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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Federer’

John McEnroe Holds Court on Past Playing Controversies and Time Broadcasting

As a tennis champion renowned for disputing line calls, John McEnroe also draws a sharp line between his time playing and commentating. “I’ve been broadcasting now for 20 years and haven’t used a bad word yet in the booth. But it was harder to control myself on the court.”

McEnroe looks back fondly on his playing days, recalling his rivals’ colorful personalities and varied playing styles. He preferred having fewer on-court rules and the freedom of not touring with a big entourage as players do now. He’s come to terms with his former bad-boy reputation, but his biggest regret isn’t his tirades, it’s not learning another language. And don’t even get him started on his career commentating: he loves it, immersing himself in the game of tennis and in the players’ highs and lows.

McEnroe discussed a range of tennis topics at a TimesTalks event with New York Times sports editor Jason Stallman on Tuesday. They also showed the audience an amusing video of “Johnny Mac” in his heyday, with his trademark headband and curly hair, berating the umpires.

Below are selected interview highlights and comments from McEnroe.

Playing experience: McEnroe’s line call challenges may have sparked criticism, but he had a good eye, and his actions may have eventually led to the player challenge system in place now. But even though fellow tennis star Arthur Ashe used to tell him, “All the calls would even out”, McEnroe clearly didn’t subscribe to that notion:

“I did a terrible job of composing myself. I was a spoiled brat from Long Island who benefitted from the energy of New York. I got a lot of publicity but it steamrolled. Event organizers weren’t used to that kind of behavior, so later they tightened the rules. Sometimes my negativity worked to my advantage, and early in my career it got me going. But you need to understand that you’re not just fighting opponents, you’re also fighting yourself.”

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Monte Carlo Marks a Major Milestone

“Gambling makes life more intense” — and it also made life a lot more prosperous for Monaco. The quote was from a docudrama about the petite principality and the building of a casino in Monte Carlo 150 years ago. The medieval town and surrounding area was impoverished before Prince Charles III of Monaco decided gambling was their best economic bet. The name Monte Carlo, or Mount Charles, reflects the elevated terrain and the proximity to Italy.

Monaco launched a year-long celebration for its monumental anniversary, with events at home and abroad. “Monte Carlo is the epitome of luxury. It’s known for style, sophistication and architecture, and many architects have left their footprints on Monte Carlo”, said Maguy Maccario Doyle, consul general and director of the Monaco Government Tourist Office. She spoke at a Wednesday event at the French Institute/Alliance Francaise (FIAF) in New York.

The Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM) commissioned documentary photographer Gabriele Basilico to convey Monte Carlo in a series of black and white photographs. Those are on display at FIAF through August 23 alongside a wall of colorful Monaco postcards. “The exhibit shows an interesting approach to the principality and the neighborhoods”, noted FIAF’s director of visual arts, Antoine Guerrero.

As an international capital of “sport and spectacle”, Monaco has long attracted high-rollers. Its commemorative programs this year are especially alluring. Last month they turned Casino Square into a tennis court for an exhibition match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In July they’re hosting a concert featuring rock stars like Rihanna and Elton John. An August exhibit at NYC’s Forbes Gallery will feature photos of celebrities who frequent Monte Carlo.

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Djokovic is #1, Now He Wants to Make Marketing Money

For professional athletes, it’s not enough to be on top of your game. You also have to have endorsement deals if you really want to make the big bucks.

Tennis star Novak Djokovic is having a 2011 for the record books, with 59 wins and only two losses going into the U.S. Open, which starts on Monday. Djokovic changed just about everything before going into this year: his diet, his serve, even his publicist. Now he’s the number one seeded player in the American grand slam. But he wants more.

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WTA Campaign Sparks Discussion of How to Market Women’s Sports

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) is drawing attention to its players — top-ranked stars from all over the world who are now also stars of the organization’s marketing campaign. Called “Strong is Beautiful,” the campaign showcases the muscles and tennis prowess of the ladies, but, according to some, also sexes them up. Perhaps a little too much.

TIME magazine quotes a couple of experts and cites some recent campaigns featuring world-class female athletes, making a case that the message speaks more to looks than skill.

At the same time, the article points out that coverage allotted to women’s sports has dropped recently.
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Tennis Players Go Viral

In the spirit of Wimbledon, we’ve got a link here from Mashable to the 20 most shared ads featuring tennis players. So what seems to be working? Roger Federer (he’s in seven), flashing some skill (and a little skin, in the case of Rafael Nadal), and humor. We’ve got one here that pulls all that together into one two-minute package. This Head commercial stars world number two, the gluten-free Novak Djokovic.

Be A Champ. Go Gluten-Free.

In what is perhaps the best promotion for a gluten-free diet, The Wall Street Journal today explains the recent championship run of tennis champ Novak Djokovic by digging in on his new eating habits.

For those who don’t follow tennis (you should!), Djokovic historically has been the “also ran,” frequently losing the big matches to players like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. (His big claim to fame had been an Australian Open win in 2008.) But these days, he’s looking unstoppable with a 37-0 record so far. That’s the best men’s start record in tennis in 25 years.

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Sports Stunts Mix Viral Video With Advertising

This new viral video from Pepsi (h/t to PR Daily) turned up on the Pepsi YouTube channel late last week (it’s already gotten more than 1.5 million views) with an invitation to viewers to check out the Diet Pepsi Facebook page for “more behind the scenes action” from Beckham’s advertising shoot for the soft drink. Clever way to drive traffic. And David Beckham is quoted saying that the stunt was real, so there’s the residual media coverage that also came with the clip.

The video follows in the footsteps of last year’s Gillette viral video starring tennis champ Roger Federer, who, while filming an ad for the company, smashed bottles off of the head of a crew member. Pepsi one-ups Gillette by actually having Beckham drink a Pepsi on-camera.

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