Episode#:11 Shaun Boyce and Bobby Schindler

ATP: Rich Neher says City Slams is coming to Atlanta

Shaun and Bobby talk to Rich Neher about Conga Sports and the launch of his flagship concept, “City Slams” which Rich says, will eventually come to Atlanta.

Shaun Boyce USPTA: [email protected]

https://tennisforchildren.com/ πŸŽΎ

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

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, technology experts,

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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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Hey, hey, this is Sean with the Atlanta Tennis Podcast.

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And today's clip is from a conversation we had with Rich Nayer, who is a writer, author,

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and owner of tennis media group in publisher of tennis club business.

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He's also founder and president of Congo Sports.

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We talked about his new concept, City Slams.

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Let us know what you think.

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Start with, with Congo Sports, which is a couple of years in now.

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So catch yourself on wherever everything is.

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Yeah.

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Okay, road my vision document for Congo Sports, you know, that says in our unpoppeded mission

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statement that we'll be 10 times better than the USDA this one.

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The City Slams as the flagship program was already in there.

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This was in August of 2021.

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At the time wasn't right, I needed to do things first and needed to get my feet wet in creating

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programs and stuff.

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And the time is right now.

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Okay.

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And so, Congo Sports is kind of a catch all.

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Is it?

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Congo Sports is what exactly?

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What is Congo Sports and how does City Slams, how is it a product of Congress Sports?

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Tell us, tell us how works.

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Okay.

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So, Congo Sports is a product of my frustration with the USDA of not being able to create an organization

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where people say, yes, I want to be a member of that organization because it's fun.

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It's cool.

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It's tennis.

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So, I talk to people at the USDA about this, especially Mike Dauzi, the former CEO.

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And it's not in the DNA.

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So, I found it's not in the DNA.

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Although they're using this word now a little bit more to show the know what it is.

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But I decided to do it myself.

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But the premise of Congo Sports, actually, the overarching premise is to make tennis more affordable.

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For everyone.

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And the way we elected to do this is by shifting the entire model, the entire economic model

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from the player as a player to the sponsor as a player.

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Example, when you sign up for a tournament at Congo Sports and let's say the registration

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fee is 80 bucks.

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You'll find a sponsor, a local store, a local restaurant, a local something that will pay that 80 bucks

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for you or if they don't want to, they can give you a gift certificate to their store,

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worth maybe 120 bucks, something like that.

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That's one example.

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The other example is if you want to become a member in Congo Sports, which is still only $50

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a year, we will head pin racket sports.

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They'll actually pay, but give that person a gift certificate for $50 for their product.

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So these are the examples.

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And of course, city slams as a program, were players play for their city, which currently

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has a team, currently has eight players, which in a team fee or $400, we will find a sponsor

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to pay those $400 for the team.

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If we can't, we will let them play for free.

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That's our thing.

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And speaking to it.

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Bobby, how do we get signed up with?

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I mean, becoming to Georgia, don't you worry about it.

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That's obviously the next question.

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Two years, but we will be there.

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That's Bobby's next question is how do we get it here?

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How does that work?

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And when are you, do you take over California first and then you got to get through Arizona

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and whatever's in between?

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Yeah, I can't do certain things too fast.

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So the proof of concept for city slams is 2023.

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So at the moment, I'm putting teams together.

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We start playing actually on the 25th of March, the first group of teams.

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And we are creating the Southern California city slams champion.

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And while we are playing in Southern California, I am going to go up to Northern California

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to the same beer.

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So towards the second half of 2023, we will have a North and California city slams champion.

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And in November, the leader and not will find those two champions play off against each other

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for the California state championship.

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While this is all going on at the end of the year, I'm going to other states, Arizona,

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and I'm going to change in Oregon and so forth, Nevada, and create the city slams championships there.

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And you're far away from us, so maybe in two years, we will get to Georgia.

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But there is no reason why when the concept is proven and when we know how things work

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and why they work and how to improve them, there is no reason why we could start in areas

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like Georgia or Florida where we have a lot of people interested already and start playing there earlier.

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Bobby, you have thoughts?

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Well, first, what is the format of the teams play?

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You said, "A players, how does it break down as far as play against each other?"

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It's to women and to men, sorry, for women and for men, they are playing two men's

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doubles to women's doubles and two mixed doubles.

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Okay, so not at work, is it a full match or a team that is shorter?

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How do you get it done?

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It is full matches is a concept that is not what we want to do.

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We don't do things the way it's being done in the industry.

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Everything we do is oftentimes the opposite of it's being done.

