Episode#:23 Shaun Boyce and Bobby Schindler

ATP: Hey Becky, are they going to move The Atlanta Open?

In this episode Bobby and Shaun talk to Becky Robinson of Chatterhouse Communications. Becky is the social media manager for the Dallas Open (ATP 250 event) and the Atlanta Open (ATP 250 event) among other things. As always, we ask the relevant questions like:

Have a listen and let us know what you think

MORE ABOUT BECKY ROBINSON:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/beckydentrobinson

http://www.chatterhousecommunications.com/about

https://www.facebook.com/ChatterhouseCommunications/about

https://www.instagram.com/beckyrobinson4/?hl=en

Shaun Boyce USPTA: [email protected]

https://tennisforchildren.com/ 🎾

Bobby Schindler USPTA: [email protected]https://windermerecommunity.net/ 🎾

Geovanna Boyce: [email protected]https://regeovinate.com/ πŸ’ͺπŸΌπŸ‹οΈ

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Transcript
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Welcome to the Atlanta Tennis Podcast.

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Every episode is titled "It starts with tennis" and goes from there.

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We talk with coaches, club managers, industry business professionals,

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technology experts, and anyone else we find interesting.

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We want to have a conversation as long as it starts with tennis.

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[Music]

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Hey, hey, this is Shaun with the Atlanta Tennis Podcast, powered by GoTennis!

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Check out our calendar of Metro Atlanta Tennis events at Let'sGoTennis.com,

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where you can also find deals on equipment, apparel, and more.

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In this episode, we talk to Becky Robinson of ChatterHouse Communications,

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the social media management magic behind two ATP events,

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one in Dallas and the other right here in Atlanta.

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Check out AtlantaOpenTennis.com, where single session tickets go on sale Monday, May 15th.

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And if you've been living under a rock, you might not know that Coco Gauff and

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Leylah Fernandez are coming to town for the women's exhibition on July 23rd.

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Have a listen and let us know what you think.

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[Music]

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Tennis being the starting point, whether you're a tennis player or in your case,

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a marketer, you know, somebody actually that's kind of selling the sport.

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I don't know if that's the right phrase.

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Would you say you're selling the sport?

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How would you describe what you do for tennis?

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Yeah, I would say promoting it.

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I mean, I am one of those who want to promote tennis as a sport,

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and get it above some of the sports, some of the sports that do better right now,

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you know, with the whole Netflix show that's helping right now,

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and just for Atlanta for the tournament, you know,

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promoting it obviously locally, but US internationally as well.

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But yeah, I would use the word just, I mean, personally and professionally,

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just a big fan of trying to see what more we can do to get tennis out there, you know.

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Yeah, and you're with Chatterhouse Communications, right?

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So that's what you call yourself, and that means Chatterhouse Communications is tennis promotion,

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or it's much more than that, and tennis is just one of the things you do,

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and I'll do the mention of saying, okay, we're talking with Becky Robinson,

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of Chatterhouse Communications.

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So you're tennis promoter, but that isn't all that Chatterhouse Communication does,

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or is it just tennis all day all the time?

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Correct, it's a big piece of it, but not just tennis.

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I mean, I started the company in 2012 to help start up,

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to like, new to market companies, and got into the tennis world around 2017,

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because I was like, I was doing a lot of IT promotion,

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which is not super exciting, and I'm like, why can I start promoting something that I'd love?

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Love playing, love watching, you know, would love to see it, you know, see what I can do to help.

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So Shatterhouse does, well, we've done, we've done a stand-up paddleboard company that makes boards,

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we've done solar farms, we've done state government, we've done makeup apps, kind of all over the board.

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And a big chunk of my work has come from my tennis colleagues and friends, honestly,

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is our tennis community, you know, kind of supports each other and kind of says,

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hey, she does this and blah, blah, that's where I've gotten a lot of my business.

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And we appreciate that because that's one of our, one of our tenants, so to speak,

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we should just write that down as a tenant, Bobby.

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First, tenants, we are not experts at everything.

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So go find the expert at the thing you need done.

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Right.

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And bring them on board and we say, hey, what would you want from us to say, hey, this is what we're

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trying to do and this is what we want to get going and what we want to have happen?

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So if we have somebody like you that is an expert in what you do from a promoting tennis point of

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you, I like Bobby's quote, and I've probably been quoting it too much recently, which is we often

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spend too much time promoting a player or players rather than promoting the sport itself.

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I would guess that's a tennis promoter, as you said, you mentioned the sport, you don't mention

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a player specifically. It's how do we grow the sport?

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How do we make it better?

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And in tennis, how do you know Bobby?

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Did you meet through the Atlanta open?

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Because you work with the Dallas open and the Atlanta open if I have that right.

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And somehow that gets you to knowing Bobby Schindler.

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So I played tennis out of Windermere.

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He's been stuck with me in Realston 4 and all my crazy my team,

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I'm a captain and a team now out of Windermere.

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So yeah, unfortunately he knows me on the court and off professionally as well.

