Tennis Panorama News will be covering all of the US Open Series tournaments this summer. We’ll be conducting short Q & A’s with the Tournament Directors of some of the US Open Series tournaments. We are focusing this Approach Shot on the Tournament Director of Washington DC’s Legg Mason Tennis Classic – Jeff Newman.
TPN: What makes the Legg Mason Tennis Classic so special?Â
JN: First off, tennis is very popular in the Washington, DC Area and continuously rates in the top 5 markets of Tennis Channel Broadcasts. Therefore, our fan base is very passionate, knowledgeable and active which provides a great atmosphere during the matches.Â Secondly, the event is positioned strongly both domestically and internationally.Â Â Washington has been recognized by the ATP World Tour as one of the top twenty menâ€™s events in the world through its status as an ATP World Tour 500 event. Therefore, the tournament receives broadcast coverage all over the world. Plus, as a 500 level event our prize money and points offered helps attract a very strong field each year.
Furthermore, the Legg Mason Tennis Classic is part of the prestigious Olympus US Open Series which provides the greatest summertime tv package in sports leading into the US Open.
Thirdly, from a player perspective Washington, DC provides players with a unique experience that very few cities around the world can offer.
Fourth, most events have a beneficiary but it is rare that a tennis tournament is actually owned by and benefits a non-profit. The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation is the owner and beneficiary of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic and therefore we are able to tell our fans and sponsors that they are investing in the future of at-risk youth.Â Â Finally, our event offers a unique setting, on Federal Land in one of the Nationâ€™s most scenic parks, Rock Creek Park
TPN: Do you think that the US Open Series has helped to promote tennis in the US?Â
JN: Absolutely.Â The Series has brought unprecedented tv coverage for 10 summer tournaments, innovations to improve the game and customer experience (i.e. Instant Replay, Blue Courts etc.) and new sponsors/revenue to support the all the tournaments collectively. Â Â In addition, the tournaments have been platforms to promote and expose new youth and diversity programs such as QuickStart tennis and 10 and Under initiatives to grow participation among children.
TPN: How long have you been involved with the tournament and what was the road that led you to become the tournament director?
JN: I started working with our Tournament Chairman Donald Dell with ProServ in 1995 primarily handling tickets and promotions for the Tournament.Â In 1999 I became the Tournament Director. I truly believe that my experience and success in tickets is what helped me to become Tournament Director as it provided me direct consumer interaction which helped me learn what is best for the long term interest and growth of the event.
For more information on the Legg Mason Tennis Classic: http://www.leggmasontennisclassic.com/
Tennis Panorama News will be onsite covering the Legg Mason Tennis Classic later this week.