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pound cat 02-11-2005 12:34 PM

Good news for Canadian tennis >>>
 
Hey, tennis may overtake NHL. or, what NHL???




Rogers takes over sponsorship of ATP Tennis Masters Canada event
11/02/2005 2:07:00 PM

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TORONTO (CP) - In finally landing a new title sponsor for the ATP Tennis Masters Canada event, Tennis Canada has at long last recovered the guaranteed revenue stream it needs to develop the sport at the grassroots level.


Rogers Communications Inc., acquired the naming rights for the annual men's event as part of a four-year multimillion-dollar deal announced Friday.

The agreement runs from 2005 through 2008 and also extends the corporate giant's sponsorship of the country's annual WTA event.

Both tournaments, which alternate between Toronto and Montreal on a yearly basis, will be called the Rogers Cup.

"Corporate sponsorships, corporate activity and ticket sales at our events is where we get 90 to 95 per cent of our revenue," said Jack Graham, Tennis Canada's chairman. "So this is absolutely critical."

The men's event has been without a title sponsor since 2001, when Swiss marketing firm ISL went bankrupt. That was a huge blow to Tennis Canada, particularly after 1999 Federal anti-tobacco legislation ended Imperial Tobacco's 21-year sponsorship of both the men's and women's events.

"This has been a long time in coming," said Stacey Allaster, Tennis Canada's vice-president and tournament director. "We're just thrilled.

"The title sponsor makes the event more profitable, so that we can give more money to tennis development."

Rogers has sponsored the women's event since 2001, and its initial agreement ran through 2006. As part of that deal, Rogers had to tell Tennis Canada this year whether it wanted to extend the sponsorship.

"They finally realized that if they're going to own tennis, they should own all of it and the entire company should get involved," said Allaster.

The deal caps a busy two weeks of investing in sports properties for Rogers.

First, it closed a $25-million Cdn deal to buy the SkyDome, renaming it the Rogers Centre, and gave the Toronto Blue Jays $210 million US to spend on payroll over the next three years.

Then Rogers teamed up with rival Bell Globemedia to win the TV rights for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics for $153 million US.

"I think everybody is interested in sports, all members of the family," said owner Ted Rogers. "That's important to because we're a family company."

The Rogers Cup events will be promoted at the company's stores and through its various wireless, cable and Internet services. Tennis Canada hopes that helps boost ticket sales and further increase profits, which will go into its four-year strategic development plan.

Funding for grassroots level tennis had become scarce in the days without a title sponsor.

"It was post 9-11, it was difficult economic times," said Allaster.

Under its four-year strategic plan, Tennis Canada plans to:

-Give more support to top-level players;

-Increase support to provincial associations;

-Build more tennis development centres;

-Increase number and quality of coaches;

-Increase presence in parks and communities.

The deal with Rogers also calls for the start of a Rookie Tour, which will build on an existing Ontario Tennis Association program. The program's goal will be expand the network of kids playing competitive tennis and feed the most talented one into the high-level development programs.

It will be expanded outside the province if it succeeds.

"We said, 'Let's pilot this. Let's see if this is something that's really going to work,"' said Allaster. "This is that entry-level program for kids who just want to begin playing competitive tennis. We want to make it fun and motivating and hopefully find a few diamonds in the rough."

The men's Rogers Cup runs from Aug. 8 to 14 at Montreal's Stade Uniprix. The women's event takes place at Toronto's Rexall Centre the following week.

Aykhan Mammadov 02-11-2005 03:03 PM

poun cat, will you invite me there ?

Marius_Hancu 02-11-2005 03:58 PM

Well let's see this where this will be leading to, how much money will get to juniors and how much to bureaucrats.

For the time being, they've just shut down the best international junior tournament Canada has had, in Repentigny. Nautilus getting off the tennis business.

pound cat 02-11-2005 04:51 PM

Marius, we're following pro. tennis, and pro tennis is all about money. It's the livelihood of every guy who plays ATP, and I'm glad to see Rogers is investing money in tennis & it will make my monthly cable bill a bit easier to pay. And Aykhan, sure I'll invite you. Where precisly are we going? I'm waiting for some posts re:Brazil Open ( under an assumed name of course) (has it even started yet?) as long as they're creative and entertaining.

