Season-Ending Event Plans For New Feature: Fans -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 2003, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Pietermaritzburg, South A
Posts: 596
Season-Ending Event Plans For New Feature: Fans

Season-Ending Event Plans For New Feature: Fans

By Adrianna Outlaw

There's a tennis cover-up about to take place in Los Angeles. A year after miniscule attendance marred the WTA Tour's season-ending tournament's debut at the Staples Center, tournament organizers have made several changes in an effort to attract the masses missing in action last year..

Such public promotion may be the most visible alteration for the November 5-10th tournament, but the changes aren't merely cosmetic.

Known as the Home Depot Championships last year, the tournament has a new title sponsor and is now known as the Bank of America WTA Tour Championships presented by Porsche. Formerly staged as a 16-player single-elimination event, the tournament now features a round-robin format, the doubles draw has been cut in half from eight teams to four teams and day sessions, which generated disappointing attendance last year, have been eliminated. As a result, fans are ensured of seeing at least six of the top eight women in the singles draw in every session except for the semifinals and final.

AEG, which serves as tournament co-promoter with Octagon, began work on the 2003 tournament weeks after Kim Clijsters conquered Serena Williams, 7-5, 6-3, to claim the 2002 tournament title and snap Williams' 18-match winning streak.

According to a published report in the SportsBusiness Journal, AEG installed a staff of five full-time sales people for the tournament in January and reduced ticket prices. This week marks the beginning of the company's $400,000 ad campaign to promote the event. Their efforts have paid off to this point as ticket sales have already surpassed all tickets sold for the 2002 tournament. AEG chief marketing officer Shawn Hunter told the SportsBusiness Journal's Daniel Kaplan that the event has already earned as much revenue as it did by the first day of the 2002 tournament.

"We are feeling much better about where we are today," Hunter said. "Knowing we still have the bulk of the buying window ahead of us."

The $3 million season-ending event may be the most lucrative tournament in women's tennis, but it provided a paucity of people in the stands during a disappointing debut at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last November. At times, it seemed there were almost as many people on court as there were in the 20,000-seat arena.

The season-ending championships, formerly known as the Chase Championships, made its debut in Munich at the Olympiahalle in November, 2001. But the move to Munich did not attract the top players, media coverage was limited and attendance was disappointing. Two-time U.S. Open champion Venus Williams withdrew from the tournament less than a week before it was set to start citing a wrist injury, Martina Hingis was sidelined while recovering from knee surgery and Monica Seles, who was stabbed during a match in Hamburg, Germany on April 30th, 1993, maintained her promise of never playing in Germany again in the aftermath of the assault.

In March of 2002, the WTA announced the tournament had moved to Los Angeles. Lindsay Davenport believes it is imperative the WTA establish one site as the long-term host of the tournament to establish stability for the players and visibility for fans and media.

"You've got to try and establish a foundation and keep it in one place for a couple of years," Davenport said last year. "I think they (WTA Officials) really don't have a five-year plan; they don't really know what's going to happen and we have to figure it out as soon as possible."

Tournament officials are hoping the Staples Center proves to be a suitable home for the event.
Sanneriet is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 2003, 01:40 AM
Senior Member
ktwtennis's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 3,338
Notice how slow this board is to praise the WTA when they do something right...

And also notice how slow they are to praise an American event that was "stolen" from Germany...


I am a sinner too!
Jesus answered and said to him[Nicodemus, a Pharisee],"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again[of the Spirit/above], he cannot see the kingdom of God."--John 3:3

Good works can't save you from hell!! Jesus loves you and wants to be in your heart and mind!!!

I will worship Jesus forever!
ktwtennis is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 2003, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 26,189
Great article, and I hope their plans pay off. I hope Venus and Serena decide to play, I think it would give the tickets a boost. I really think the 8 person RR idea will do great, because you can see your favorite player at least 3 times in the event, win or lose. I hope the WTA establishes one site as the host, and it should be in the States IMO, the fanbase is just plain larger. Madison Square Garden may be a better venue, but meh.
Ryan is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 2003, 02:33 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: on a rock
Posts: 5,756
I would go if I could be assured neither Williams would play.
starr is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 2003, 04:15 AM
Moderator - BFTP
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 20,366
Madison Square Garden would still be best IMO.

I don't see the point in praising the WTA for starting to promote the event THIS week-it's high time they promoted it. We've been seeing ATP commercials since bloody January for their Houston Masters.

More fans than last year is a start-I'll give them that
Rollo is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 2003, 04:37 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Catskill Mtns., NY, USA
Posts: 1,565
Why should we praise the WTA for giving a major middle finger to all the fans in Europe? They moved the final to 3:30AM on a Tuesday last year; now they're moving *all* the matches to the middle of the night.

Cutting the number of doubles teams in half is a dumb idea as well, and I for one don't like the idea of round robin. With a single elimination format, if one of the players is playing badly, we don't have to see that player suck it up three times, or give free points to three different players. (And remember, there are clay-courters out there that don't do well on fast indoor surfaces. Heck, J-Crap hasn't done much on true indoor surfaces -- I'm not counting matches played at the AO with the roof closed.)
Ted of Teds Tennis is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 2003, 04:48 AM
Senior Member
TennisHack's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Sjengster's loving arms
Posts: 3,729
Totally agree with Rollo

The round-robin is immensely popular in the men's Masters, and there have been some huge comebacks because of it. For the past two years, Juan Carlos Ferrero has faced elimination after losing his first RR match, but he's somehow managed to come back from behind both times and qualify for the semi. It is very exciting to see how the winners and losers react to their first round match. And a lot is at stake.

So basically, I'm saying don't knock it til you've tried it Who could have foreseen it would be Ferrero, supposedly the clay court extraordinare, and Hewitt in last year's final?


Kim Clijsters, 2005 US Open Champion!

TH Online: Kim tribute - and photos! - now up
TennisHack is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 2003, 05:06 AM
Senior Member
Curtis F's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Renton, WA
Posts: 438
Originally Posted by Rollo
Madison Square Garden would still be best IMO.

I don't see the point in praising the WTA for starting to promote the event THIS week-it's high time they promoted it. We've been seeing ATP commercials since bloody January for their Houston Masters.

More fans than last year is a start-I'll give them that
The ATP truly does promote their YEC starting just after the AO. I never see commercials for the WTA's YEC until October which is really too late. I realise the more casual fan wants some type of guarantee that some big names will play the YEC if they're going to purchase tickets for the event in June, for example, but the advertising shouldn't cater to them. Real fans have a good idea who will qualify and will buy in advance regardless of not knowing who'll exactly be playing.
Curtis F is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 2003, 05:09 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Currently in Maryland
Posts: 1,857

Originally Posted by starr
I would go if I could be assured neither Williams would play.

And, do you really think anyone gives a flying phuck whether or not your "po" azz attend...???...!!!...???
persond is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome