Sunday, May 15, 2011

Strong is Beautiful

The New York Times has written a story about a new advertising campaign for the Women's Tennis Association.

One of the reasons that I've been intrigued by pro women triathletes, which lead me to write Sub Nine: History's Fastest Ironwomen, is how wide a gap there sometime seems to be between athletes and race organizers.

Not all organizers are in the same box yet I still think pro athletes - both men and women - could be far better utilized in helping to promote individual races and the sport in general.

It will take the initiative of a group of athletes - and will require the leadership of some of the elite of the elite. And there will be some disagreement in term of style and approach at some point.

There needs to be a starting point and a simple common objective and organizers at all levels should be eager to buy into it.

This is how the WTA describes itself:

The WTA is the world's leading professional sport for women with over 2,200 players representing 96 nations competing for over $86 million in prize money at 53 events and four Grand Slams in 33 countries. More than 4.8 million people attended women's tennis events in 2008 with millions more watching events on television networks around the world.

Two thousand and two hundred players.

Of course, it had a more humble start. Billie Jean King and eight other 'renegades' had a vision for a better future for women's tennis when they decided to work together in 1970.

Among the work that the WTA does today is 'Player Development', which runs the gamut from a mentor program tapping the experience of veteran and retired players for rookies to media training to education for a player's support team.

The WTA also offers help when players transition out of tennis.

According to the WTA, the player development work has reduced the percentage of athletes who drop out of the sport at a young age to 1 per cent. The work also has extended the average career of an athlete.

The NYT story - Watch as she gracefully knocks the fuzz off the tennis ball - looks at the new 'Strong is Beautiful' ad campaign.

In the May 11 story, the WTA's chief says the objective is to convert peripheral fans into diehard ones by having the players talk about their backgrounds, aspirations and drive.

I'd like to think that the profiles in Sub Nine: History's Fastest Ironwomen help break down some barriers too. It will require a lot more than one book.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kona pro rankings

Early season rankings can be found here: Kona 2011

The top 50 male and top 30 female pros at the end of each qualifying year will get starting spots.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kindle Edition available

The Kindle edition of the book is now available.

Click on this link to take you to the Kindle store.

You can also purchase the paperback edition again now too.