Marius_Hancu 02-11-2005 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pound cat
Marius, we're following pro. tennis, and pro tennis is all about money. It's the livelihood of every guy who plays ATP, and I'm glad to see Rogers is investing money in tennis & it will make my monthly cable bill a bit easier to pay.

Sure, I am glad Rogers is footing the bill. I just hope the Federations would put more money into junior tennis and less into their bureaucrats.

Datacipher 02-11-2005 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marius_Hancu
Well let's see this where this will be leading to, how much money will get to juniors and how much to bureaucrats.

For the time being, they've just shut down the best international junior tournament Canada has had, in Repentigny. Nautilus getting off the tennis business.

That's exactly it Marius. I almost posted, but my thoughts on Tennis Canada...I cannot even bear to start. But yes, things are worse than they have been in the past, funding for more grassroots and juniors has been promised for a LONG time....but then it get's funneled off for new stadiums etc.....apparently having homegrown canadian pros is not much of a priority. Not to mention..that compared to Western Canada you easterners are living in tennis paradise....we ain't got nothin out here...which is why we still often send our best juniors down to the US....no choice.

I will be happy when the situation ACTUALLY changes significantly.

We have had some fine talent and currently have some excellent world class juniors here in the west...but it's tough for them.

raftermania 02-11-2005 09:31 PM

On a related note, Rogers also bought out our Toronto's famed Skydome. And by doing so, they renamed it the "Roger's Center."

"Skydome/CN Tower" have been a cultural combination representing Toronto and Canada for a long time! Sad to have to change our schemas to "Roger's Center/CN Tower."

However, great news that Rogers jumped on to TMS Toronto. I'm sure the tournament and tennis in Canada will get a nice boost by Canada's biggest communications conclomerate.

Rogers is just buying everything in Canada aren't they??? In the future, I'm sure that I'll be forced to name my child, Roger. And hopefully the bright side of that is I will also be naming him after a great tennis player by the same first name with Pete Sampras' tennis credentials - and more. :mrgreen:

Deuce 02-12-2005 12:00 AM

So... if the men's tournament will now be called 'Roger's Cup', doesn't that sort of give away the ending?

I wonder if they'll still go through the motions of playing out the draw, or if they'll just give him the trophy right at the outset. I guess they'll play out the draw - what with money to be made, and all.

Is he really that good that the tournament organizers feel that people will still come out and watch him even if they know he's going to win?

By the way, Marius - where did you hear that the Repentigny Junior tournament was cancelled?

Richie Rich 02-12-2005 06:06 AM

Tennis Canada still needs more $ for junior development since the best we can do on the men's tour is Dancevic and he is 160ish (nice game by the way but can't seem to breakthrough from the challengers). Nestor/Connell/Michibata were good but doubles specialists only.
They need to have juniors travel and play more international tournaments to get exposure to better players.

raftermania 02-12-2005 08:25 AM

Hey did anybody read Wertheim this week?? What was with that comment about Nestor???

A woman asked if he could make the hall of fame and Wertheim said something like "let's not get carried away now." What's up with that? I know Nestor is a doubles specialist, but he's still a great player - Wertheim could have been a bit more respectful.

Marius_Hancu 02-12-2005 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raftermania
Hey did anybody read Wertheim this week?? What was with that comment about Nestor???

A woman asked if he could make the hall of fame and Wertheim said something like "let's not get carried away now." What's up with that? I know Nestor is a doubles specialist, but he's still a great player - Wertheim could have been a bit more respectful.

Yes, Nestor is a great player.

pound cat 02-12-2005 11:31 AM

He's also a great singles player, but a chronic shoulder problem lead him to doubles. I still remember the DC match v. Rios when Nestor beat him, and Rios said he was embarrassed to have lost to him. It was this singles win which got Canada into the World Group.

Datacipher 02-12-2005 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pound cat
He's also a great singles player, but a chronic shoulder problem lead him to doubles. I still remember the DC match v. Rios when Nestor beat him, and Rios said he was embarrassed to have lost to him. It was this singles win which got Canada into the World Group.