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It is part of our Tuesday night experience at Windermere. We block it off.

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We don't have anybody remotely close to us.

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They do not listen to our conversations and Tuesday night is

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everybody that's our fun night.

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When all our ADD comes rampantly obvious.

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It does and definitely it's not need to be recorded.

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So the thing jailed out.

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But I mean as Windermere is for such a community, we have some people very

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involved in the tennis community within our community.

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So it does help because we have some good networking opportunities just to mock

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ourselves and of course we've expanded it and we try to help everybody to introduce

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where are we sitting since an ad.

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Close.

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Close.

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Can we get exclusive when you get really close?

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Yeah, well I'll do my best.

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Yeah, um, it obviously seems to know everyone as well.

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I mean Sam just hooked me up in the money open and in the Cadillac box which was great.

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I enjoyed that.

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Sam is awesome and a great partner in Atlanta as well with Cadillac.

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So yeah, it's crazy how you run into people at Girl Maxine's team works for T2 tennis,

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you know, in the administrative side.

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So it's, you know, a lot of people in the industry in Atlanta.

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And hopefully we'll get Joel on here pretty soon, the founder of T2 because in all my years of tennis

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in Atlanta, I always say that he's probably the only person I could think outside of USTA

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and outer that have had a lasting impact and been successful.

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There's been a lot of ideas, but T2 has been the, not even remotely close, the most triumphant

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of the cottage industries that have grown out of the fun and the numbers of Atlanta tennis players.

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Right. Absolutely.

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It's a great organization of the flexibility to play and I was even telling L.A.

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maybe she should try it out.

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And you know, our friend who was in Cincinnati is now going to New York.

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So I don't know how much interest you might have in taking a next step, but so there's,

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oh, yes, it's nice.

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Yeah, so he's going, I don't know what level, but that's where his next step is.

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So, you know, like I said, we're hoping to go to Cincinnati.

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So we want you there because we'd like to do a little trip.

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That's, that's close enough and historically every year it gets the best ratings

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from the players of a tournament that they enjoy being at.

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So, figured it's, it's a nice, a cool little town.

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It's easily accessible, not too far.

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You can fly, you can drive.

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So, you're hoping about road tripping up there.

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Yeah, it's great.

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And just being in Miami just great to see a different tournament and how they do things and,

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you know, experience it as a fan because and then you put on, your marketing hat as well,

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while you're enjoying it.

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Well, it's, I know when I went to grad school, we did something for God was a Hershey, I think.

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With NASCAR and it was such a, it was such an experience.

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I was like, well, if I had to do it over again, I'd certainly go product side because the product

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gets treated like, you know, gold where the, you know, the event organizers are, that's your,

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your, your stage is that however long the event is.

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So, there's a lot of pressure while you're there where I had the privilege of going up to Charleston

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a few years ago with Sam and Cadillac and get treated like a king, be in, you know, be in the box,

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all the, all the best features of the tournament.

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So that is a nice side to experience as well.

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And from your perspective, I'm sure it opens up a different viewpoint of your approach to tournament.

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Yes, very different experience as a staff member because I can tell you my family in French check

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on me during the tournament because it is like, maybe I get four hours of sleep some nights.

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I think one year I lost nine pounds during the tournament because it's just non-stop, so much to do.

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And in Atlanta, you know, we're outdoors, so we have rain delays.

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Sometimes we're, we're playing matches until 1am and people stay.

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It's great.

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But it's a lot of work.

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It's not shipping, same pain like a fan, right?

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It's a lot.

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Wasn't what we did in Charleston is what we do down here.

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Yes, it's a little different.

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Right.

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A lot of interns that just love the sport and want to help and, you know, come work.

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And I, I get a lot of good work at us in interns every year, so I appreciate that help.

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So this is the first year you went to Dallas?

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Yes, second.

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Yeah, this is the second, yeah.

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How long do you stay there when you're on site for the tournament?

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I think this year was 12 days.

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We had a first women's expo there.

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We had Sloan and Madison and we had a little bit of John Isner did a pro, his charity event,

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kind of the night before everything, so I kind of need to get in and then we do like that.

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Chris in the courts with media before it starts, so I have to get there early.

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And then obviously our finals are usually kind of late, like one, five o'clock

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and not go home the next day.

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So yeah, 12 days, but Dallas is a great city.

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They love tennis there.

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It sells out really quickly.

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It's indoor.

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They just are a very engaged fan and fan base and just love tennis air.

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So it's fun tournaments.

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Easy.

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Is it a T-bar?

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T-bar, no, but they're supporters.

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Is that SMU?

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Oh, you said it out loud.

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That's my rival.

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I mean, he's the ECU and SMU.

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That's Georgia Florida right there.

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That's the battle for the Metroplex.

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You probably know Grant Chan who's like the man who knows everybody.

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It's a funny part about T-bars.

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Even though it's in Dallas, it is a very T-C-oriented club.

