fairly certain of a decent return on their investment. It's not happening right now. Instead of trying to cram unsuccessful ideas like RR down the collective throats of the masses, the brass should be doing everything they can to remedy the situation.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 06:44 PM
Well in terms of the money they bring in (do you have any numbers?) I don't think they are irreplacable. But MB is a classy sign and one that ATP probably likes being associated with. Walmart could bring in that same money, but presenting "Walmart-ATP events" will not have that edge. It will make the WTF championships exactly that! :lol:

adee-gee
09-28-2007, 06:47 PM
That's it tennis is dead. Meanwhile golf continues to get all the dollars.

That's what happens when you have one of the most marketable guys ever as the #1 in your sport :shrug:

Tennis needs Nadal to become #1 if it wants to get the $$$ flooding in :sport:

tangerine_dream
09-28-2007, 06:49 PM
The ATP is planning to rebrand its tournaments to their winners ranking point levels of either "1000", "500" or "250". The new look 2009 calendar will also ensure increased investment into men’s tennis, but the loss of Mercedes-Benz may mean some sponsors are adopting a wait and see approach to the Tour's proposed changes.
This reminds me of a hilarious rant James Martin posted over at ESPN:

What's in a name?
by: James Martin, TENNIS.com
September 12, 2007

Like most tennis fans, I suffer from an inferiority complex. How can I help it when tennis is given short shrift in the mainstream media? Just this past weekend, I had to wait for the U.S. Open men's final to start because a football game hadn't ended. And after all that waiting I get …Liza Minnelli.

Such is life. I've come to accept that the American public will never embrace tennis the way it loves its football. I get it: Football has blood and broken bones, egomaniacal players, and those awesome pregame shows with so much faux male bonding that I grow chest hair just watching it.

Pass the beer, bro.

Tennis will never become a huge, Joe Six-pack sport and that's fine by me. The pro game should wear its niche colors proudly. But it doesn't. Commentators (yeah, you, Dick Enberg and John McEnroe, to name just two) incessantly talk about ways to "fix" the sport, which only reinforces its inferiority complex.

And the powers-that-be often shoot the game in the foot by dreaming up Byzantine ways to keep tennis as marginal as possible, or make it sound as cheesy as possible. You only have to watch the U.S. Open trophy ceremony -- an annual rite of crass game-show-style commercialism -- to see that.

But the award for bone-headed play of this season goes to the ATP. Just recently, it announced that in 2009 it's replacing the nine Masters Series events with nine "1000" status tournaments. Catchy, isn't it?

Granted, this is just a change in name (it's the same nine tournaments), but it's a dumb change. The Masters Series actually has been one of the few marketing success stories in pro tennis over the past couple decades. The name has built up some cache.

That's all gone the way of the wood racket now.

By the way, there are also 500 and 250 level tournaments; the numbers, in case you didn't know (and why would you?) tie into the total number of points awarded to the winner of each tournament. The ATP says this branding will work based on "extensive consumer research" and make the tour more "fan friendly." I agree, if those fans have a fetish for meaningless numbers.

Earlier this summer, the ATP also renamed its season-ending event. No longer the Masters Cup, in 2009 it will be called the ATP World Tour Finals -- otherwise known as W.T.F. Which is also short for What the … ? :spit:

One of pro tennis' greatest struggles is to help fans understand which tournaments, out of the gazillion played each year, matter most. The women's tour has done a terrible job at this. Yes, they have Tier I events, but can you tell me which ones are designated as Tier I? Or how many there are? Thought not.

The branding of the Masters Series was simple. "Masters" signifies importance. And before it was called the Masters Series it was dubbed the "Super Nine," another basic, intuitive branding. But 1000? It's relatively meaningless. How will fans know there's not a 2000 level event? Or a 1,000,000-level event?

Leave it to tennis to mess up one of the few things that actually works.

This is change for change's sake, and will serve to yet again confuse the fans and make them want to watch football. Speaking of which, I hear the NFL is renaming the Super Bowl the Inter-Galactic Football Championship Finals.

World Beater
09-28-2007, 06:52 PM
MB must have seen deClown's proposed changes and bailed on the ATP tour.

good decision.

tufani
09-28-2007, 06:52 PM
Tennis needs Nadal to become #1
what the point if Nadal #1 or #2?
Is it influence on the people's choise? I bet it's not.

Kitty de Sade
09-28-2007, 06:53 PM
Well in terms of the money they bring in (do you have any numbers?) I don't think they are irreplacable. But MB is a classy sign and one that ATP probably likes being associated with. Walmart could bring in that same money, but presenting "Walmart-ATP events" will not have that edge. It will make the WTF championships exactly that! :lol:

:haha: :yeah:

It might make tennis more accessible for those who are intimidated by the amount of money you need to drop to see a tournament where all their favorite players are playing.

Fee
09-28-2007, 07:08 PM
Mercedes Benz provides cars for many, many ATP tournaments and that is a huge part of the value of their contract. I cannot imagine how much it would cost a tournament to rent roughly 20 cars for 10 days. It will also kind of suck for the players to be in a different car every week. If by chance they ever got a dodgy driver, at least they knew the Benz had good brakes and multiple air bags.

This decision doesn't surprise me at all, unfortunately. I've been hearing rumors of MB pulling out or dropping certain tournaments for a few years, but somehow the ATP managed to hang on to them. I guess all these ridicuous changes were the last nails in the coffin. Very sorry to see them go and I don't see Lexus or Infinity or anyone else stepping up to take their place.

RagingLamb
09-28-2007, 07:10 PM
like omg?

fmolinari2005
09-28-2007, 07:16 PM
That's what happens when you have one of the most marketable guys ever as the #1 in your sport :shrug:

Tennis needs Nadal to become #1 if it wants to get the $$$ flooding in :sport:


I dont know how much money underware companies and antiinflammatory drug manufacturers would bring to the ATP.

World Beater
09-28-2007, 07:20 PM
I dont know how much money underware companies and antiinflammatory drug manufacturers would bring to the ATP.

when and if nadal becomes #1, Pfizer and Merck will start sponsoring the ATP tour.

fmolinari2005
09-28-2007, 07:36 PM
when and if nadal becomes #1, Pfizer and Merck will start sponsoring the ATP tour.

There is only one minor problem with this: how come Pfizer and Merck will have the guts to advertise their drugs theoretical efficacy with Rafa keeping on bitching about pain in his many famous areas?!

It would be the same as Xanax using Marat in one of their adds ...

Dina
09-28-2007, 07:42 PM
surely good old todger's friends at mens vogue and prada can step in and fill the breach

Lee
09-28-2007, 07:42 PM
I hope this will be the final blow and resulting in the departure of Mr. Disney. :armed:

Kitty de Sade
09-28-2007, 07:47 PM
I hope this will be the final blow and resulting in the departure of Mr. Disney. :armed:

If that happens, I vote that all of us who are of legal age to do so, raise a celebratory glass of champagne, shot of whiskey, glass of beer, etc.- like a massive, community toast. :aparty:

Whistleway
09-28-2007, 07:48 PM
I wish this kicks Dr. Disney out of ATP.

Well done ATP and all the new snazzy 2009.

Please Lexus, don't take it. wait till disney is out :)

mangoes
09-28-2007, 07:50 PM
I hope this will be the final blow and resulting in the departure of Mr. Disney. :armed:

In other organizations, such a blow would cost the CEO his job. I'm also curious to see what happens to Mr. Disney at this point.

Fumus
09-28-2007, 07:54 PM
Not good.

If there's one thing that unifies tennis fans on this board it's our love for the game. The only thing I know for sure that we all agree upon is that we like watching tennis, and even more we like talking about it ;-). With sponsors leaving the sport it's only a sign that the popularity of tennis is heading in the opposite direction. This means the amount we will be able to watch tennis will diminish and the amount of people we can talk about it with will diminish as well. Every tennis fan should want to see the sport grow and become widely successful. I dream of the day when I can come into work on Monday and talk about the final that was just played, or something a player said in post match press conference, or watch tennis players in commercials(when tennis isn't on) or have players that have cameo roles in movies just like other the sports do, or when the varsity tennis star is equal to the outstanding high school quarterback.

Are we to be forever relegated to a second class of sport fans? A strange cult that follows a relatively unknown and even more misunderstood sport. Federer is arguably the best thing to happen to tennis in years, and yet that isn't even enough to draw people to watch as ratings world wide continue to slide. He's a player that is doing the unthinkable, a domination of the likes that have never been seen, in any sport. Yet, he doesn't even make the cover of Sports Illustrated, who supposedly has it's finger on the quote unquote metaphorical pulse of the sports world. When Mercedes-Benz pulls it's sponsorship on ATP tennis in 2009, it will add insult to an already injured sport. Sponsors not only help the players stay paid, and the tournaments stay running they add prestige and credibility to events. As a fan I can only hope for the best, but at the moment I'm not expecting much.

mangoes
09-28-2007, 08:05 PM
That's what happens when you have one of the most marketable guys ever as the #1 in your sport :shrug:

Tennis needs Nadal to become #1 if it wants to get the $$$ flooding in :sport:


This isn't about who is or isn't no. 1. In fact, a more solid case can be made for the fact that the ATP isn't taking enough advantage of Roger as a promotional tool especially in the US. Roger is now cracking the US Market, but I haven't seen the ATP try to invest any dollars in promoting tennis to the US Market. Roger's increasing popularity in the US Market is due solely to Nike and their strategic linking of Roger and Tiger in ads. Nike is doing more to promote tennis than the ATP.........THAT'S RIDICULOUS. Nike is trying to milk Roger acheivements more than the ATP.

