When you hear the title “tournament director”, what does that actually mean? We are going to talk about that and about the technology it takes to stage a large sporting event, and has technology made his job easier or more difficult?
Our special guest. Bob Bryant, Tournament Director of the BB&T Atlanta Open, a 250 level event on the ATP Tour.
Bob spent five years at Turner Broadcasting and the Cartoon Network, as Vice President of Off-Channel Commerce. Bryant managed Cartoon Network Smash Tennis, a program designed with the Tennis Industry Association, USTA and ATP World Tour to promote tennis to kids which included a national television image campaign and an interactive event which appeared around the U.S. and in South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. He also managed Cartoon Network Wacky Racing including primary sponsorship of a NASCAR team, licensing, merchandising, co-sponsorships, on-air and in-store promotions and created the Off-Channel Commerce department. There are about 40 men’s tennis tournaments this size around the world and our guest runs one of them.
Bob, I guess since the BB&T Atlanta Open is less that 3 months away, you guys are probably all ready to go, so you can put your feet up and relax until July 14
1. This is your second year as tournament director and this will be the third different location for the event. Talk about the logistics and such of getting a new location ready and talk a little about this new location, which is actually a shopping mall and a mixed use development
2. In your job you have to deal with players, coaches, media, operations personnel, fans. How do you deal with all those egos?
3. Talk about what is in store for the 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open and anything new fans can expect…
4. Technology-wise what are you most concerned about leading up to, and once the tournament begins?
5. Last year, the BB&T Atlanta Open and all the U.S. Open Series tournaments had Hawk-Eye on the Stadium Court is that the plan again for this year? Or will other courts have Hawk-Eye as well?
6. The Hawk-Eye really seems to work well and everyone is really behind it. Do you think it’s been good for tennis?
7. For a temporary venue like you guys will be using this year at Atlantic Station, how do you go about testing all the “working parts” ie lights, sound system, Hawk_Eye etc?
8. Your team did a great job with the website last year. I’m sure you will be building on that this year, but many events are releasing apps that will enhance the fan’s experience at events.. is there any plans for that this year or in the future?
9. Last year was your first year running this event. What surprised you most, that you didn’t realize coming into the event.
10. The last 2 years the heat was oppressive. Of course this is July in Atlanta. What will you do this year for fans and maybe even the players to combat the heat?
11. The one piece of modern technology you can’t live without in your professional or personal life?