MONTREAL – Tennis Canada is using high-tech tools to build its audience in cyberspace.
The organization is going full-tilt on the social media front at the Rogers Cup, reaching out via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Youtube. The aim is to promote the game by connecting Canadian stars with their fans, says Melissa Boyd, Tennis Canada's social media coordinator.
"We want to build a community of fans and tennis players," Boyd tells QMI Agency. "They're already commenting on matches and asking question on Facebook and we're answering back."
All of Tennis Canada's social media platforms are interconnected. Any photos posted to FlickR are automatically streamed to Facebook and can also be posted to Twitter.
Videos of Rogers Cup matches are doubled-posted to Youtube and Facebook, where they have been viewed thousands of times. All of the services will continue year round.
"The community keeps growing and we're getting more and more people interested in tennis," says Boyd.
Tennis Canada isn't stopping at social media. It has launched a new website (lovemeansnothing.ca) that offers blogs, discussions boards and instructional videos.
Most of Canada's top players have bought in, providing travelogues and other tidbits about their tennis experiences.
Fans can also submit questions to their favourite players.
Now if only Tennis Canada could persuade players to tweet about tennis.
Americans Andy Roddick and Serena Williams are fervent users of Twitter but Boyd says it's been a harder sell on this side of the border.
"We want our players to sign up with Twitter and to be as active as Roddick and Williams," she says. "We're trying to convince Aleksandra Wozniak or
Stephanie Dubois ... but they're a bit hesitant. It's a work in progress."