The problem rests within the management of the ATP. Mr. Disney has, thus far, poorly managed this organization. Tennis needs to be popularized. Most executives would point out that the worst thing to do at this point is change the layout of the game's tournaments to the point where dedicated fans don't even understand the changes being implemented. I'm sure Mercedes management has to be considering this fact as well as the failure of the changes Mr. Disney already tried to implement...eg. Round Robin. At this point, Mercedes tapping into the Golf market is clearly a sounder investment.

Scotso
09-28-2007, 08:05 PM
I hope this will be the final blow and resulting in the departure of Mr. Disney. :armed:

I hope so, too. If it isn't, I think we need to take more drastic actions. :devil:

Fee
09-28-2007, 08:10 PM
Word, Mangoes, word.

You know, I love Justin Gimelstob to death, and I am so pleased that he got to do his bit on the Tonight Show, but why didn't anyone take that opportunity to make sure the WINNER of the tournament got on there at some point as well. I understand that the broadcasting network (CBS) wants to put the winner on their show (David Letterman), but Leno gets higher ratings and SOMEBODY should have been booked for his show too, to promote tennis even more. Justin's bit was very funny, but it wasn't really about getting tennis to the masses, or making people want to watch the finals over the weekend. Or pay attention to tennis for the rest of the year.

DeVillers has to go. He really has to go. At this point, I'd take John McEnroe.

Fumus
09-28-2007, 08:16 PM
Yea, there's plenty of great tennis to watch at the moment so I really don't think it matters if Nadal is number 1 or Fedex is. I think it's great we have two or three stars that are going to be in the mix every week it makes it easy for the casual fans to follow ya know. It's all about how you market it and I have to say the ATP dropped the ball big time. They should be running television promos, and etc about the big tournaments etc...I saw two ads for tennis tourneys this year one for Wimbledon and one for US Open on USA that's just poor. Ya know, I mean just commericals for tourneys, I'm not even talking about the commericals for individual guys. How are the ratings in the US going to go up, if the commericals promoting the players and the events don't run. A co worker asked me last week if the US Open was over yet, I don't blame the casual fans for not knowing...it's simply not promoted!

Whistleway
09-28-2007, 08:23 PM
Word, Mangoes, word.

You know, I love Justin Gimelstob to death, and I am so pleased that he got to do his bit on the Tonight Show, but why didn't anyone take that opportunity to make sure the WINNER of the tournament got on there at some point as well. I understand that the broadcasting network (CBS) wants to put the winner on their show (David Letterman), but Leno gets higher ratings and SOMEBODY should have been booked for his show too, to promote tennis even more. Justin's bit was very funny, but it wasn't really about getting tennis to the masses, or making people want to watch the finals over the weekend. Or pay attention to tennis for the rest of the year.

DeVillers has to go. He really has to go. At this point, I'd take John McEnroe.

Nicely put. Wish those brain-fart MBAs would read this and listen to real fans than bogus entertainment dudes like DeVillers.

Kitty de Sade
09-28-2007, 08:36 PM
The current crop has no concept of what successful marketing/promo means. None. In fact, they've done their very best to all but run it into the ground. Until they retool, nothing will change, and we have to expect interest to plummet further.

The problem is in bringing in new blood- specifically those who are not already familiar with the game. It's all well and good to promote "in house" so to speak. For the person on the fence, however, there is nothing tangible to motivate them to engage, watch, and eventually pour their hard-earned money back into the tour.

The talent pool is already in place. You have people who can generate interest, and not just limited to Federer alone. All the potential in the world is rendered null and void, however, if you don't have the right people marketing the talent.

Start at the top, and give Etienne his walking papers. Replace him with someone legitimately invested in the future of tennis, who can think beyond turning a quick profit. There is unlimited potential for the sport, if marketed correctly.

Mr. Disney has shown that he isn't the one to do it. Time to find someone who can. Tennis deserves that much.

Fee
09-28-2007, 08:41 PM
We could lock this thread on your post Miss Kitty. I'm not sure there is anything else to say (except to agree with you, every word of it).

Kitty de Sade
09-28-2007, 08:48 PM
We could lock this thread on your post Miss Kitty. I'm not sure there is anything else to say (except to agree with you, every word of it).

:hatoff:

Thank you, Fee.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 09:38 PM
That's what happens when you have one of the most marketable guys ever as the #1 in your sport :shrug:

Tennis needs Nadal to become #1 if it wants to get the $$$ flooding in :sport:

If Nadal was Number 1, Mercedes Benz would have left 3 years ago. :lol: We're lucky they stayed this long, it's only due to Federer. :yeah:

tangerine_dream
09-28-2007, 09:52 PM
The talent pool is already in place. You have people who can generate interest, and not just limited to Federer alone. All the potential in the world is rendered null and void, however, if you don't have the right people marketing the talent.
This is what's so infuriating. We are currently in the middle of one of tennis' golden age and nobody seems to know what to do with it. It's unreal. :rolleyes:

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 09:55 PM
This is what's so infuriating. We are currently in the middle of one of tennis' golden age and nobody seems to know what to do with it. It's unreal. :rolleyes:

It's Roddick, he's just unable to get people/sponsors in the US interested with what they incorrectly call his "decline" (silly people :rolleyes:) not having won anything that they consider really worthwhile for so long :rolleyes:

It's not MB Europe which has pulled its money, it's MB USA. But if the best US player is not doing enough, then you can sort of understand where they're coming from.... although I think it's totally wrong. They should have a little more faith in him. You tell 'em!

dylan24
09-28-2007, 09:59 PM
i'm sure mr disney is working on new gimmicks for 2008.
round robin didn't work in 2007 so he'll be working extra hard for 2008.
he'll come up w/ blue tennis balls and tag team tennis like wrestling. when one player gets tired, another will replace him.
go mr disney.
get mickey mouse and pluto to help you come up w/ some great ideas for 2008

dylan24
09-28-2007, 10:00 PM
i don't blame Mercedes-Benz leaving. why would they want to be assoicated w/ a sport
corrupt w/ match fixing and players tanking.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 10:03 PM
Marat totalled an MB some time ago. :aparty:
Maybe that has something to do with it :lol: (Thanksalot Marat!)

Lee
09-28-2007, 10:12 PM
It's Roddick, he's just unable to get people/sponsors in the US interested with what they incorrectly call his "decline" (silly people :rolleyes:) not having won anything that they consider really worthwhile for so long :rolleyes:

It's not MB Europe which has pulled its money, it's MB USA. But if the best US player is not doing enough, then you can sort of understand where they're coming from.... although I think it's totally wrong. They should have a little more faith in him. You tell 'em!

Lexus is a sponsor of Roddick for a few years, so how can you relate his "decline" as the reason for MB dropping the sponsorship?

And where's the article that said it's MB USA that pulled its money?

GlennMirnyi
09-28-2007, 10:17 PM
when and if nadal becomes #1, Pfizer and Merck will start sponsoring the ATP tour.

:haha: :haha: :haha:

Bayer too.

GlennMirnyi
09-28-2007, 10:18 PM
Mercedes has realised tennis is dead now moonballers can get to Wimbledon finals. They are just bailing out while they can.

trixtah
09-28-2007, 10:31 PM
If that happens, I vote that all of us who are of legal age to do so, raise a celebratory glass of champagne, shot of whiskey, glass of beer, etc.- like a massive, community toast. :aparty:

and/or proceed in an orderly fashion to the nearest orgy

Jelena
09-28-2007, 10:32 PM
I hope this will be the final blow and resulting in the departure of Mr. Disney. :armed:
Me too.
If that happens, I vote that all of us who are of legal age to do so, raise a celebratory glass of champagne, shot of whiskey, glass of beer, etc.- like a massive, community toast. :aparty:
I will join with a cup of tea. :)

Jimnik
09-28-2007, 10:34 PM
This is what happens when a guy from a small country like Switzerland becomes world #1 and dominates. The majority of sport fans are nationalists and they'll only pay attention when one of their own is doing well. Unfortunately Djokovic is equally bad news for the sport if he takes over from Federer.

Tennis needs players from USA, Germany, Britain, France, China and Japan playing at the top. Otherwise those major markets will remain uninterested and viewing figures remain low.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 10:41 PM
This is what happens when a guy from a small country like Switzerland becomes world #1 and dominates. The majority of sport fans are nationalists and they'll only pay attention when one of their own is doing well. Unfortunately Djokovic is equally bad news for the sport if he takes over from Federer.

Tennis needs players from USA, Germany, Britain, France, China and Japan playing at the top. Otherwise those major markets will remain uninterested and viewing figures remain low.

Hmm good points, maybe true although I doubt it for many reasons. But the problem is that if you have only clowns from these other countries who can't play well enough to win anything of importance, what can you do? It's out of anyone's hands. It's sad :sad:

It also makes me chuckle to think of how very popular tennis would have become worldwide if Tim Henman, representing one of your countries on the list, would have been World No. 1 for many years :lol:

Via
09-28-2007, 10:47 PM
well they can't choose a #1 but they can always choose who they hire and fire at ATP :)

funny how this was rumoured a few months ago and didn't de villiers and some mercedes executive flatly deny it?

for australia we are now out of davis cup proper, and there are no more mercedes cars to look at at tournaments. tennis fans are going to feel the difference very soon.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 10:47 PM
Lexus is a sponsor of Roddick for a few years, so how can you relate his "decline" as the reason for MB dropping the sponsorship?

And where's the article that said it's MB USA that pulled its money?

I guess the same way one could relate the pulling of MB to Federer being No. 1 ;) :lol: It's my speculation just like others have theirs.

