Security Officers Ensure A Safe Experience for Fans and Players

“We’re really more about fan experience sometimes than security,” Director of Security Richard Bower. Thousands of people have travelled to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden over the past two weeks to watch some of the greatest tennis stars of today in action, but the annual tennis tournament wouldn’t be possible without the security officers ensuring the safety of tennis players, spectators, and the public. “I work in an industry where we think about all the bad things that could happen,” said Security Manager David Sawler. “All of these bad things can happen, so we plan for that so we don’t have to think about that day to day, we can enjoy the event.” Tennis tournaments haven’t always required heavy security. The BNP Paribas Open, formerly called the Newsweek Champions Cup, was one of the only tennis tournaments to have security for players during tournaments in the early 90s. “I actually had people on court for on-court security at that time,” said Bower. Around the world, fans were able to personally interact with players on the tennis courts- until April of 1993. “A couple years later,…

The “Invisible” Tennis Assistants at the BNP Paribas Open

If you’ve attended the BNP Paribas Open, then it’s likely you’ve noticed those few lucky people who get to interact with the players on the court, and sometimes steal the spotlight. “You love to watch the players, but as soon as that play is over, you love to watch the ball kids, and see how they are so light on their feet and work together as a team,” said Patti Werry, Ball Kid Coordinator. “It’s like poetry in motion.” Thousands flock to Indian Wells Tennis Garden each year to watch the greatest tennis players of today compete head to head. They also look forward to the game within the game, as they watch the ball kids tucked away in each corner of the court effortlessly retrieve and feed tennis balls to players and one another without uttering a word. “It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life,” Sebastian Bascus, a ball kid from Lima, Peru. “I took a plane and flew 9 hours to get here and I’m living my dreams.” Youth from all over the country and the world sign up…

Ultimate Tennis Showdown Plans to Attract Younger Fanbase

Patrick Mouratoglou, famously known as Serena Williams’ coach, cares about tennis, and he is trying to recruit a new generation of fans. “I just looked at the demographics and I realized that the tennis fans are getting older every year which is not great for the future. We have to be able to, as a sport, bring new fans on board and bring young fans.” Mouratoglou explains that tennis fans love the format the way it is, but due to the slow nature of the game, the current consumer may not want to buy into it. “The use of the consumer has changed. They watch things that are short, that are very dynamic with no downtime. That is also very immersive very authentic, and tennis doesn’t tick those boxes.” Ultimate Tennis Showdown Winners 2020 Incoming Mouratoglou’s brainchild, Ultimate Tennis Showdown, plans to coexist with the ATP, as a separate league. “My idea was to say okay, let’s keep tennis the way it is because it’s amazing. But let’s create another league and have those two leagues next to each other, one classic league and for…

Cathedral City Lions’ Frankie Valentino Leads the Nation in Receiving Touchdowns

Frankie Valentino is a Senior Wide Receiver at Cathedral City high school. He is an integral part of the Lions’ success this season, and not only is he a leader on the field, he also leads the nation in stats. Just seven games into this football season, Valentino is co-leading the country with 20 receiving touchdowns. He shares this stat with Luke Livingston, a sophomore receiver from Utah. Frankie Valentino, Senior WR Cathedral City HS When Valentino first heard the news, he was excited, to say the least. “My coach just texted me like, ‘yo, you know you’re leading the nation right now?’ At first, I was just like, mixed emotions but to know that there are thousands of kids playing every night and that I’m leading with all those kids that are out there going D1 and all those top ballers, it’s cool.” What has helped Valentino’s success is, of course, his quarterback, senior O’Shea Wallace. Valentino says that their great chemistry on the field is a result of their friendship off the field. “Our bond on the field comes from our bond off the…

EXCLUSIVE Interview with Billie Jean King, Tennis Legend & Women’s Sports Advocate

It all started with $1 and a dream. In 1970, nine women led by Billie Jean King risked their entire careers for the future of women’s professional tennis. “The reason we signed the $1 contract was for three things,” says two-time International Tennis Hall of Famer, Billie Jean King, “that any girl born in this world, if she’s good enough would have a place to compete, to be appreciated for our accomplishments, not only our looks, and number three, which is the most important thing – was to make a living because we knew what the potential could be. And now, of course, you see people winning, the US Opens at 2.2 or 3.2 million. Women’s tennis is living our dream.” Thanks to the Original Nine, not only do women have a fair opportunity to compete, but now they’re also gaining popularity at the major tournaments, as King explains. “We got the best ratings with US Open, much better than any ratings of all four majors, not the men, the women did.” During and after her professional tennis career, Billie Jean King pushed for women’s…