Hello everybody and welcome back to The Baseline! At the same time that we’re working on the upcoming Tennis Manager 2022, we’re doing so many other things on the side. Among the most important tasks for yours truly and the marketing team is, with my colleague Vincent, to contact real-life tennis players for their interest in participating.
Often it’s on the most basic of platforms that we make first contact.
All Players Big and Small
Unlike other simulation games focusing on the onlycharismatic world top 20, our philosophy and DNA at Tennis Manager is to 1/ highlight males & females together and 2/ give a name to the entire Tour members whatever their age, ranking, nationality. 3/ Because of the nature of the game, “wonderkids” (kids under 21 with potential to become top 50 shortly) are of course among our main targets. Unlike other simulation games focusing on the only charismatic world Top 20, our philosophy and DNA at tennis Manager is to highlight: males & females (contrary to Football Manager e.g.) and unknown players & future top talents.
Every player, especially lower profiles are offered a unique opportunity to be discovered. Who wouldn't like to have his / her own avatar in a video game ? We know they very much like being played by all of you and sometimes showcased in front of tens of thousands of viewers during Twitch streams with great stories to tell. Remember the popular French streamer Domingo playing the young virtual Clara Burel in front of thousands ofviewers, with Clara (the real player) finally being invited in the live…! That is the kind of stories we want to write with you.
That is why, for each edition, one of the biggest tasks of the marketing team is to get in contact directly with players in the ATP, WTA, and junior leagues, to see if they would be interested in joining in on the venture. Let’s mention that we are the first realistic content to create such union between female and male circuits, juniors and professionals. 5000 players! That number we re trying to approach individually. As strange as it sounds, tennis is the only of the major sport not having such organization that represents all the players under one same umbrella that we could discuss with !
With Tennis Manager we’re aiming for the highest level of realism, and as a result, and thanks to your support and the word of mouth, it is no longer few hundreds players but thousands of them who will fill our data base. It is for this reason that it can be a bit daunting to have a strategy where we contact players directly. Vincent and I tackle active players on Instagram, such as Illya Marchenko and Tamara Korpatsch, who we chat to when we need their permission for any appearances. It's funny that the players are always very lovely and communicative with us, and I admit there is something eternally cool about chatting with real athletes and celebrities!
But this year, because the game becomes famous, we are also beginning to receive incoming calls from players which is great sign. We are going in the right direction.
Augustin, Rebound’s founder, chats to tennis associations, agents and families of the highest-ranked players, to get the best celebrity talent possible. As an experienced professional in the sector, dealing with some of the greatest sports organizations and brands, and some of the highest sports profiles including RF, Nadal, Agassi, Mc Enroe, to name a few, he has been able to bring top charismatic talents such as Serena Williams, Gael Monfils, Lorenzo Musetti (youngest male ATP player in the top 100 in 2021), Holger Rune (last world number 1 junior and top 100 at 18 years old). These players are great help for our game’s notoriety. We cannot thank them enough for supporting our indie project.
Under the Surface: More Realism
It’s not just about their appearance, either. With our striving for realism, we also make sure that the best and worst aspects of the players’ play styles are represented in the game. If that player is a god on clay, we make sure to reflect that in Tennis Manager. If they are very poor at the baseline, we make sure that when the TM community go against them, they have a clear idea where their strengths and weaknesses lie. That is the reason why, in spite of the best efforts of our TM Scouts and the Rebound team, we still get direct feedback from the players about their best and worst traits.
This can change year on year, so it’s also necessary that we keep it as up-to-date as possible for each new opus of the game. This is also where the direct communication comes in handy: it gives us a chance for the player (or their team) to open up to us honestly about their different characteristics as a player – not in any mean sense, but so that their 3D avatar can best represent them on the virtual court.
Right now as you read this, the marketing team are working hard to get as many players interested as possible in participating. If you know any players, or are a player yourself reading this, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There you can directly get in touch with our team as we prepare the new roster for TM22!
Looking forward to hearing from all of you out there. Until next week! --- Jeremy