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I mean, because Tut Bartson, our old coach, had a big influence on the clubs.

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So you see Tut all over the place.

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So even though you're in Dallas, you feel like you're close to four words.

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So we got an SMU does that sense of good players.

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Richie Rennerberg did all right.

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And he was, you know, he was top 10 in the world.

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He's an SMU guy.

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And who my, Roddy Harmon was Roddy?

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Not sure.

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I'm sure you think there's another in my era that was at SMU that did pretty well as well.

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So yeah.

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Bobby doesn't go too far down a road of tennis players.

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The most people have never heard of.

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You have to be, you have to be a pay attention for a while for that.

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But Becky, you mentioned the difference.

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You didn't mention the difference.

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You mentioned something that I noticed is very different.

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You talked about the Dallas fan being engaged at the tournament.

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We're getting a lot of response here that the Atlanta area isn't engaged

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as much as we'd like it to be.

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How do we, is one of the things that go tennis?

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We want to, we want to help promote that, that idea of not only the professional tournament.

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We don't talk a lot of professional here.

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We just talk the business of Atlanta and the social side of how we do tennis here.

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But is there a big difference between people in Dallas and people in Atlanta

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as to why the tournaments are engaged with differently?

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Well, the Atlanta crowd is engaged.

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They're great in their very knowledgeable tennis.

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They love doubles.

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Like we say it land is the double city.

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What we call it, say the largest recreational city in the world, perhaps, US.

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We have the challenge of the heat.

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And the timing of the year, right before school starts back.

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But we do still have great crowds.

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But day sessions can be hard.

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You know Atlanta, Metro is so large and we're down in Atlanta station

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getting the suburbs down there.

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But they still come out.

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But I think the greatest challenge is heat.

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But we still have great ticket sales every year.

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It's like record from the year before.

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But those are the challenges.

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And so how do we get the state to have a holiday?

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A national holiday where the bags can take off whenever Monday they want?

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We partner with UPS and do STEM day, which brings in a lot of kids during the day.

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So that has helped a lot when we have our tennis camps and tennis groups bringing kids in,

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which has helped a lot.

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I've also helped with the Winston-Salem tournament.

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And it's unfortunate for them because they're back in school.

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So that limits their ball kids and volunteers.

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And fan-based during the day sessions and also being the tournament right before the US Open

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doesn't help.

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So it could be worse for us because to have the kids in school, a lot worse.

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That's true.

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I guess we don't need that national holiday in the summer.

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It is a national holiday.

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More excuses to get there, right?

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Listen, we tried to get Alta to take the weekend off when the senior tour was coming.

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And we were met with the resounding dose.

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So I don't think we're going to get real far with schools.

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As Alta said, "No, we're playing.

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I don't care what time.

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We're going to play."

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I was like, "Oh, great."

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So yeah.

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Yeah, Alta won't even give us Easter off.

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I'm dealing with that.

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Yeah.

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I'm so hard.

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I'm just kept, I haven't kept it for a while.

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And I'm back and I'm like, "Why did I agree to do this again?"

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Because it's during spring break and Easter matches.

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It is a thankless job.

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For sure.

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Especially spring.

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Like you said, we get it two weeks.

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And Gwyneth is, if they're not on the same spring break schedule,

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it could be a three week ordeal that we have to go through your rearrange of matches.

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A spring season up here is very difficult.

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It is painful.

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This hard-and-cats.

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It's very available.

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Who can play?

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Okay.

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Can you play one of 16 days?

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You know, it's going to keep us straight.

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So how long do you got, what was your time frame when you started concentrate specifically on

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Atlanta?

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So I worked for Atlanta a year round, which is kind of unusual for some tournaments because

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we do how they pack starting in November, promote those in December.

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We start going on sale around March, April.

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We're actually going on sale next week for our premium week long.

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So that's our first ticket sale.

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So it starts now.

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We're around, I'm posting on social, following the players,

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a typically player tournament, how they're doing in Australia, Indian Wells, Miami, you know,

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trying to keep our social alive and not just during the nine days.

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So it's a lot of prep, a lot of preparation for that week because I do a lot of sponsor engagement

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and also do influencer marketing.

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So I work with, you know, in-signal personalities to promote the tournament to kind of reach

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that audience outside of tennis.

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You know, try to get the fans out.

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They just want to come have a drink and some good food and, you know, some live sports that may not

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really play.

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So there's a lot of prep work for that that we start really early, isn't now.

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Well, that's great.

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I mean, because I've been a strong proponent of that, even again, going back to our senior

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tour days. As a guy, you can't come in here a month and a half before the event and think

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this is going to be successful.

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It just even back in the day when we had the old AT&T, when it was in, you know, the end of March,

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or April, we always had weather issues even then.

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It was a different weather issue, but it was our rainy season.

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So it's always difficult.

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And I always felt that we needed to stay more engaged throughout the year to get those people.

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As you said, the US Open, really, you know, the US Open the first week, it's the party.

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It's the, the corporate sponsorships.