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So we have short matches, eight game sets and an entire group of four teams can play the entire

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round Robin in three hours.

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Everybody comes to one particular place to play all the teams.

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They come to one spot and play.

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If there's more than one group, we'll have, after that we'll have quarterfinals or semi-finals

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and then finals.

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The time commitment is minimum, minimum because we only play once a month.

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So how many matches lead up to the championship playoffs?

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What is the season?

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Depends on how many teams are in there.

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Got you.

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It can be two or three or four matches.

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So how do you, I mean, the fascinating part to me is how do you approach or what is the incentive

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for the business entity to sponsor somebody to complain your league?

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Well, the incentive is we provide eyeballs through city slams.

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Eyeballs and we promote the business.

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We'll give them exposure.

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We let them if they want that.

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We let them do some brand activation on court if they want that.

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If it's possible for them.

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And there'll be featured in all our press releases everywhere.

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So we'll give them local exposure.

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That's important.

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It's going to be local sponsors and they get local exposure.

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Like the first sponsor we had is a local real estate company here.

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I like that model with keeping it close to home.

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Yes.

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So at the same time, of course, we're looking for title sponsors.

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In the future for presenting sponsors for all of their sponsors, like companies that can

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do swag bags.

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Tennis wayhouse.

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Where are you?

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I've asked a similar question recently.

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Yeah, we've got that conversation.

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Yeah, right.

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So I'm picturing like I get my team together and Bobbi and I are on the Atlanta team.

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And we go to the local, I'm going to make something out.

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We go to the local Mexican restaurant.

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So I've got Paco's tacos.

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And I'm wearing my shirt at the event.

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And that's why they spend the $400 that kind of thing.

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That's kind of part of the idea of I'm wearing my Paco's tacos shirt while we play.

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If you want to want that to be part of it, of course.

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Yeah, maybe we have to up the $400 to include some shirts in there.

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But yeah, we tell the local restaurant, we'll do your promotion for a while.

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Let's see if you can get to some customers.

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Gotcha.

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In that case, how are you doing the math?

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What's your CPM?

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Do you have a math that says, okay, we're going to do this event.

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Here's the tournament.

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It's going to be this tennis facility.

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And we're going to get you $3,000 people coming through.

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And therefore, that is the $400 kind of a strange question to ask.

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If you don't want to talk numbers, I get it.

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But is the $400 kind of an arbitrary number right now?

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Are you guys have costs and how that works?

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Right now, it's an arbitrary number.

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Okay.

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But I can tell you one thing.

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When the proof of concept is over.

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And the world will see how well this works.

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And how unique this entire program is.

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I can guarantee you one thing.

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The cities will stand in line to become to be part of it

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and to sponsor their teams.

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I don't think in the future, especially if a team is successful

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and goes on becomes a state champion, becomes maybe a regional champion.

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And it's on their way to become a national champion.

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The cities will stand in line to sponsor their team to pay for everything.

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But travel for food, hotel, everything for that team,

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because it's going to be a promotion for that city too.

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So in that case, I'm going to log to wearing my Poco's tacos shirt.

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I'm wearing my city of Atlanta shirt.

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No, you win.

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You tacos shirt and you have a stick on that shirt.

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It's a city of Atlanta.

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And then my not tennis warehouse on the side.

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Because we have a back from the house on the side.

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Maybe yes.

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But forget the entire Congo sports city slams program is supposed to look

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sooner or later.

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We'll look like a pro to where I call it the tour for the little guy.

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I am approaching the WTA and the ATP to partner with us.

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So far, they haven't been very receptive to that idea.

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But I told Steve Simon, we will have more fans and he does in a few years.

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I like that confidence.

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Yeah, they are creating fans.

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I haven't told you that yet.

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Part of city slams is to create a fan base of people who will come and watch recreational tennis.

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And pay for it.

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And how do we do this?

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Just by creating a tennis show around the matches.

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Similar to what my friend Jesse Cole does in Georgia with the Savannah bananas.

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I bet you heard of him, right?

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I haven't heard of this Savannah bananas.

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I don't know.

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Just he call.

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I'm like, wait a minute.

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There's a name I don't know.

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Oh my gosh.

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Oh, no.

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All right.

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We've something we weren't expecting.

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Savannah bananas.

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I like them.

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I'm not.

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I'm actually communicating with them.

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Jesse Cole first.

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Okay.

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Picture this.

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Picture this.

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There is a tennis.

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A baseball club of the the coastal league.

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Minor league in Savannah, Georgia.

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They had before this man Jesse Cole took over as the owner and manager.

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They had in their 4,000 seed stadium.