And what does Lexus's sponsorship have to do with it?? Nike sponsors Federer (or has all this while), so is that a reason that MB cannot drop ATP? Completely unrelated! Non sequitur.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 10:53 PM
well they can't choose a #1 but they can always choose who they hire and fire at ATP :)

Best post yet.

MB has wisely realized that the changes in the new system are probably to the detriment of the sport. All jokes and digs at players aside, one player alone is not influential enough to motivate these changes (although I'm sure some people would like to deflect it as such ;) ). Tough for the ATP, but wise wise decision by MB. They probably feel they're leaving a sinking ship.

Burrow
09-28-2007, 10:54 PM
I will miss "In this mercedez benz play of the week!"

Lee
09-28-2007, 10:57 PM
And what does Lexus's sponsorship have to do with it?? Nike sponsors Federer (or has all this while), so is that a reason that MB cannot drop ATP? Completely unrelated! Non sequitur.

Both Lexus and MB are luxury cars. You cited that MB pulled out sponsorship because of Roddick's "decline", so why Lexus, being in the same market as MB will continue sponsoring Roddick. It's very related.

Jimnik
09-28-2007, 10:59 PM
Hmm good points, maybe true although I doubt it for many reasons. But the problem is that if you have only clowns from these other countries who can't play well enough to win anything of importance, what can you do? It's out of anyone's hands. It's sad :sad:

It also makes me chuckle to think of how very popular tennis would have become worldwide if Tim Henman, representing one of your countries on the list, would have been World No. 1 for many years :lol:
The truth is Federer has done everything he could to promote himself and the sport but it still isn't enough. The public like him but they're not willing to watch him as keenly as if he was a domestic player. He's still a foreigner in American and British eyes. German tournaments Hamburg and Halle have tried to market him as one of their own but it hasn't quite worked.

There's still hope for Britain if Muzza can get his act together. Believe me it would be massive for British and colonial tennis if he became world #1.

There's no doubt that tennis was bigger in the 90s than it is now. Sampras, Agassi, Becker and Stich were a dream ticket for tennis with so much money from the American and German markets. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic just can't get nearly that much backing from their countries.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 11:06 PM
The truth is Federer has done everything he could to promote himself and the sport but it still isn't enough. The public like him but they're not willing to watch him as keenly as if he was a domestic player. He's still a foreigner in American and British eyes. German tournaments Hamburg and Halle have tried to market him as one of their own but it hasn't quite worked.

There's still hope for Britain if Muzza can get his act together. Believe me it would be massive for British and colonial tennis if he became world #1.

There's no doubt that tennis was bigger in the 90s than it is now. Sampras, Agassi, Becker and Stich were a dream ticket for tennis with so much money from the American and German markets. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic just can't get nearly that much backing from their countries.

All the evidence that we have seen so far in terms of attendance at events is that it has gone UP not DOWN. So yes, you might have an opinion on these matters but that is hardly evidence. "There's no doubt that tennis was bigger in the 90s" -- to who? You? Others? What are the numbers? What are you talking about? You might recall that many, many tournaments are outside the US. It's not like your global value is detetermined by how many "domestic" people want to watch.

Again, if you have some numbers or even indirect evidence such as decline in ad revenues (which I believe have actually gone UP not down, just like prize monies), maybe what you say will make sense. Currently it appears to reflect your personal opinion only.

I don't know what colonial tennis is.

rofe
09-28-2007, 11:12 PM
This isn't about who is or isn't no. 1. In fact, a more solid case can be made for the fact that the ATP isn't taking enough advantage of Roger as a promotional tool especially in the US. Roger is now cracking the US Market, but I haven't seen the ATP try to invest any dollars in promoting tennis to the US Market. Roger's increasing popularity in the US Market is due solely to Nike and their strategic linking of Roger and Tiger in ads. Nike is doing more to promote tennis than the ATP.........THAT'S RIDICULOUS. Nike is trying to milk Roger acheivements more than the ATP.

The problem rests within the management of the ATP. Mr. Disney has, thus far, poorly managed this organization. Tennis needs to be popularized. Most executives would point out that the worst thing to do at this point is change the layout of the game's tournaments to the point where dedicated fans don't even understand the changes being implemented. I'm sure Mercedes management has to be considering this fact as well as the failure of the changes Mr. Disney already tried to implement...eg. Round Robin. At this point, Mercedes tapping into the Golf market is clearly a sounder investment.

Well said. :hatoff:

nobama
09-28-2007, 11:13 PM
This isn't about who is or isn't no. 1. In fact, a more solid case can be made for the fact that the ATP isn't taking enough advantage of Roger as a promotional tool especially in the US. Roger is now cracking the US Market, but I haven't seen the ATP try to invest any dollars in promoting tennis to the US Market. Roger's increasing popularity in the US Market is due solely to Nike and their strategic linking of Roger and Tiger in ads. Nike is doing more to promote tennis than the ATP.........THAT'S RIDICULOUS. Nike is trying to milk Roger acheivements more than the ATP.Fed made Forbes list of top 100 celebs...came in at #38 (ranked #4 based on internet searches) and was recently #30 on Business Week's top 100 in the world of sports. Both of these are US magazines.
The PGA Tour here in the USA is all about Tiger. The ATP Tour is all about nothing. They claim they have all these millions of $$ to spend on marketing/branding but all they've done so far is f*ck around with tournament names and ranking points, oh, and made the schedule even more screwed up.

Via
09-28-2007, 11:15 PM
Best post yet.

MB has wisely realized that the changes in the new system are probably to the detriment of the sport. All jokes and digs at players aside, one player alone is not influential enough to motivate these changes (although I'm sure some people would like to deflect it as such ;) ). Tough for the ATP, but wise wise decision by MB. They probably feel they're leaving a sinking ship.

the boys club can continue to support those guys that they put in charge, no matter how many blunders they make, but wise money knows where to go, and that's heading out of the door :shrug:

one thing: the chinese may want to take over the business though... to them perhaps, tennis is still a symbol of a successful western tradition... for now anyway.

dkw
09-28-2007, 11:16 PM
This is what's so infuriating. We are currently in the middle of one of tennis' golden age and nobody seems to know what to do with it. It's unreal. :rolleyes:

Golden age??? - I've never been less interested in tennis than I am now - both WTA and ATP and I used to be a huge fan.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 11:20 PM
Golden age??? - I've never been less interested in tennis than I am now - both WTA and ATP and I used to be a huge fan.

There are always people who will be turned off for different eras, for different reasons.

But I think the poster is referring to the average-- everything else, including turnout, prize cash, and (it seems) ad revenue has gone up. Tennis players are on national level ads, not just peddling tennis balls and tennis shoes.

Jimnik
09-28-2007, 11:21 PM
All the evidence that we have seen so far in terms of attendance at events is that it has gone UP not DOWN. So yes, you might have an opinion on these matters but that is hardly evidence. "There's no doubt that tennis was bigger in the 90s" -- to who? You? Others? What are the numbers? What are you talking about? You might recall that many, many tournaments are outside the US. It's not like your global value is detetermined by how many "domestic" people want to watch.

Again, if you have some numbers or even indirect evidence such as decline in ad revenues (which I believe have actually gone UP not down, just like prize monies), maybe what you say will make sense. Currently it appears to reflect your personal opinion only.

I don't know what colonial tennis is.
Prize money figures, yes they've gone up at the slams. Outside the slams it's been a different story. If you want direct comparisons take the Paris Masters for instance:

1987 $700,000
1997 $2,300,000
2007 $2,450,000

Taking inflation into account that's basically a rise during the 90s in which the American and German players dominated and a drop this last decade when Federer and the other Europeans took over.

Also Monte-Carlo, Rome, Hamburg, Canada, Cincy share similar prize money trends:

1987 $300,000 ($4-500,000 for MC, Rome)
1997 $2,050,000
2007 $2,450,000

Growth has slowed down dramatically in most cases and even gone backwards occasionally.

The TMC is probably the best barometer:

1987 $500,000
1997 $3,300,000
2007 $3,700,000

ezekiel
09-28-2007, 11:24 PM
just swith to euro

FedFan_2007
09-28-2007, 11:29 PM
Bottom line, tennis is on its way out. Federer is GOAT of nothing.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 11:39 PM
You are only listing a few tournaments where the money has not gone up as much. I am sure you are very aware that the other TMSs (such as IW) they have gone up enormously in the last ten years --- at IW, it has gone by about 50%!!! By 1 Million US$. Plus of course at the slams, incomparably higher. I can assure you inflation in Indian Wells, California (a US event, without the apparent US stars that you are talking about ) has been quite a bit lower than 50%. :)

Second, I don't have historical data but I would not be surprised if prize money has just been reproportioned from very little to the R1 winners and much more to the stars who inevitably reach the end.

There was no TMC in 1987

Prize money figures, yes they've gone up at the slams. Outside the slams it's been a different story. If you want direct comparisons take the Paris Masters for instance:

1987 $700,000
1997 $2,300,000
2007 $2,450,000

Taking inflation into account that's basically a rise during the 90s in which the American and German players dominated and a drop this last decade when Federer and the other Europeans took over.

Also Monte-Carlo, Rome, Hamburg, Canada, Cincy share similar prize money trends:

1987 $300,000 ($4-500,000 for MC, Rome)
1997 $2,050,000
2007 $2,450,000

Growth has slowed down dramatically in most cases and even gone backwards occasionally.

