SBD/Issue 115/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Artois Championships Introduces Bi-Weekly Podcasts

Artois Championships Offering Bi-
Weekly Podcasts Ahead Of Tournament
The Artois Championships tennis tournament is producing a bi-weekly podcast in the months leading up to the event at the Queen’s Club in London beginning June 11. The podcasts feature information on the tournament, player interviews and a segment called “Commissioner McEnroe,” in which John McEnroe details his ten-point plan to change the game of tennis.

EVENT CHANGES: In the first podcast, Artois Championships Communications Dir Jolyon Armstrong discussed the decision by event sponsor InBev to drop the “Stella” brand from the tournament’s name. He said the company is seeking to integrate two new beers under the Artois moniker, and “as owners of the event, we’re bringing the event in line with the brand.” ATP Chair & CEO Etienne de Villiers said InBev “has been innovative in the way in which they’ve positioned their brand with this tournament [and] the way they have associated in a very unitary and unifying way the brand of this event.” Other changes to the event include the addition of 400 center-court seats and the introduction of the Hawk-Eye replay system, which will be making its first appearance at a grass court tournament. de Villiers: “Unquestionably Hawk-Eye has been a great success with fans and players. ... I’ll be really, really curious to see how successful it is on grass; it’s technologically more difficult to do.”

THE COMMISH: In the first part of his ten-point plan to improve the game of tennis, McEnroe discussed altering the schedule. McEnroe suggested an “eight- or maximum nine-month schedule,” and under his plan, there would be “no tennis whatsoever” in November, December and January. He also said he would institute a clay court season in February as a “buildup to the Australian Open,” which would be held in March. McEnroe also advocated “another week or two” in between the French Open and Wimbledon to allow for an “adequate grass court season, so that there would be even better quality on the grass courts at Wimbledon.”

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