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It's everybody coming for the event where the second week translates more to the diehard tennis fans

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who are there to see the tennis and to see the, you know, who wins.

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So it's tough to create that environment.

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And so it's, that's something we're trying to do.

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We take tennis as the commonality.

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What are the things can we reach and bring people together to strengthen the commonality

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and to expand?

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Because as you said, a lot of the reputation of Atlanta is great participatory city might not

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necessarily show up in the, in the manner in which you would think.

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And I think a lot of the events are sold a lot of times.

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Oh, we got 80,000 tennis players.

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They're going to show up.

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But this is a tier one city.

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There's a lot to do.

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And you know, Alpharetta is growing, coming is growing,

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there's more to do.

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You know, it's just, it's getting more and more stuff to do.

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So it's just competition and it's tough.

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Yeah.

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And it's, you know, the player feels always crucial.

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And, you know, I didn't really understand the levels and still still until I started working,

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now, 250,000 level grand plan.

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So we don't, we're not really going to get an, no, doll, unless we get lucky.

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You have to pay some of them to show up, right?

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So it's still a great talent.

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And sometimes someone will show up that you weren't expecting this great,

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get a wild card, that kind of stuff.

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So the player field is a big deal.

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Nick here is.

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He loves Atlanta.

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He's great to us.

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He is really good to Atlanta.

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And, you know, he can tend to back out of tournaments last minute.

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And so I tend to watch this guy on a stalk him on social before a tournament.

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He could be good at the Bahamas and I'm like, "Do you like he's good?"

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Because he, I mean, it's crazy the level of ticket sales where there's like a handful and then,

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and then not a lot of draw, right?

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For some, unfortunately, which spreadsheets make is when I sit there and watch,

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so I've matched just some like, they're all amazing to watch, right?

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But there's certain personalities that just really sell well.

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And, you know, like, I think, like, I'd just want to, I would, I would like to meet.

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I could, I could hang out, I feel like I could hang out.

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With that guy, or at least I'd want to.

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I don't know if he'd like me at all.

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Yeah.

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He's one of those guys that would bring me in because it's interesting.

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There's something, and maybe that's what Atlanta looks for.

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Something more interesting, rather than even an adult.

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I guess everybody shows up for an adult either way, right?

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Yeah.

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I mean, that sells, obviously, well, Nick sells well.

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He's, because he's so different, like he say.

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He's great with children as well, which might surprise some people,

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you know, if it being single without children yet,

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but he's great with children and, and he's great with four in Atlanta

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and good to us by showing up.

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So we don't know what's going on this year with him and how long he'll be playing,

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but, and of course, John Isner, which people laugh and say

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we should rename the tournament, the John Isner Open.

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But, he's one at six times, and we're always fortunate to have him there.

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And the local crowd really loves him as well.

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And you can't beat.

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We just get the great top American talent like Fritz and Tiafo,

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and Brooks being Riley Paul.

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So it's great to see our support your American players.

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Well, now, and I think that'll help because we are kind of in an uptick right now.

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With Chris, you've been with Chelsea.

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So are Chris.

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Yeah, so I mean, you know, and we have,

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I mean, I get the kid who did well in Australia.

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And then she else and I keep talking to my son, my son.

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I said, all right, you know, little Giovanni is like, you're six months old now.

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You're going to grow up to be six foot four left handed with a two handed back hand.

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All right.

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Ben, so Atlanta was Ben's first ATP tournament.

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And he did well.

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It was great to kind of see him start.

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And now he's just really doing great.

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Yeah, but I mean, that I think so that'll help.

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Obviously, the more it's tangible.

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And since he's got a backstory,

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having Ben and Atlanta certainly will help.

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And what you're talking about too is as far as the players showing up.

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That's it.

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Unfortunately, that's in rampant intense

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in every event outside of the Grand Slam's.

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Because it's a really schedule.

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I mean, you know, these guys are, they're less than a month away from Wimbledon,

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or you know, from Wimbledon and they're less than a month away from the US Open.

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It's a tough, tough time of the year and then throw in 100 degrees.

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And yeah, that flight might get diverted.

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So you literally hold your breath and just make sure everybody shows up.

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You're, you're hoping.

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That's where you can get a beat up on social.

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And they're like, man, we can't force them to show up.

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So you don't be hating on us.

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Like we didn't plan for them to back out.

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Like we sold tickets and they backed out.

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Like we can't foresee the future.

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But we want everyone to show up, right?

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I get 250, they don't have to.

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You know, that's, that's the, they have more leave-like with the 250,

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than, you know, higher level tournaments.

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So it is.

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It's kind of, and then you try to explain to people,

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well, we can move and we should do this.

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We should, you don't understand.

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All you bought is the date.

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That's what you want.

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That there's, there's nothing else.

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That's what you have.

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You have this weekend.

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If you, if you can't do it this week,

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you're not doing it here.

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So I mean, the Dallas event originated in New York.

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And they sold it to that week to Dallas.