The TMC is probably the best barometer:

1987 $500,000
1997 $3,300,000
2007 $3,700,000

ezekiel
09-28-2007, 11:41 PM
This is what happens when a guy from a small country like Switzerland becomes world #1 and dominates. The majority of sport fans are nationalists and they'll only pay attention when one of their own is doing well. Unfortunately Djokovic is equally bad news for the sport if he takes over from Federer.

Tennis needs players from USA, Germany, Britain, France, China and Japan playing at the top. Otherwise those major markets will remain uninterested and viewing figures remain low.


that's too simplistic off course as long as player and fans can connect and interact. ATP has done very poor job in comparison to other sports to modernise their game and promote their players. It's much easier to promote singles players than team sports anyway

Jimnik
09-28-2007, 11:50 PM
You are only listing a few tournaments where the money has not gone up as much. I am sure you are very aware that the other TMSs (such as IW) they have gone up enormously in the last ten years --- at IW, it has gone by about 50%!!! By 1 Million US$. Plus of course at the slams, incomparably higher. I can assure you inflation in Indian Wells, California (a US event, without the apparent US stars that you are talking about ) has been quite a bit lower than 50%. :)
A few? I just listed most of the major tournaments.

Here's IW and Miami:

1987 $350,000 and $750,000
1997 $2,050,000 and $2,450,000
2007 $3,285,000 and $3,450,000

Again growth has slowed down dramatically in the last ten years but I agree these are more similar to the slams.

Second, I don't have historical data but I would not be surprised if prize money has just been reproportioned from very little to the R1 winners and much more to the stars who inevitably reach the end.
This is TOTAL not just winners' prize money.

There was no TMC in 1987
It doesn't matter what it was called, it existed and grew dramatically in the 90s but declined in the last ten years.

scoobs
09-28-2007, 11:52 PM
I'm sure tennis will continue to stumble on in spite of the best efforts of those responsible for managing and promoting it - people who don't have a pot to piss in when it comes to delivering the goods.

Somehow it continues on and the tennis shines through, whether more or less people are watching at any given time, whether the players are being paid more or paid less than at other periods in history.

It's just a shame it's been allowed to reach this point, where progress in any given direction is slow to nonexistant, where vested interests always win out over the greater good, and where in the absence of any real reform, we go through yet rebranding exercise designed to infuriate long term fans and confuse casual followers even further.

Still, tennis is a whorey old bitch and she always gets back up from the knockdown blows.

R.Federer
09-28-2007, 11:57 PM
Yes, they were few of the total tennis tournaments that exist. I mean, there are other lucrative tennis tournaments which are not part of Super 9/TMS like Dubai and Doha and others which you did not mention.
And yes, I know this is prize money for all. That was my point -- is that (I don't have data but suspect that : ) the prize money has been redistributed from early round winners to late end stars who the public know.

Well, with the TMS, isn't it interesting that it is two of the US ones that have raised their money well over 50% in each case when it is your contention that it is exactly the US where the "domestic people" do not like to see persona non grata like the foreigners who are currently running the show on the men's side?

A few? I just listed most of the major tournaments.

Here's IW and Miami:

1987 $350,000 and $750,000
1997 $2,050,000 and $2,450,000
2007 $3,285,000 and $3,450,000

Again growth has slowed down dramatically in the last ten years but I agree these are more similar to the slams.


This is TOTAL not just winners' prize money.


It doesn't matter what it was called, it existed and grew dramatically in the 90s but declined in the last ten years.

mangoes
09-29-2007, 12:00 AM
As a dedicated fan of tennis, I feel like the time is nearing for me to suggest we all join in writing an open letter to Mr. Disney about the state of tennis in the US. An open letter that we have published.....


Word, Mangoes, word.

You know, I love Justin Gimelstob to death, and I am so pleased that he got to do his bit on the Tonight Show, but why didn't anyone take that opportunity to make sure the WINNER of the tournament got on there at some point as well. I understand that the broadcasting network (CBS) wants to put the winner on their show (David Letterman), but Leno gets higher ratings and SOMEBODY should have been booked for his show too, to promote tennis even more. Justin's bit was very funny, but it wasn't really about getting tennis to the masses, or making people want to watch the finals over the weekend. Or pay attention to tennis for the rest of the year.

DeVillers has to go. He really has to go. At this point, I'd take John McEnroe.

Very true Fee:hug:

Yea, there's plenty of great tennis to watch at the moment so I really don't think it matters if Nadal is number 1 or Fedex is. I think it's great we have two or three stars that are going to be in the mix every week it makes it easy for the casual fans to follow ya know. It's all about how you market it and I have to say the ATP dropped the ball big time. They should be running television promos, and etc about the big tournaments etc...I saw two ads for tennis tourneys this year one for Wimbledon and one for US Open on USA that's just poor. Ya know, I mean just commericals for tourneys, I'm not even talking about the commericals for individual guys. How are the ratings in the US going to go up, if the commericals promoting the players and the events don't run. A co worker asked me last week if the US Open was over yet, I don't blame the casual fans for not knowing...it's simply not promoted!

And that's the core problem with tennis...... When Mr. Disney took over, he talked about branding and marketing tennis. How many years does it take to finish a branding and marketing plan??? Then again, I suppose his marketing plan revolved around the renaming of tournaments. What is Miami now called?? Miami 500 or Miami 1000. A tennis fan like myself should not need to scratch her head trying to figure this out. You also make a good point about the promotion of tournaments. The ATP seems to want to leave the promotion of tournament to individual tournaments. That's a big NO, NO!! I'm just very lost about this supposed branding plan Mr. Disney has developed.
The current crop has no concept of what successful marketing/promo means. None. In fact, they've done their very best to all but run it into the ground. Until they retool, nothing will change, and we have to expect interest to plummet further.

The problem is in bringing in new blood- specifically those who are not already familiar with the game. It's all well and good to promote "in house" so to speak. For the person on the fence, however, there is nothing tangible to motivate them to engage, watch, and eventually pour their hard-earned money back into the tour.

The talent pool is already in place. You have people who can generate interest, and not just limited to Federer alone. All the potential in the world is rendered null and void, however, if you don't have the right people marketing the talent.

Start at the top, and give Etienne his walking papers. Replace him with someone legitimately invested in the future of tennis, who can think beyond turning a quick profit. There is unlimited potential for the sport, if marketed correctly.

Mr. Disney has shown that he isn't the one to do it. Time to find someone who can. Tennis deserves that much.

Great post Kelli:hug:

Jimnik
09-29-2007, 12:01 AM
Yes, they were few of the total tennis tournaments that exist. I mean, there are other lucrative tennis tournaments which are not part of Super 9/TMS like Dubai and Doha and others which you did not mention.
And yes, I know this is prize money for all. That was my point -- is that (I don't have data but suspect that : ) the prize money has been redistributed from early round winners to late end stars who the public know. ?
Well I don't know but if it's true it shouldn't affect total figures. Dubai and Doha have the oil money so they're kind of anomalies.

Well, with the TMS, isn't it interesting that it is two of the US ones that have raised their money well over 50% in each case when it is your contention that it is exactly the US where the "domestic people" do not like to see persona non grata like the foreigners who are currently running the show on the men's side
Not really. Americans will always watch the American tournaments as long as the likes of Roddick and Blake take part. The real test is whether Americans follow the European tournaments on the TV or in the news.

Stensland
09-29-2007, 12:31 AM
what's the big deal? so benz stepped down, alright. i bet the guys over at lexus are prepared to fill that gap, their image isn't that bad (as in cheap).

tangerine_dream
09-29-2007, 12:35 AM
Golden age??? - I've never been less interested in tennis than I am now - both WTA and ATP and I used to be a huge fan.
I'm curious to know why you're less interested in tennis now than before. Which years did you prefer to watch men's tennis?

Hokit
09-29-2007, 01:23 AM
what's the big deal? so benz stepped down, alright. i bet the guys over at lexus are prepared to fill that gap, their image isn't that bad (as in cheap).

That's a pretty ignorant thing to say :rolleyes: Obviously you've yet to realise that Lexus' image in the U.S. market is different to Europe's.

nobama
09-29-2007, 01:30 AM
Well I don't know but if it's true it shouldn't affect total figures. Dubai and Doha have the oil money so they're kind of anomalies.


Not really. Americans will always watch the American tournaments as long as the likes of Roddick and Blake take part. The real test is whether Americans follow the European tournaments on the TV or in the news.I've been to IW three times and the place has always been packed (except for poor weather) whether an American was around or not. I think the notion that American players is BS. The raitings for the US Open mens final were higher this year than they were in 2003 when Roddick was in the final. No doubt the sport would be more popular in the USA if an American was dominating like Federer or Nadal. As far as following European tournaments on TV, outside of the slams, unless you have TTC you won't find them on TV. Even TTC doesn't cover every event. If tennis was like the PGA Tour and had an American tour where the majority of tournaments were played in the USA and every weekend they were on national TV the sport would be more popular here. But it's hard for a casual fan or general sports fan to get interested when it's no where to be found on TV.

Stensland
09-29-2007, 01:31 AM
That's a pretty ignorant thing to say :rolleyes: Obviously you've yet to realise that Lexus' image in the U.S. market is different to Europe's.

what do you mean? i do know that lexus' image is way better in the states than it is in europe. is that what you're referring to?

all i'm saying is that their image has caught up on the "high-class" auto manufacturers in europe. i don't think it'll ever come close to benz or bmw in countries like germany, but nonetheless it's got a pretty decent look nowadays.

Corey Feldman
09-29-2007, 01:42 AM
Not surprised..

outside of the slams and TMS, more and more top players just dont wanna bother playing the lesser events, unless they get absurd appearance fee.

