Tennis Canada changes up with relaunched website
Just in time for the annual Rogers Cup events in Montreal and Toronto, Tennis Canada is relaunching its website with a whole new approach. And the new way of doing things means less focus on stuff like the Rogers Cup and more on those who play the sport.
Not that the racquet-swingers have anything against Canada's biggest tennis tournaments -- in fact, Rafael Nadal will be at the CN Tower on Friday to launch the new site at 4 p.m. -- it's just that the organization believes it has to speak more directly to those who play the sport than to those who watch it. More importantly, it believes it needs to allow tennis players and organizers to speak more directly to Tennis Canada.
Right now, the focus is on the elite of tennis: the pros, the up-and-comers, the top amateurs. That will all change as Tennis Canada tries to reconnect with its roots.
``It's not about us," says Tennis Canada spokesman Michael Cvitkovic. ``It's about the 4.5 million Canadians who pick up a racquet."
Part of the new campaign is a new web address. Instead of the old www.tenniscanada.com, it's now www.lovemeansnothing.ca. (Thank God they didn't go with lovemeansneverhavingtosayyou'resorry.ca or lobslabourlost.ca.)
The message, Cvitkovic says, is that ``tennis is spoken here." There's also a message that Tennis Canada is going to wear its headband at a jauntier angle, too.
A commercial that will air during this weekend's Rogers Cup shows a dog chewing on a tennis ball and offers that if you think this is abuse of a ball, then you're Tennis Canada's kind of person.
There'll be more opportunities for tennis nuts to interact with each other and tell Tennis Canada what they're thinking. Among other features, tennis instructor Bob Brett will answer questions and give video tips in response.
The elite players won't be abandoned, but even they will take on a more interactive role. One plan is to get Canada's top players to file live video updates from tournaments. There will also be live chats with Rogers Cup participants as well as athlete and expert blogs.
``The new website will be open to all," says Cvitkovic. Sounds like a good idea all around.
BY THE NUMBERS: It's summer, so the CFL and Blue Jays must be dominating the sports ratings. But maybe the most interesting number from the weekend came from Formula One racing. Getting an average of 336,000 to watch a car race at 8 a.m. on a holiday weekend is no mean feat. Getting them to watch it at 5 a.m. on the West Coast is even more amazing.
Here are the most-watched English-language sports broadcasts for the past weekend, according to BBM Canada overnight ratings:
1. CFL, Tiger-Cats at Roughriders, Saturday, TSN: 1,035,000
2. CFL, Blue Bombers at Stampeders, Saturday, TSN: 884,000
3. CFL, Lions at Eskimos, Friday, TSN: 801,000
4. MLB, Indians at Blue Jays, Sunday, Sportsnet: 573,000
5. MLB, Indians at Blue Jays, Saturday, Sportsnet: 526,000
6. Auto racing, NASCAR Pennsylvania 500, Sunday, TSN: 429,000
7. MLB, Indians at Blue Jays, Friday, Sportsnet: 412,000*
8. Auto racing, F1 Hungarian Grand Prix, Sunday, TSN: 336,000
9. Track and field, Canadian championships, Saturday, CBC: 197,000
10. Extreme sports, Summer X-games, Sunday, TSN: 196,000
11. CFL, Pre-game show, Friday, TSN: 157,000
12. Athletics, ITU Triathlon, Saturday, CBC: 145,000
* 3 channels only