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They had a hundred or 200 people for home coming to home games.

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Right?

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Okay.

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Now picture now fast forward to this 2023.

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They have every home game is sold out with 4,000 people and they have a 10,000 people waiting

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list to come for a season tickets.

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They have fans all over the world from Georgia to Tokyo.

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Everywhere in the world they have fans who are traveling to Georgia to watch matches if they

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can get tickets.

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That is matches.

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That is baseball.

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That is baseball.

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Baseball.

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Baseball.

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Yeah.

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This is baseball.

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How does it do it?

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He creates this show around baseball.

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I want to do the same although I told him already I'm not creating a clown show.

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He does a lot of clown show stuff which is very attractive to baseball people.

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I don't think it will be attractive to tennis folks but we will still create a show around

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the city's lands.

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Basically for the at the moment for the higher level matches like the Southern California

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State championships and the state championships.

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So create a show.

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Bobby comes to me the other day.

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We should be doing what ACDC concerts at the end after after matches in Atlanta.

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There would be not only music you will see the two conga drums there.

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That is something you will hear at the matches of course.

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We will have an empire who is also a host who likes to speak and this funny and potentially

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a funny tennis pro.

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We will have programs for kids for adults.

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We have show matches.

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For instance, a junior will challenge everyone in the audience for a game and you will kick everyone's

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butt.

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I can guarantee you that.

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And stuff like this.

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There will be a lot of things around recreational tennis player matches.

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What I mean, recreational 7-0 combined that's bad tennis compared to the pros.

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But it'll still be funny and people will come and pay to watch those matches.

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Okay.

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I'm in.

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Bobby's miles.

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I mean, I love the the mightily baseball.

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I mean, I went to when I was getting my graduate degree in sports administration.

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I didn't make it as a player.

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So my thought was I was going to go through the minor league system in baseball and make my way

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to the Yankees that way.

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And that's all if you remember the movie Bull Durham and there's the Crown Prince of baseball

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Max Pankin.

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Well, you know, literally would go out and talk and it was fun because you had to because

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you're in these small towns and you had to make it a complete show.

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You were going out there.

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And, you know, unfortunately for baseball, it's just so rudimentary that they'd never been

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able to take.

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But I was just reading some of the things about, you know, there's a time limit which baseball

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fights the time limit all the time.

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They're trying to speed up the pitchers.

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I love what I laughed was because they if you hit a foul ball on the fan catches it.

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It's now.

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I'm like, well, that's awesome.

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So it's interactive.

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So I mean, it's an experience.

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And I am a fan of experiences that, you know, you the more you get the people to participate

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obviously, the more they're going to take hold in it.

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My thing though, where this it's Savannah, you're going to go on a ghost tour.

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You're going to go to the beach or this is something to do.

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How do you compete in the bigger cities when you say Southern California, how much geography

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you cover it?

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Something California.

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Yes, from the border from the Mexican border up to Lancaster Palmdale.

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Make us feel even.

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Wow, so you're going past LA.

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You're going past New York.

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You're going past LA, of course.

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Yeah.

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I don't know if you know, but it's the Sunday area that is the hotbed of tennis in all of Southern

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California.

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So they have more pros in Sunday, yeah, you go anywhere else in more players.

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It'll be a show where people say, the people come home and say, that was great.

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And they spread the word because they loved it.

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And they want to come back next time.

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And it's not so important how good the tennis is.

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Yeah, so hold the bat.

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It makes a lot of sense.

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My wife would be often, before talking, if we're talking, bring the family.

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You've given me a chance to bring my wife and kids and my wife's always been trying to figure

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that out, Jovis always saying, why is tennis so competitive?

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Look at it.

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But you're coming from the competitive standpoint, but from a family standpoint, the bringing

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people out, I think that's a great plan.

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I think that goes in the right direction, especially for Atlanta, because we're a social

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tennis world.

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Yeah.

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Well, in the beginning, we will have just, we'll encourage the players to bring family, of course.

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And it has to grow slowly.

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We'll do photos and videos and on-court interviews like the pros.

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And it'll grow from there, the word of mouth was spreaded.

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And of course, the ever-puckly system, the human, the press releases and he'll guide us to

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how to spread the word efficiently everywhere.

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The entire thing is about making tennis more fun for people and for fans, not only for players,

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but for fans.

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Well, there you have it.

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We want to thank Rejovenate for use of the studio and be sure to hit that follow button.

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Also, we've been nominated for a podcast award.

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The best tennis podcast.

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For more about that, check the show notes.

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And with that, we're out.

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See you next time.

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