Alex999
09-29-2007, 01:44 AM
I've been to IW three times and the place has always been packed (except for poor weather) whether an American was around or not. I think the notion that American players is BS. The raitings for the US Open mens final were higher this year than they were in 2003 when Roddick was in the final. No doubt the sport would be more popular in the USA if an American was dominating like Federer or Nadal. As far as following European tournaments on TV, outside of the slams, unless you have TTC you won't find them on TV. Even TTC doesn't cover every event. If tennis was like the PGA Tour and had an American tour where the majority of tournaments were played in the USA and every weekend they were on national TV the sport would be more popular here. But it's hard for a casual fan or general sports fan to get interested when it's no where to be found on TV.

Very good observation. I just hope that US and European TV stations can work something out so we can see more tennis tournaments on TV. However I believe that ATP management just suck. Mr. Disney is the wrong man. They need to do so much more to promote tennis. I live in Canada and I can't subscribe to Tennis channel because Shaw doesn't offer it. All I can watch are slams on TSN (plus Canadian Open), and even TSN does not show everything.

Corey Feldman
09-29-2007, 01:46 AM
when and if nadal becomes #1, Pfizer and Merck will start sponsoring the ATP tour.:lol: :lol:

Hokit
09-29-2007, 01:54 AM
Not good.

If there's one thing that unifies tennis fans on this board it's our love for the game. The only thing I know for sure that we all agree upon is that we like watching tennis, and even more we like talking about it ;-). With sponsors leaving the sport it's only a sign that the popularity of tennis is heading in the opposite direction. This means the amount we will be able to watch tennis will diminish and the amount of people we can talk about it with will diminish as well. Every tennis fan should want to see the sport grow and become widely successful. I dream of the day when I can come into work on Monday and talk about the final that was just played, or something a player said in post match press conference, or watch tennis players in commercials(when tennis isn't on) or have players that have cameo roles in movies just like other the sports do, or when the varsity tennis star is equal to the outstanding high school quarterback.

Are we to be forever relegated to a second class of sport fans? A strange cult that follows a relatively unknown and even more misunderstood sport. Federer is arguably the best thing to happen to tennis in years, and yet that isn't even enough to draw people to watch as ratings world wide continue to slide. He's a player that is doing the unthinkable, a domination of the likes that have never been seen, in any sport. Yet, he doesn't even make the cover of Sports Illustrated, who supposedly has it's finger on the quote unquote metaphorical pulse of the sports world. When Mercedes-Benz pulls it's sponsorship on ATP tennis in 2009, it will add insult to an already injured sport. Sponsors not only help the players stay paid, and the tournaments stay running they add prestige and credibility to events. As a fan I can only hope for the best, but at the moment I'm not expecting much.

It's going a little far - talking of tennis as a "second class" sport - isn't it? It mightn't have as large a following as socer and golf ( :o ), but it still has enough clout to organise big tournaments around the world.

IMO, maybe it's smarter to focus on developing the sport in countries such as China and India. I don't know much about the dynamics of their societies, but tennis has a better chance of developing stronger foundations there than in Western societies which have been exposed to international sports for longer. The U.S. market may be where the big bucks are at the moment, but there are millions of Chinese and Indian fans that tennis could get to early.

Plus, it's interesting that team sports draw bigger crowds than most individual sports. Davis Cup, IMO, is a golden egg that remains to be cracked. Whether it's good or bad, nationalism plays a huge part in getting the crowds involved. It's no coincidence that a lot of fans who aren't tennis savvy are in the stands waving flags because they player they're supporting shares the same nationality. Maybe the ATP should do more to combine Davis Cup with their stars' intersts.

Corey Feldman
09-29-2007, 02:12 AM
Tennis is never the biggest sport in any country... but probably is in the top5 of most, cept USA.

it'll be fine anyway.

R.Federer
09-29-2007, 03:03 AM
Taking inflation into account that's basically a rise during the 90s in which the American and German players dominated and a drop this last decade when Federer and the other Europeans took over.



Well, with the TMS, isn't it interesting that it is two of the US ones that have raised their money well over 50% in each case when it is your contention that it is exactly the US where the "domestic people" do not like to see persona non grata like the foreigners who are currently running the show on the men's side?


Not really. Americans will always watch the American tournaments as long as the likes of Roddick and Blake take part. The real test is whether Americans follow the European tournaments on the TV or in the news.

No, you said that there was a rise in money/interest in the game the 1990s when the Americans and German players dominated. As you can see from the numbers given for the three largest American tournaments there are (USO, IW and Miami), there is as much of a rise in the era since.

Now you are saying entirely something else, something about Americans following European tournaments on the tour. But tennis popularity globally is not equal to tennis popularity in the US! What does it matter what Americans think about European tournaments? It's probably as much indifference as Europeans have for American tournaments :lol:

Jimnik
09-29-2007, 11:03 AM
I've been to IW three times and the place has always been packed (except for poor weather) whether an American was around or not. I think the notion that American players is BS. The raitings for the US Open mens final were higher this year than they were in 2003 when Roddick was in the final. No doubt the sport would be more popular in the USA if an American was dominating like Federer or Nadal. As far as following European tournaments on TV, outside of the slams, unless you have TTC you won't find them on TV. Even TTC doesn't cover every event. If tennis was like the PGA Tour and had an American tour where the majority of tournaments were played in the USA and every weekend they were on national TV the sport would be more popular here. But it's hard for a casual fan or general sports fan to get interested when it's no where to be found on TV.
I'm sure it has but attendances are irrelevant. Ticket revenues make up a very small percentage of a tournament's income. The bulk of it comes from TV and sponsership and there is no doubt that the bulk of TV viewers are casual fans who only watch when domestic players are playing. Fans that pay for a ticket and travel to the stadium will watch whoever is playing.

American success dictates interest and hence media coverage. The fact that you can't even watch European tournaments on American TV is a perfect example of this. Roddick, Blake et all hardly win any matches in Europe even during the indoor season. Wimbledon is the only foreign event that will attract attention.

Jimnik
09-29-2007, 11:17 AM
No, you said that there was a rise in money/interest in the game the 1990s when the Americans and German players dominated. As you can see from the numbers given for the three largest American tournaments there are (USO, IW and Miami), there is as much of a rise in the era since.
Yes, and I was right. The percentage rise in the last ten years is smaller than the ten years before that. Here's the USO prize money:

1987 $1,667,000
1997 $5,152,000 (200% rise)
2007 $8,848,000 (70% rise)

The slams have continued to rise impressively but the ATP tour has declined. Generally speaking people will always continue to watch the major events regardless of who is playing but the real question is whether they follow the ATP events.

Now you are saying entirely something else, something about Americans following European tournaments on the tour. But tennis popularity globally is not equal to tennis popularity in the US! What does it matter what Americans think about European tournaments? It's probably as much indifference as Europeans have for American tournaments :lol:
Firstly, you were the on that tried to claim that the rise in prize money at US tournaments prove that they don't care about American players. I simply pointed out that that is not the case because, like here in the UK, most fans will always follow the major domestic events. The real test is whether they follow the foreign events.

Secondly, it matters a lot whether Americans follow the European events. It's by far the largest market in the world and it drives the world economy. Sure European following matters too but, like I said, Germany's involvement was much more significant than any other European nation.

DrJules
09-29-2007, 05:44 PM
This is what's so infuriating. We are currently in the middle of one of tennis' golden age and nobody seems to know what to do with it. It's unreal. :rolleyes:

I think we are just at the beginning actually. Nadal and Djokovic are closing in on Federer with possibly other challengers coming through.

GlennMirnyi
09-29-2007, 05:55 PM
This is what's so infuriating. We are currently in the middle of one of tennis' golden age and nobody seems to know what to do with it. It's unreal. :rolleyes:

:rolleyes: what the hell have you been smoking?

R.Federer
09-29-2007, 06:08 PM
Firstly, you were the on that tried to claim that the rise in prize money at US tournaments prove that they don't care about American players.
Where?? :confused: Can you show me where I said this?

I said that it is the biggest US tournaments where they have raised the money the most and that is contradictory to your assertion that the Americans are only interested when "domestic" players play. This is when you began to compute percentage increases to make your point. However, if you look at 1987 payment levels they might strike you as VERY low-- meaning, there is a LOT more room to increase. When payments are already high, there is lot less room to do so.

I simply pointed out that that is not the case because, like here in the UK, most fans will always follow the major domestic events. The real test is whether they follow the foreign events
And how do you know they are not following the foreign events? Is this speculation or do you have something to lean on? As far as I know, attendance at the major events has been bigger than ever before. I find it strange to think that TV audience is uniformly reduced

MCL
09-29-2007, 06:40 PM
I find it strange to think that TV audience is uniformly reduced

I hope that the tv audience has not been uniformly reduced or tv coverage will suffer accordingly.

I wish I could find numbers demonstrating the overall tv ratings' change over recent years. However, it is possible that healthy attendance of tennis tournaments could occur at the same time as a ratings drop.

For example, at this year's US Open the attendance levels were at record highs.
http://cbs.sportsline.com/tennis/story/10361381/rss
However, ratings for both finals went down from the previous year.http://www.tennis.com/news/news.aspx?id=105098 Had an American (or Sharapova :tape:) been in either final, that rating may have been better (with American audiences).
-----

Hopefully things like the MB failure to renew as well as the overall changes in attendance and ratings are things that the management are keeping up with and addressing. I doubt it though.:(

Castafiore
09-29-2007, 06:53 PM
^ Didn't the tv ratings in the US for the men's Wimbledon final (without a US player) this year go up?