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And you know, it was, did fall better in Dallas.

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So that's a great for the game.

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But, you know, it's, there's not always a choice.

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We can't move it.

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That's, you know, that's hard.

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We can't.

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And people say, why would you do it in Dallas?

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We would prefer not to be outside.

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And we don't mind if we don't,

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can't to say, let's do it.

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And nobody else wants July either.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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But we're part of the US Open series.

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So we're the first tournament that kicks it off.

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So.

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So what would you say your role in the situation?

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What, what is a social media manager

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do for a tennis tournament?

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So, so for 250, you know,

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it's definitely different with the different level tournaments.

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We'll have lower teams.

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But I oversee all of our channels,

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which for us is, you know,

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Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

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And my obligations are not just, you know,

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ticket promotion, which we do more on the paid media side

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and paid ads.

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But promoting the tournament, I mean,

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the players special events, because they have STEM day.

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We'll have like sometimes wind down Wednesday.

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We can crawl for.

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Umisushi thinks like that.

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So promote another event,

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pushing volunteer registration.

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When we need people, again, I said earlier,

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sponsors promotion is a big piece.

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Would you fun content with more sponsors like Kim Crawford?

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I worked with influencers to really showcase the wine

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and leading up to the tournament.

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So the sponsor piece for Atlanta is a really large piece of what I do.

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Again, the influencer marketing.

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Checking practice score schedules, you know,

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let's make sure we get cocos arriving today.

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Get her videographer, photographers,

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graphic designers to cover everything.

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Sometimes it's very spur of the moment,

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Isner was in his 500th typewriter, I believe, in Dallas.

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Or like, oh, like a record.

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Go make me a graphic really quick.

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So as much as you prepare, there's a lot of on the spot,

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sponsored, spontaneous stuff happening.

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And, you know, really kind of pushed a community piece of it as well,

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as far as who we have on site.

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We have tennis, you know, we have A-Tef.

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We had them on site.

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We had kids come and interview come for our players,

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which was adorable.

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So it's kind of thinking of different ways to do content of the event.

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So and so one, come back tomorrow, you know, fun ways.

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My favorite part is I get to sit down with the players at the beginning of the week

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and try to do some fun recorded video content as you used throughout the week.

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And you put those on the major platforms?

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That's the user's tripping?

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Yes.

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So we add, because you probably know, I probably go for humor every time.

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So it's like, what's funny?

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It hasn't been done by A-T-P tour, which is they've done everything.

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There's no such thing as done everything.

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If you haven't, if you haven't sat down with me and Bobby,

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you say, hey, we need something new.

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Just give us five minutes to talk and we'll come up with something new.

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Oh good. Perfect. Let's have a comment.

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Sweet because I need to go ahead and

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weaken. We can come up with something new.

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Or all of a sudden we'll realize we're not as awesome as we thought we were.

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We came up with 47 different things and they've done all of it.

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Yeah, yes. It's insane.

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I start with let Nibbari start wings this long every year.

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What else can we do?

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You have a range of personalities with the players, right?

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We got some that are funny and some that don't really love doing it,

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but they were forced to go in that room with me and try to do something funny

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or just to read something for us.

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Yeah, I think that's the thing that Bobby and I kind of think the same way.

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Oh, you know what?

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I could come up with something.

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But then probably everybody thinks that too, right?

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Yes. We've had ideas and we start filming it.

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I'm like, this is terrible cut.

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We were going to do funny town names in Georgia and have the players read it.

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But my intention was international players to read it with accents,

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but I didn't get international.

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I was getting all Americans said it wasn't funny.

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So we cut it out.

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Or died.

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Like they're just saying, "Ludowiki" and you know, like funny names and

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Dillanica and it was just like, "Rump."

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Pushed in. That'd be my favorite.

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He was on there.

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Pushes got to be on there.

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But what was the one?

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I saw the other day where they were interviewing the players and they had them

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put on the headphones and they had to guess the grunt of another player or try to

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fit.

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Something like that is just is fun, I think, for the fans, for the engagement.

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So that's kind of the stuff you get to do all the time.

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Yeah. The week of the chairman I do, unless sometimes we'll have somebody come in early,

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like John or Riley to promote the chairman a few months out to kind of build some excitement.

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But yeah, I get to try to work with the guys and ATP to sit down and do funny stuff.

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Like we did funny laws in Texas and Dallas.

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There's some insane laws from like 1800s.

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Like you can't drink a beer standing up on a Sunday after six.

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It's like really weird stuff.

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We haven't read out on camera.

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That's a lot of fun.

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I think there's some strange laws from the 1980s.

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So we don't have to go that back that far for that.

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Right.

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No, no, no.

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Texas because of the, I had to take one religious class at TCU and I had to take Texas State

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history because of the uniqueness associated with Texas.

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Texas is the only state flag that can fly above the American flag.

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And that was one as a concession to get them to join the union.

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So Texas had some power in the negotiating and they used it.