But Rios was far from in form in that match, Nestor's best win I think was actually over Edberg in Davis cup when he was still a teen and Edberg was #1.

Having said all that, Nestor is very very far from a great singles player(when talking hall of fame terms). Nor did he reach his physical potential, but not because of injuries(the most serious of which were relatively recent) Most of his problems in singles were purely mental. He had a severe choking problem and he tended to go into a defensive shell against big groundstrokers. He knew his groundstrokes were too erratic to defend against the power baseliners so he'd get very tentative. I always knew it was trouble when he'd start using a chip forhand from the baseline! When I used to go to practice session with him, he was a strange player sometimes because his concentration would wink in and out and sometimes he'd be be like a zombie out there.

Still, he certainly fulfilled his potential in doubles and was a fine Canadian representative.

Richie Rich 02-12-2005 01:44 PM

Nestor is known for not the brightest in the world. Any one who asks what tension their racquets were strung with and at what tension when they picked them up from the stringers tent is no genius.

raftermania 02-12-2005 05:14 PM

Datacipher, are you pulling an Aykhan here? Have you trained with him? Or been to his practice sessions? Either one is pretty neat.

I met him when he was training for a DC match here and we talked about the one point where his opponent hit a **** during their AO finals and I congratulated him on the AO title. It was quite breathtaking, he was very approachable.

raftermania 02-12-2005 05:15 PM

**** = b-i-r-d

Marius_Hancu 02-12-2005 06:31 PM

How about Aleksandra WOZNIAK being the 3rd in the world in juniors, playing in the AO junior semis, what a great accomplishement ... Don't think Canada has ever had someone in this position ...

Girls Combined Ranking (07 Feb 2005)

1 Viktoria AZARENKA BLR 1515
2 Michaella KRAJICEK NED 1415
3 Aleksandra WOZNIAK CAN 973.75
4 Sesil KARATANTCHEVA BUL 937.5
5 Monica NICULESCU ROM 895
6 Yung-Jan CHAN TPE 887.5
7 Marina ERAKOVIC NZL 875
8 Olga GOVORTSOVA BLR 790
9 Agnes SZAVAY HUN 762.5
10 Dominika CIBULKOVA SVK 747.5

She's training at the same facility (Jarry Park, where the Master's and Ladies Tier I tournaments are taking place), where I am playing. Working very hard with her father (her coach).

Deuce 02-12-2005 09:00 PM

I like Niculescu. She's got a fiery temperament and a very unique slice forehand - both of which keep her opponents off balance. Gutsy girl.

"For the time being, they've just shut down the best international junior tournament Canada has had, in Repentigny."
Again, Marius - where did you hear that the Repentigny Junior tournament was cancelled?

raftermania 02-12-2005 09:10 PM

Hehe when I visited Montreal at New Years, I went to Jarry Park's indoor facility - went to the ********* shop and brought a kick-butt Prince hat. A very nice place!

Datacipher 02-12-2005 11:06 PM

[quote=raftermania]Datacipher, are you pulling an Aykhan here? Have you trained with him? Or been to his practice sessions? Either one is pretty neat.
[quote]

Hi, Rafter, No, I have not hit with Nestor, but yes, I have gone to a few of his practice sessions some years ago. I went to a couple with a junior whom I had done some casual coaching with as he was growing...since he had subsequently become a pretty serious Canadian prospect, he and a few other jjuniors trained with Nestor for a week or so....I came along as a friend and "coach". I merely sat court side....I did bring a racquet...but unfortunately, I could never quite justify trying to barge in on the hitting as there were always more qualified players around! (and of course, this was an opportunity for the juniors, not me!) ;-) I kept waiting for a few of the players to say....break their legs.....but it didn't happen. Also, a few years previous, I was able to attend practice at a Davis Cup tie because I knew some of the locals and Tennis Canada people, where I also met Sebastian Lareau, Albert Chang(whom I did play...but that is a long story), and Grant Connell along with Nestor...I did not hit that time either of course but it was fun to watch from any vantage point I wanted as they worked out. They were all nice, but I didn't chat with them much as they were obviously preparing for important matches.


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