I often see that the American public needs a big American star to keep the interest in the sport high, a player who can aim for the big prizes.
It's probably true to a certain degree but I often wonder if that's not underestimating the American tennis loving public.
Granted, tennis is probably never going to be the number one sport in the US but if I just look on various message boards (and not necessarily sports forums) with a lot of US members and I follow the conversation on tennis during one of the major events, I don't get the impression that Americans can only pay attention to the American stars or would only be willing to pay a ticket to see American players.
Tennis could be promoted a lot better. That's not exacty breaking news. But I don't believe that the key to more success is more local success. It's important, yes, but I do think that if the sport itself would be promoted better, people would pay attention to foreign players just as (or nearly as) much as to local players.

But this is not merely an American problem. Tennis is a world sport and it should be treated as a world sport.
Jimnik wrote "fact that you can't even watch European tournaments on American TV is a perfect example of this.".
Well, we don't get to see most of the American tournaments on European tv either. I find it incredible in this day and age that the coverage for tennis is so poor these days.

The US market is very important. That's true.
But a sport like soccer proves that it's not a vital market for success either. Tennis should be promoted as a world sport.

MCL
09-29-2007, 07:24 PM
^ Didn't the tv ratings in the US for the men's Wimbledon final (without a US player) this year go up?


Yes it did. http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070709/wimbledon_tv_ratings.html?.v=1

nobama
09-29-2007, 10:11 PM
I hope that the tv audience has not been uniformly reduced or tv coverage will suffer accordingly.

I wish I could find numbers demonstrating the overall tv ratings' change over recent years. However, it is possible that healthy attendance of tennis tournaments could occur at the same time as a ratings drop.

For example, at this year's US Open the attendance levels were at record highs.
http://cbs.sportsline.com/tennis/story/10361381/rss
However, ratings for both finals went down from the previous year.http://www.tennis.com/news/news.aspx?id=105098 Had an American (or Sharapova :tape:) been in either final, that rating may have been better (with American audiences).Well Roddick was in the 2003 US Open final and the raitings were not as high as they were this year. So I don't know how much TV raitings mean on the mens side. Yes, I would agree on the womens side having one of the Williams sisters or Sharapova in the finals will generate higher raitings.

nobama
09-29-2007, 10:23 PM
American success dictates interest and hence media coverage. The fact that you can't even watch European tournaments on American TV is a perfect example of this. Roddick, Blake et all hardly win any matches in Europe even during the indoor season. Wimbledon is the only foreign event that will attract attention.As I've said before if tennis had an American tour, with the majority of tournaments played in the United States there would be a chance of getting regular TV coverage in the States. But with a 6+ hour time difference it's early in the morning here when most of these matches are being played. You're not going to see that on TV unless it's a slam. And even with some of the slams things are shown tape delay. Even if Roddick and others were dominating that would be the case. I wish more of these events were shown on TTC but obviously they don't have the $$ to do that. At least TTC show the Masters events.

tangerine_dream
09-29-2007, 10:43 PM
I think we are just at the beginning actually. Nadal and Djokovic are closing in on Federer with possibly other challengers coming through.
Don't you think the Federer-Nadal rivalry has been as compelling as Agassi-Sampras? I do. And with Djokovic looking to stir up some trouble it'll get even more interesting.

Granted, tennis is probably never going to be the number one sport in the US but if I just look on various message boards (and not necessarily sports forums) with a lot of US members and I follow the conversation on tennis during one of the major events, I don't get the impression that Americans can only pay attention to the American stars or would only be willing to pay a ticket to see American players. ... But this is not merely an American problem. Tennis is a world sport and it should be treated as a world sport.
I agree with this.

The raitings for the US Open mens final were higher this year than they were in 2003 when Roddick was in the final.
Well Roddick was in the 2003 US Open final and the raitings were not as high as they were this year. So I don't know how much TV raitings mean on the mens side.
I like how you keep repeating this while ignoring the fact that the lowest men's USO final ratings of the past seven years was 2004's Federer vs Hewitt.

nobama
09-29-2007, 10:54 PM
Don't you think the Federer-Nadal rivalry has been as compelling as Agassi-Sampras? I do. And with Djokovic looking to stir up some trouble it'll get even more interesting.


I agree with this.



I like how you keep repeating this while ignoring the fact that the lowest men's USO final ratings of the past seven years was 2004's Federer vs Hewitt.
What does that have to do with anything? The point is an American male in the finals of the USO doesn't necessarily = better raitings. If it did, then Roddick/Ferrero would have generated better raitings than Federer/Djokovic.

sawan66278
09-30-2007, 01:48 AM
Good points by all. With respect to the popularity of the sport in the States, the problem is rather exaggerated. As has been stated, the ATTENDANCE figures for U.S. tourneys has been outstanding. This year, the U.S. Open became the most attended annual sporting event IN THE WORLD.

However, facts are facts. Money is made from advertising. Those lamenting the demise of tennis...are those individuals who are seeking the advertising dollars spent in other sports. And, let's face it, huge corporations are trying to get the most bang for their advertising buck. (Interestingly enough, the number of corporations who advertised or wanted to advertise during the Super Bowl actually dropped...but I digress).

Football is king in America. Case closed. Americans love the week by week drama that unfolds for four months. Where EACH game counts tremendously...and there is buildup throughout the entire week. Leading to a climactic weekend battle. And a chance for working stiffs to get wasted and drown in alcohol excess.

The other sports are fighting it out for the scraps left behind. The NBA used to be #2; now baseball reigns. However, because there are more things diverting individuals' attention in the States than anywhere else in the world (from video games to the number of sports...to American film)...there just isn't really that much to go around.

And, let's face it, its MUCH cheaper for the average American to play football, baseball, or basketball. Tennis, like ice hockey, is an expensive sport...and, as a result, it is commonly played the country club set.

I know...I know...but what about golf? This is where having a dominant AMERICAN athlete sponsored by Nike (THE power in all of sports) comes into play. Nike, though having both Roger and Rafa in their clutches, has failed miserably to promote these two in the States. For example, there is a wonderful commercial with Roger and Rafa and Kobe and Lebron and Ronaldinho. And yet, I NEVER saw it during single U.S. sporting telecast. Or even during a tennis tourney!!!!!!!:eek:

If ice hockey can survive in the States, so can tennis. This is not the point. The point of the matter is this: if tennis is to move into the rarified air of golf, the powers that be need to promote the names in the game...in a fashion that takes the emphasis of WHERE or WHAT country these players are from...and focuses on WHO they are and WHAT they bring. You know you are in trouble when the best t.v. spots involve your top players promoting a network...and not the game itself (see Roger Federer, etc. on the ESPN spots).Until this is done...be prepared for the ongoing train wreck that is tennis promotion by the USTA and the networks...carried on by the monotonous drones of near-mummified Dick Enberg...with completely lame and annoying promotions like the U.S. Open series. God help us all.

GlennMirnyi
09-30-2007, 01:50 AM
Tennis is at an all-time low, this is a fact.

World Beater
09-30-2007, 03:27 AM
There is only one minor problem with this: how come Pfizer and Merck will have the guts to advertise their drugs theoretical efficacy with Rafa keeping on bitching about pain in his many famous areas?!

It would be the same as Xanax using Marat in one of their adds ...

Side effects. Pfizer can market Rafa's famoooos huge ass as evidence for....;) :p

After his usopen crying episode, berdych can join the party and become the poster gi..er i mean boy for Monistat.

trixtah
09-30-2007, 06:30 AM
In this Fruit of the Loom, Play of the Week...

Action Jackson
09-30-2007, 06:34 AM
Tennis is never the biggest sport in any country... but probably is in the top5 of most, cept USA.

For sure.

I think when Disney goes there will be a party.

Jelena
09-30-2007, 06:40 AM
As I've said before if tennis had an American tour, with the majority of tournaments played in the United States there would be a chance of getting regular TV coverage in the States. But with a 6+ hour time difference it's early in the morning here when most of these matches are being played. You're not going to see that on TV unless it's a slam. And even with some of the slams things are shown tape delay. Even if Roddick and others were dominating that would be the case. I wish more of these events were shown on TTC but obviously they don't have the $$ to do that. At least TTC show the Masters events.
European countries have a time difference of +6 to NYC and -7 for Tokyo, so they suffer of the same problem. That's a general problem of a worldwide sport.
For sure.

I think when Disney goes there will be a party.
And I will join for sure.

Merton
10-01-2007, 01:24 AM
This could just be a case where the ATP did not agree with Mercedes but there is a backup plan, so we will soon hear about the Lexus ATP contract, or something like that.

If this is not the case and Mercedes voted with their feet, Mr. Disney should start looking at his future career-growth opportunities since this is the sort of thing that should trigger every possible alarm bell for the ATP board. Not that they have shown any great insight through Mr. Disney's tenure, but I trust their own survival skills and they would need a sacrifical lamb.

Merton
10-01-2007, 01:31 AM
This is what happens when a guy from a small country like Switzerland becomes world #1 and dominates. The majority of sport fans are nationalists and they'll only pay attention when one of their own is doing well. Unfortunately Djokovic is equally bad news for the sport if he takes over from Federer.

Tennis needs players from USA, Germany, Britain, France, China and Japan playing at the top. Otherwise those major markets will remain uninterested and viewing figures remain low.

A conjecture that is impossible to prove or disprove, hence useless. However, given that in the last 30 years we have seen 4 dominant #1 players for a period longer than 1 year and 3 of them were from Sweden, Chezch Republic (then Chezchoslovakia) and Switzerland, it seems to me that a strategy of promoting the sport regardless of where the top players come from would be quite wise.

GlennMirnyi
10-01-2007, 01:33 AM
Lexus. What a shitty brand.