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So it is, it is, if you will have some funky stuff on, I mean, literally back in 1986 when

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the drinking laws were changed, Texas waited to the absolute last day.

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Yeah.

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Before they would allow it.

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So I went nine days, or I'm sorry, 1987.

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Nine days where I was not allowed to drink in a bar in Texas.

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But I had been drinking since I was 17.

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Yeah.

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So Texas is its own country.

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So yeah, that would probably be a pretty creative place really for you.

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Yeah, they had some fun.

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We did funny town names and funny laws and we give them a real one in a fake one in that

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to guess which was Texas.

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So that's not-

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You got a Paris, you got a Libya, you got all sorts of.

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Do you think you're in international in Texas?

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You have a ding dong Texas, by the way.

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You have a Wimberley Texas and I actually would go.

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Yeah.

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And we did.

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We did find athletes names in Atlanta which were really funny.

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There's some funny ones out there as well.

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So.

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Very cool.

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So what are the challenges I could say in my back of the day?

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Traditional media, the AJC looked us and said,

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"Listen, if you're not going to sell me a newspaper,

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just really not a lot of things I'm going to help you out with."

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Radio is so difficult because the demographic is so small.

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What are the- how do you overcome the challenges of where do you say this is where we're going to concentrate?

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Outside of Alta but you know that comes with-

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because it's the Alta magazine isn't a weekly.

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If you're in the wrong cycle, it could be a month and a half old sitting there on the shelf.

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Yeah.

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Even if we were on like, you know,

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Roku TV every three seconds, you still find some ice as I didn't know you were happening

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because it just happens.

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But I mean, every year you have to adjust because especially with COVID it changed media,

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paid media a big time.

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Or at home more, they weren't in their cars as much.

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Digital Roku YouTube TV was exploding.

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So, you know, digital is where it is, but you have to adjust it every year.

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And so it's like print media obviously, not so much.

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Social ads do great because you can really, you know, pinpoint and

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find to the targeting a lot better there as far as most things, but digital really help.

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So it's kind of, you know, every year seen what works with everybody that does pay is

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what works and what didn't.

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And you can adjust it as you're going along as well to put more money behind something working.

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Like for another fine amount it was Roku or YouTube was doing really well.

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And something else wasn't.

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So I just shifted.

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So, you know, yeah, we're in the USDA Southern and Atlanta and ALTA,

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but you may not pick up your magazine in the mail.

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So that is the challenge, you know, and then we do some community work, you know,

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with clubs and things like that, but you just kind of have to evolve.

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That's what Bobby always says.

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You got to get on people's phones, right?

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Yeah, so, you know, in the ticketing guys, they're constantly calling and

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doing the packages and reaching out to the organizations and that kind of thing.

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And for us for me, like around her much time, it's just huge for the players to share and comment,

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which some are not great with, but back to neck.

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And it does a great job with that for us.

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It's huge for my number to like, thank you.

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And Jack, sox, great about that.

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And, you know, some of the players really help us out, which makes a big deal because they're like

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next followers sizes.

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Hemongus.

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Well, the good news is you mentioned his name and his dad is involved in something very

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fun with Riley in swing vision.

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And, you know, so that I think from a participatory standpoint to have a court where people could see this,

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I think there'd be great interest in Atlanta.

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And as we're finding out, there is an explosion of virtual reality tennis going on.

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We've got, yeah.

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So I think that's another thing that we've spoken to three different companies so far.

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And they're all trying to figure out how they're going to unlock the key.

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And so I think that would be a blast just to have people with their headsets on,

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just spaced out, of course, so they're not whacking each other,

Speaker:

but nonetheless, you know, playing some virtual tennis.

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And these companies are all dying to get into it.

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Yeah, you know, I was just like, I don't want to get the players doing that because it's really

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funny to watch someone on the headset doing things.

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Yeah.

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Yeah.

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And you can't see themselves. So it's funny. You get to laugh at them while they got the goggles.

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Yeah, that's exactly like, that could be pretty good right there.

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Yeah.

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Especially if we get this couple of seven footers out there, they're looking weird with a tennis

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rag going to begin with.

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So then you put virtual glasses on them.

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And obviously they're going to play.

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They're going to get down like they normally do because it's just instinctive at this point.

Speaker:

So I think that would be some good television.

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So the challenge and just, and tell me if I'm wrong here,

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how, what kind of production, like if you had something incredible happen on a Tuesday night,

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how long does it take you or do you have the means to turn it around and make that into

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a YouTube clip, two nights, you know, the next day to get people, because I know the challenges

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historically has been, we're going to get you here one time, when you're talking about the suburbs.

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How do we get you to come back?

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How do we get you to be part of the weekend crowd?

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Right. So today I have great support there.

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I didn't have it in 2017, like ATP tennis TV.

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You know, we're on what's up.

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I'm like, he just hit a Twitter that's amazing.

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I want it right now.

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I can get it within like two minutes and put it out.

Speaker:

I didn't have that ability in 2017.

