ROLLOUT: WPRO Athletes Nail Public Relations

Written by Kimberly MacArthur Graham on March 13, 2012

Kimberly, Rhonda & Bonnie

This past weekend, I did something my racquetball-loving husband has been asking me to do for years – I was a tournament groupie. He’s a sponsored and ranked A-level player, and this sport is his (healthy) obsession. Me, I’ve gotten on a court a couple of times, but have never considered cheating on my distance running.

Well, recently Layer Cake helped promote the Mile High Pro / Am Racquetball Tournament, a stop on the women’s pro tour organized by (pro) Debbie Beldring of the Denver Athletic Club. The four-day tournament was a huge draw for amateurs, but the real stars were the ladies of the WPRO (Women’s Professional Racquetball Organization). Insanely talented and fully passionate about their sport, they blew apart my “pro athlete” bias by also being down-to-earth, gracious to everyone from refs to reporters (even the ones who got something wrong), and genuinely appreciative of all their fans.  They thanked their sponsors at every opportunity and made an extra effort to spend time with those who attended.  As a marketer, I couldn’t help but notice.  Perhaps in addition to racquetball skills clinics, they should offer lessons in public relations!

Let me illustrate the effect the WPROs had on me.  On Thursday, I stopped by “just to introduce myself.” A couple hours went by real fast, and over the next 3 days, I hung around for hours at a time – Friday night (!), Saturday night (!!), even rearranging my sacred Sunday morning run (!!!) to attend the finals, a killer match between Rhonda Rajsich and Paolo Longoria.  I was a junkie, a groupie gleefully experiencing something that heretofore I’d described only in the abstract. I have long told non-profit clients, “Make your supporters come back and bring friends by making them feel special, like they have a backstage pass to a sold-out show.”  Now I know just how well – and fast – that works.

 

We (heart) the WPRO and are crossing fingers that Denver and the DAC will become a regular stop on the tour.

Next time, maybe I’ll even venture back on the court!

Note:  A “rollout” is racquetball’s perfect shot, played so low to the ground that it rolls out from the wall. It is virtually impossible to return.

 

 

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Layer Cake Creative is a strategic marketing agency specializing in communications, design, publicity and online marketing that enrich your brand and support your strategic and sales goals.  This Denver marketing firm specializes in promoting professional services such as architecture, construction, engineering, law, finance, and real estate.

Kimberly MacArthur Graham, founder of Layer Cake Creative, is an expert in professional services marketing with 20+ years in the design and building industry.  She’s especially proficient in marketing communications including technical or creative writing and editing, articles submitted for publication, and brand messaging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses to “ROLLOUT: WPRO Athletes Nail Public Relations”

  1. Gigi Rock says:

    Thank you Kimberly, we had a great time with everyone there in Denver and I am so glad you turned into a junkie/groupie for the WPRO. We too are looking forward to the Mile High becoming a regular tour stop.

  2. Andy Kulback says:

    Kimberly,

    Thanks for the great blog post on the event in Denver. The WPRO truly enjoyed the event and appreciates all of the hard work from Debbie, her staff and all of her sponsors (including Layer Cake). We are looking forward to coming back next year.

    Andy

  3. Cindy Tilbury says:

    Kimberly! What a fantastic blog entry!! It is so wonderful when a non-racquetball-obsessed person starts to understand how we obsessed players have not been able to get enough watching and playing for 30+ years. The men professionals are equally accessible and exciting. I have moved from Denver to Malibu, but continue to keep in the loop with Colorado racquetball. If you have any suggestions for the Los Angeles racquetball tournament PR people to try, please email me, as we have a few pro stops here each year, and the amateur nationals will be here in May. Thanks again for this great post! Cindy

  4. T. J. Baumbaugh says:

    What a great article! Thank you so much for your support of the WPRO and the Denver Tournament.

    T. J. Baumbaugh
    WPRO Tour Player

  5. Hello there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your
    articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Many thanks!

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