Merton
10-01-2007, 01:36 AM
The truth is Federer has done everything he could to promote himself and the sport but it still isn't enough. The public like him but they're not willing to watch him as keenly as if he was a domestic player. He's still a foreigner in American and British eyes. German tournaments Hamburg and Halle have tried to market him as one of their own but it hasn't quite worked.

There's still hope for Britain if Muzza can get his act together. Believe me it would be massive for British and colonial tennis if he became world #1.

There's no doubt that tennis was bigger in the 90s than it is now. Sampras, Agassi, Becker and Stich were a dream ticket for tennis with so much money from the American and German markets. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic just can't get nearly that much backing from their countries.

Colonial tennis? Earth to Jimnik: The British Empire is dead. So if Andy, say, becomes #1 player and/or wins Wimbledon that would increase the popularity of tennis in, say, India?

Merton
10-01-2007, 01:43 AM
This isn't about who is or isn't no. 1. In fact, a more solid case can be made for the fact that the ATP isn't taking enough advantage of Roger as a promotional tool especially in the US. Roger is now cracking the US Market, but I haven't seen the ATP try to invest any dollars in promoting tennis to the US Market. Roger's increasing popularity in the US Market is due solely to Nike and their strategic linking of Roger and Tiger in ads. Nike is doing more to promote tennis than the ATP.........THAT'S RIDICULOUS. Nike is trying to milk Roger acheivements more than the ATP.

The problem rests within the management of the ATP. Mr. Disney has, thus far, poorly managed this organization. Tennis needs to be popularized. Most executives would point out that the worst thing to do at this point is change the layout of the game's tournaments to the point where dedicated fans don't even understand the changes being implemented. I'm sure Mercedes management has to be considering this fact as well as the failure of the changes Mr. Disney already tried to implement...eg. Round Robin. At this point, Mercedes tapping into the Golf market is clearly a sounder investment.

Mangoes for ATP president :rocker: :secret: And then hire Merton as the chief statistician, with a negotiable fee. :lol:

Merton
10-01-2007, 01:44 AM
Lexus. What a shitty brand.

Well, at this point for sure the ATP will take what they can.

Jimnik
10-01-2007, 01:51 AM
Where?? :confused: Can you show me where I said this?

I said that it is the biggest US tournaments where they have raised the money the most and that is contradictory to your assertion that the Americans are only interested when "domestic" players play. This is when you began to compute percentage increases to make your point. However, if you look at 1987 payment levels they might strike you as VERY low-- meaning, there is a LOT more room to increase. When payments are already high, there is lot less room to do so.
Mate, I'm really not sure what you're trying to claim anymore. I've said many times that the major events, especially the slams, have continued to show improvement. Not as fast as the 90s but improvement none the less. Outside the top five or six tournaments growth has halted and in some cases gone down. I'm sure this is because of the lack of top players from major countries such as USA and Germany.

So where do you disagree?

And how do you know they are not following the foreign events? Is this speculation or do you have something to lean on? As far as I know, attendance at the major events has been bigger than ever before. I find it strange to think that TV audience is uniformly reduced
I've said this many times, attendance is irrelevant. The bulk of income from tournaments is TV money and sponsership. If prize money goes down you can guarantee it's a result of lower viewing figures more than anything else.

Jimnik
10-01-2007, 01:55 AM
As I've said before if tennis had an American tour, with the majority of tournaments played in the United States there would be a chance of getting regular TV coverage in the States. But with a 6+ hour time difference it's early in the morning here when most of these matches are being played. You're not going to see that on TV unless it's a slam. And even with some of the slams things are shown tape delay. Even if Roddick and others were dominating that would be the case. I wish more of these events were shown on TTC but obviously they don't have the $$ to do that. At least TTC show the Masters events.
That's where I disagree.

Also there are loads of ATP events in USA not just during the US Open Series but also February to mid-April. They practically have their own tour.

GlennMirnyi
10-01-2007, 01:58 AM
ATP deserves this for turning tennis into a mockery. Endless baseline rallies aren't fun, and nobody cares for clowns moonballing like Nadal or grinding, like Fakervic.

Jimnik
10-01-2007, 02:17 AM
A conjecture that is impossible to prove or disprove, hence useless. However, given that in the last 30 years we have seen 4 dominant #1 players for a period longer than 1 year and 3 of them were from Sweden, Chezch Republic (then Chezchoslovakia) and Switzerland, it seems to me that a strategy of promoting the sport regardless of where the top players come from would be quite wise.
A lot of things are impossible to prove, but the evidence is there. The arrivals of Sampras, Agassi, Becker and Stich led to the big boom in prize money from 1987 to 1997.

Obviously in an ideal world the sport would remain popular whichever countries are doing well. I hope it can happen.

Colonial tennis? Earth to Jimnik: The British Empire is dead. So if Andy, say, becomes #1 player and/or wins Wimbledon that would increase the popularity of tennis in, say, India?
Earth to Merton: I was aware of this fact.

Britain is still highly influential in these regions. There are many Indians, Canton Chinese, Canadians etc who live in Britain and vice-versa. I'm not saying a British player will be as big in these regions as a domestic player but he'll attract more attention than other foreigners. Even in USA British celebs, such as Beckham, are far more recognizable than foreign language speakers.

Merton
10-01-2007, 02:58 AM
A lot of things are impossible to prove, but the evidence is there. The arrivals of Sampras, Agassi, Becker and Stich led to the big boom in prize money from 1987 to 1997.

Obviously in an ideal world the sport would remain popular whichever countries are doing well. I hope it can happen.

Well, there is no doubt that bandwagoning will increase interest short-term since a local player will attract attention but look at Germany after Becker and Stich retired. The US case is entirely different, tennis had deep roots there before the generation of Chang, Sampras, Courier, and Agassi came and you see that US tournaments are still alive now that that generation has gone.

But, did the arrival of Sampras, Agassi, Becker and Stich led to a big boom? Was there a big boom to begin with? This is not an easy question in itself, you need to compare the total tennis pie in those years, probably somehow averaging versus the total tennis pie in the subsequent decade. And no, just pointing at IW or Miami will not cut it, you introduce bias there. However, even if there is the boom, it is not clear that it was ue to the arrival of players from these countries. How can you reject the alternative hypothesis that the boom was due to the charismatic Lendl, or there was a time lug but the boom was due to Borg? It might even be the case that the players increased their bargaining power and so received a bigger pice of the pie but there was no boom in the underlying pie to begin with.

Our world is not ideal, but it would help if we had more promotion early on upcoming players regardless of where they are coming from, how many matches have you seen in the big networks of, say, Korolev, Gulbis, Cilic?

Earth to Merton: I was aware of this fact.

Britain is still highly influential in these regions. There are many Indians, Canton Chinese, Canadians etc who live in Britain and vice-versa. I'm not saying a British player will be as big in these regions as a domestic player but he'll attract more attention than other foreigners. Even in USA British celebs, such as Beckham, are far more recognizable than foreign language speakers.

Well, the effect would be marginal and certainly much less than if you had a tennis star from, say, India. You would need the true colonial structure to affect popularity in a substantial manner, like how cricket became popular. That structure is dead and buried.

Jimnik
10-01-2007, 03:33 AM
Well, there is no doubt that bandwagoning will increase interest short-term since a local player will attract attention but look at Germany after Becker and Stich retired. The US case is entirely different, tennis had deep roots there before the generation of Chang, Sampras, Courier, and Agassi came and you see that US tournaments are still alive now that that generation has gone.

But, did the arrival of Sampras, Agassi, Becker and Stich led to a big boom? Was there a big boom to begin with? This is not an easy question in itself, you need to compare the total tennis pie in those years, probably somehow averaging versus the total tennis pie in the subsequent decade. And no, just pointing at IW or Miami will not cut it, you introduce bias there. However, even if there is the boom, it is not clear that it was ue to the arrival of players from these countries. How can you reject the alternative hypothesis that the boom was due to the charismatic Lendl, or there was a time lug but the boom was due to Borg? It might even be the case that the players increased their bargaining power and so received a bigger pice of the pie but there was no boom in the underlying pie to begin with.

You can speculate all you want about the reasons behind the prize money boom but some explanations are more likely than others.

I agree that American tennis has always been big and the arrival of Sampras, Agassi probably didn't make that much of a difference especially at the big events. But the small events are the real litmus test. When you can have those big stars turning up to San Jose, Memphis, Indy, Cincy then it certainly makes a big difference.

But I can definitely say with great certainty that the arrivals of Becker, Stich and Graff made a massive difference. There was one point in the late 80s, when Becker and Graff were both #1, that 75% of tennis sponsership came from Germany. In the 90s they had those two year end cups, Stuttgart, Hamburg whereas now they have almost nothing. More than any other country they only pay attention when their own players are doing well.

Our world is not ideal, but it would help if we had more promotion early on upcoming players regardless of where they are coming from, how many matches have you seen in the big networks of, say, Korolev, Gulbis, Cilic?
You can't start forcing networks to show certain players. They have to show who they believe the public want to see. Even if they were introduced to these youngsters, what if the public finds them uninteresting?

Well, the effect would be marginal and certainly much less than if you had a tennis star from, say, India. You would need the true colonial structure to affect popularity in a substantial manner, like how cricket became popular. That structure is dead and buried.
The effect is still there and Britain isn't the only country that influences other parts of the world. Take football for instance, the Premiership is viewed in India, China, South Africa, Canada and USA. The Spanish La Liga is watched by many in South America, the Portuguese Liga is watched in Brazil etc... Sports stars do become recognizable in these regions like the F1 driver Alonso has become popular in South America.