Speaker:

I also have this amazing videographer, Drew, who does Wimbledon Indian Wells.

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And he's always there.

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He's like my guy.

Speaker:

And so he's flipping things.

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And Dallas, we had President Bush show up in TAP Raleigh on the head.

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And it was hilarious.

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I'm like, give me that right now.

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So now I have the ability to get things pretty quickly before I didn't.

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And there's a lot more I would be would like to do, but I'm just like,

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head down constantly in your tournaments.

Speaker:

I would ask them and people to help me.

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If you need someone to be there the whole time and watch all the matches

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and just have to do with something interesting happens, let me know if you can come up with somebody.

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I can join the air conditioning suite in the team.

Speaker:

Properly.

Speaker:

This is I will help.

Speaker:

Okay, I'll note that down.

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I have some friends that I've offered as well.

Speaker:

So.

Speaker:

Now Ashley, you're paying.

Speaker:

She's not even an intern anymore, right?

Speaker:

Ashley, you're having a pay.

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Now she's I just hook her up with, you know, the app.

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And she does work for me.

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Yeah, she's she's hooked in now.

Speaker:

That's costed me money.

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She's not as flexible with drills that she used to be.

Speaker:

I just just two weeks out of year.

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Well, it's like said, it's fun that we're all in such a small community.

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We all are bouncing a bunch of things off one another.

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What are you guys doing to get the crowd younger?

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Because that's a big challenge for tennis across the board.

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Yeah, I mean, on my side of things, I've worked with some younger organizations like

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Atlanta professionals and, you know, groups like that, especially from the social side.

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We've been some actually paid work with these kind of groups to kind of

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reach that audience.

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Again, that's where you can do the you can target the paid media for the younger

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spectrum like Instagram is younger than Facebook.

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And my audience there is, well, say younger, I say 25 to 35, you know,

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every email for us on Instagram.

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So and then our crowd is, it depends, you know, who it is, right?

Speaker:

Our women's exhibition match can draw in a different crowd for us, which is always good.

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Last year we had Coco and Taylor Townsend.

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It was awesome.

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We've had Venus.

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So the player kind of matters a little bit.

Speaker:

But the other crowd is coming out because you got at Atlantic Station with all the

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restaurants and bars, right there at it.

Speaker:

So that definitely helps.

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Definitely without it to get more of the young crowd out.

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Like I said, not even just a tennis player, they just want something fun to do.

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You know, we've worked with that with kind of on the influencer side.

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We needed influencer.

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I mean, that's one of our tags is how to make tennis cool again.

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You know, the classic Mac and Row as James Dean picture, you know, when he was the rebel without a

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cause, we're 10 and into the Agacy era where tennis was cool.

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You know, and that's trying to reshape it.

Speaker:

Again, we talked about the athleticism involved in playing tennis today is so beyond what it was

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from the 70s.

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I mean, these guys are phenomenal tier one athletes.

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And unfortunately with America being a little behind, it hasn't really grown in this

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country like you think it would because it's a spectacular sport.

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I mean, as a skill sport, as I tell my students, guys, this is the most difficult skill sport there is.

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I mean, yeah, where you have to combine hand-eye and foot.

Speaker:

You know, I always, hitting a baseball is probably the hardest single thing to do in sports.

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But combination-wise, tennis is right there with anything.

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Yeah, that's why I say, I mean, just even come out to qualifying, the skill level is insane.

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And I love watching it.

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And the doubles matches aren't saying.

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And then you're going to go work down there and get autographed from the winners after every match at our tournament,

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which is an experience you don't get everywhere.

Speaker:

So that's the benefit of being a little bit smaller is that kind of more intimate experience.

Speaker:

So how do you, and this is the old ass, as you brought it up again, I think NASCAR was built in a

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lot of ways with accessibility to the players.

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It's the drivers.

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You know, you go to a booth and you'd get the autograph.

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And like you said, no matter what level, and I was amazed we did, as I said, with Talladega

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with Hershey's back in the day.

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And I was amazed because I was not an NASCAR follower at the time.

Speaker:

You would ask Terry Labani, and they would, the fan of Terry Labani would literally

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rattle off every sponsor that was on his car. And you won't, I mean, that's the kind of brand loyalty

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that any sport would die for.

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And that's where NASCAR had cornered the market.

Speaker:

And you know, there's plenty of theories out there of why tennis hasn't been able to accomplish it.

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And in a lot of it, like you said, the players, they're not the most social.

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Hey, you know, a lot of them dropped out of school at a very young age.

Speaker:

So, you know, there's, there are challenges to overcome.

Speaker:

Yeah, I mean, even if I want to, like do something special for Sam with Cadillac,

Speaker:

I have to check, they have to check where their agents at this athlete can get in this car.

Speaker:

You know, you have all the challenges as well.

Speaker:

But if he first got really fun for the guys like we took JJ Michael Moe to the Dallas Cowboys

Speaker:

State and they're like, we're in, so it depends what you're throwing at them, right?