Action Jackson
10-01-2007, 04:01 AM
The ATP are a bunch of clowns and have shown incompetence in many fields over an extended period of time, this isn't surprising that Mercedes decided to leave.

trixtah
10-01-2007, 04:17 AM
The ATP are a bunch of clowns and have shown incompetence in many fields over an extended period of time, this isn't surprising that Mercedes decided to leave.

Just need one big competitor that every tourney will agree to flock to, effectively leaving the ShitTP bankrupt.

Action Jackson
10-01-2007, 04:20 AM
Just need one big competitor that every tourney will agree to flock to, effectively leaving the ShitTP bankrupt.

There were talks of a breakaway tour a while ago, but they have been silenced for now. It doesn't help when the ATP is backed by a clown who has 1000 ideas a day and 1001 of them are bad.

Merton
10-01-2007, 04:27 AM
You can speculate all you want about the reasons behind the prize money boom but some explanations are more likely than others.

I agree that American tennis has always been big and the arrival of Sampras, Agassi probably didn't make that much of a difference especially at the big events. But the small events are the real litmus test. When you can have those big stars turning up to San Jose, Memphis, Indy, Cincy then it certainly makes a big difference.

But I can definitely say with great certainty that the arrivals of Becker, Stich and Graff made a massive difference. There was one point in the late 80s, when Becker and Graff were both #1, that 75% of tennis sponsership came from Germany. In the 90s they had those two year end cups, Stuttgart, Hamburg whereas now they have almost nothing. More than any other country they only pay attention when their own players are doing well..

I am not speculating at all, in fact I am agnostic. First, I am not sure there was any real boom in prize money for the period 1987-1997. Second, even if there was a boom I am not sure that your explanation is a vaild one. I just provided a non-exhaustive list of other candidate explanations, I am not even sdaying they are more likely than yours. In a big picture scheme, how small tournaments do individually is not terribly important, even though it is certainly a pity when good events go down. However, the volatility of the prize money for San Jose carries small implications for the tennis world in general.

Germany certainly provides a cautionary tale with the danger of making tennis development contingent on the success of the local stars. But it is more a story of tournaments relying on the local heros to attract bandwagoners and we saw very well how those disappear once the local heros are gone.


You can't start forcing networks to show certain players. They have to show who they believe the public want to see. Even if they were introduced to these youngsters, what if the public finds them uninteresting?

Who said about forcing? It could be a policy of jumping from court to court to show various players and describe their games to viewers instead of broadcasting in its entirety the highly exciting 1st round match of "insert high seed/high recognition WTA player name" versus "insert low rank WTA opponent". The problem is that the networks do not seem to recognize how their own decisions affect how the public recognizes players they might show, obviously if they show all Sharapova's matches and then conduct a public survey to find out players that the public recognizes, then, we end up broadcasting all Sharapova's matches.

The effect is still there and Britain isn't the only country that influences other parts of the world. Take football for instance, the Premiership is viewed in India, China, South Africa, Canada and USA. The Spanish La Liga is watched by many in South America, the Portuguese Liga is watched in Brazil etc... Sports stars do become recognizable in these regions like the F1 driver Alonso has become popular in South America.

Apples and oranges there, football is different than tennis, language is a factor but the popularity of the sport in general and branding a good product are probably more important.

Jimnik
10-01-2007, 04:16 PM
I am not speculating at all, in fact I am agnostic. First, I am not sure there was any real boom in prize money for the period 1987-1997. Second, even if there was a boom I am not sure that your explanation is a vaild one. I just provided a non-exhaustive list of other candidate explanations, I am not even sdaying they are more likely than yours. In a big picture scheme, how small tournaments do individually is not terribly important, even though it is certainly a pity when good events go down. However, the volatility of the prize money for San Jose carries small implications for the tennis world in general.
Look at the prize money figures for almost any tournament 1987-97 and no it's not just IW and Miami. I've already posted figures for many of them in this thread.

Like I said, you are speculating. There isn't much evidence for any of the explanations that you've given. If I wanted I could even add to your list a whole bunch of alternate reasons for the prize money boom.

Who said about forcing? It could be a policy of jumping from court to court to show various players and describe their games to viewers instead of broadcasting in its entirety the highly exciting 1st round match of "insert high seed/high recognition WTA player name" versus "insert low rank WTA opponent". The problem is that the networks do not seem to recognize how their own decisions affect how the public recognizes players they might show, obviously if they show all Sharapova's matches and then conduct a public survey to find out players that the public recognizes, then, we end up broadcasting all Sharapova's matches.
The networks have nothing to do with this. They broadcast tennis with the same philosophy as any other sport and they're not going to change that.

Tennis itself needs to be promoted. Players come, players go. If you rely on the success of individuals then you're putting the sport at the mercy of these people. Even if the British started to support the Latvian or millions of Germans suddenly felt a passion towards an Argentinian player what happens when these guys fail to perform or retire?

Apples and oranges there, football is different than tennis, language is a factor but the popularity of the sport in general and branding a good product are probably more important.
For sure tennis isn't very big in most of these colonial countries but that's where you need the big recognizable stars to promote the sport.

alfonsojose
10-01-2007, 07:12 PM
In this Fruit of the Loom, Play of the Week...

:drool: Players wearing hot undies in the lockeroom, bulge of the week
http://www.fruit.com/mens_boys.shtml?5FT004
:yeah:

bokehlicious
10-01-2007, 07:48 PM
This is what happens when a guy from a small country like Switzerland becomes world #1 and dominates. The majority of sport fans are nationalists and they'll only pay attention when one of their own is doing well. Unfortunately Djokovic is equally bad news for the sport if he takes over from Federer.

Tennis needs players from USA, Germany, Britain, France, China and Japan playing at the top. Otherwise those major markets will remain uninterested and viewing figures remain low.

:yeah: Players from "insignificant" countries should not be allowed to play the sport. Let the Big Boys play it on their own... :cool: :rocker2:

:retard: :retard: :retard:

Via
10-02-2007, 12:18 AM
This could just be a case where the ATP did not agree with Mercedes but there is a backup plan, so we will soon hear about the Lexus ATP contract, or something like that.

If this is not the case and Mercedes voted with their feet, Mr. Disney should start looking at his future career-growth opportunities since this is the sort of thing that should trigger every possible alarm bell for the ATP board. Not that they have shown any great insight through Mr. Disney's tenure, but I trust their own survival skills and they would need a sacrifical lamb.

mercedes had been very very important to the atp over the last ten years... they must know that the relationship was shaky in recent times and hence there's a new marketing guy set up to attract new sponsors etc (hence south african airways, ricoh, stanford etc) but i doubt if there's a major sponsor in the pipeline yet. or if any new sponsor would commit as much to them.


Britain is still highly influential in these regions. There are many Indians, Canton Chinese, Canadians etc who live in Britain and vice-versa. I'm not saying a British player will be as big in these regions as a domestic player but he'll attract more attention than other foreigners. Even in USA British celebs, such as Beckham, are far more recognizable than foreign language speakers.

beckham did nothing to popularise soccer in australia... and neither will murray for australian tennis. and please, stop call me a colonial :o

Action Jackson
10-02-2007, 05:27 AM
:yeah: Players from "insignificant" countries should not be allowed to play the sport. Let the Big Boys play it on their own... :cool: :rocker2:

:retard: :retard: :retard:

Yes, only people from the US, the UK, France and Australia are allowed to play tennis.

Jimnik
10-02-2007, 02:10 PM
:yeah: Players from "insignificant" countries should not be allowed to play the sport. Let the Big Boys play it on their own... :cool: :rocker2:

:retard: :retard: :retard:
:retard: yourself.

I'm not bothered about it. I personally couldn't care less if a player gets $10million or $20million in prize money. Obviously when players from small countries do well then the sport takes a small hit. That's just the way it is. I'm not saying anyone should do anything about it.

Merton
10-03-2007, 12:24 AM
Look at the prize money figures for almost any tournament 1987-97 and no it's not just IW and Miami. I've already posted figures for many of them in this thread.

Like I said, you are speculating. There isn't much evidence for any of the explanations that you've given. If I wanted I could even add to your list a whole bunch of alternate reasons for the prize money boom.


The networks have nothing to do with this. They broadcast tennis with the same philosophy as any other sport and they're not going to change that.

Tennis itself needs to be promoted. Players come, players go. If you rely on the success of individuals then you're putting the sport at the mercy of these people. Even if the British started to support the Latvian or millions of Germans suddenly felt a passion towards an Argentinian player what happens when these guys fail to perform or retire?


For sure tennis isn't very big in most of these colonial countries but that's where you need the big recognizable stars to promote the sport.

Our disagreement is that you believe that (a) there was a tennis boom in the period 1987-1997 and (b) that tennis boom was caused by the fact that you had star players from certain revebue-generating countries. I am not sure that (a) holds to begin with, but even if it does, there are other factors in play in this period apart from the one you prefer.

The Germany case is a cautionary tale for me, that boom in Germany was based on the presence of star players like Graf, Becker, Stich and the bust that followed after their retirement only shows that it is not a wise policy to plan the long-term tennis development only around local stars. Tennis is a global game and any promotion strategy should necessarilly consider that part.

:retard: yourself.

I'm not bothered about it. I personally couldn't care less if a player gets $10million or $20million in prize money. Obviously when players from small countries do well then the sport takes a small hit. That's just the way it is. I'm not saying anyone should do anything about it.

I don't care about prize money per se either, but it is an indication of the total tennis pie, it represents the amount of money that goes to the pockets of the professional players.