Speaker:

The Mercedes Benz is a pretty nice stadium. We should be able to get somebody in there, right?

Speaker:

Yeah, we should do that next. So they're, they're easily we want to do that.

Speaker:

Some of the things we ask them to do, they're like, hmm,

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not today. Yeah.

Speaker:

Depends what it is.

Speaker:

Nothing like Kudzu. Go go to the guerrilla land of Zue. We have a great Zue. I love

Speaker:

our Zue. Yeah. So the challenge with these guys is practice schedules and match schedules.

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And so we try to get a lot in the beginning of the week before the main draw players are going,

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because some of them don't, they don't start playing until Wednesday, Thursday. So we have to get

Speaker:

everything kind of earlier in the week. And then, when do they historically get here for,

Speaker:

if you like you said, if they play a Tuesday, Wednesday match, when are they arriving in the city?

Speaker:

It's all over the place, but they're coming in the weekend before like Saturday, Sunday,

Speaker:

Monday, generally. I try to get them like Monday, Sunday, Monday. This one most of them are

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for sure there are not too busy yet. I get my 15 minutes with them, not a minute over.

Speaker:

That's right. There's somebody's on the clock. Yes. And then you see comments sweating from

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practice or something, you know? Where do they, where do they practice it now?

Speaker:

So, you know, we were, we had three courts right there at the stadium. Right.

Speaker:

Probably going to have to practice it in Georgia Tech, because that lot was purchased.

Speaker:

And that's my last question then, Sean. She's all yours. When are we going to move it to the

Speaker:

North 400 corridor? So I know everyone asked me about them. I'm like, I'm not involved with

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the location discussions. I don't know. I just like to throw it out there to see if anybody's listening.

Speaker:

I'll get Peter on here soon. Please, please, this, I know Peter, but you have this, just curiosity,

Speaker:

Peter, why are we not, I mean, the Olympics, the Olympics kill this, we understand that by putting

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it in Stone Mountain. Can we reverse history and put something up here?

Speaker:

That's my, all right, Sean. She's all yours.

Speaker:

Okay. Thank you. Well, Becky, first of all, thank you so much. It's been fun for me to get to know

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you and then hearing you and Bobby go back and forth is fun because I know you guys know each other well

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and learning and talking with it with an expert in what you do and is connected as you can be

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in doing what you do. We get to learn a lot and I made a comment through the day that at some point,

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I looked at my wife and I said, at some point, is this plays out in the right direction?

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Is this going to make me the Joe Rogan of tennis? And it wasn't, it wasn't me comparing myself to

Speaker:

Joe Rogan. It was the concept. It is, if we can talk to all of the experts, at some point,

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we get all the expert information that no one else has been able to compile. And that's one of

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the things Joe tennis wants to do as well is that compilation of information, especially at Lana

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specific, not trying to take over the world, not trying to make it too big, one calendar, one place,

Speaker:

everything right there, making it simple and making it in one easily navigated system as opposed

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to everything else going on out there. And you get that concept with the scheduling that you've got to do

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in your job, but also finding time to play tennis for yourself and being able to get out there

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and play and get yourself on the court. And so I always ask at the end and I love this question

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because it gets not only that expertise and that personal point of view into it, but also everything,

Speaker:

everything that you do and everything that we've talked about usually feeds into the answer that

Speaker:

we get. But if you were if you were queen of tennis for a day or a month or a year, however long it took,

Speaker:

you were queen of tennis and you could change or improve anything about tennis, whether it's at Lana

Speaker:

specific, United States globally, is there anything you would change?

Speaker:

Good question and I saw that on my cheat sheet and I thought about it. So there's two answers. One is

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like for me as a player versus me as a marketer. And I already said this, can we not have Easter

Speaker:

ultimate actions in spring break? Can we all do that? I'll just get a little bit, but that's just as a

Speaker:

captain speaking. I mean, professionally, I couldn't really think of anything kind of two part,

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like one, I love to see American win a grand slam. I mean, that's just kind of like as a fan, you know,

Speaker:

that's coming up happening. We've got like Bobby said, there's so many ones that are just like on the,

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it's you know, so close to doing that. And just really look for our US fans to really appreciate our

Speaker:

American players, you know, I mean, it's fine to be a big fan of an international player or get it.

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But really appreciating them and supporting our players here in the US, I think could be better,

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you know, just for me, but I'm a big fan of pushing the American players as an American tournament. So

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from my perspective, but we also like we love to give love to our international players to come. We

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get a lot of Australian players and Asian players as well. So just great to see the tennis and meet

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good people and good players overall. Well, there you have it. We want to thank rejuvenate.com for

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use of the studio and be sure to hit that follow button for more tennis related content. You can

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go to Atlanta tennispodcast.com. And while you're there, check out our calendar of tennis events,

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deals on equipment, apparel and more. And you should feel good knowing that shopping at Let's Go

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Tennis.com helps support this show. You can also donate directly using links in the show notes.

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And with that, we're out. See you next time.

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(upbeat music)

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