Big Changes at On The Baseline Tennis News
Five years ago, on a whim, I launched a little website for fun about my favorite sport, women’s tennis. For those of you who have been with On the Baseline from the beginning, you can attest to how far we’ve come from the early days! Sitting on a tiny domain with a handful of visitors a day, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what the future would hold for OTB. Thanks to the tireless work of dozens of people over the years and the support of thousands of loyal readers, OTB has developed from a little online journal into one of the premier women’s only tennis websites in the world.
To say that it has been an epic journey would be an understatement. What started off as a fun hobby turned into one of the most valuable learning experiences of my life. I’ve had a front row seat to watching tennis history, while learning every day about new and exciting advances in online communication and social media. Above all, I’ve learned that although wins and losses are vital, there really is much more to life.
OTB was one of the first media outlets to embrace Twitter as a means of reaching a wider audience. Our balanced, but no-nonsense journalistic approach reaped mentions in some of the leading media outlets in the world, including The NY Times and Reuters. Microsoft spent twelve months profiling the early testing of Office 2010 in our day-to-day business routines and then featured OTB in its landmark $80-million dollar advertising campaign. Through the years, we’ve had the pleasure of bringing live coverage from many of the biggest tournaments in the world.
The past five years have been a dream come true. The relationships I’ve made, the experiences I’ve had, the struggles and rewards are memories that I’ll cherish for years.
Effective November 1, 2010, On the Baseline Tennis News came under new ownership and management. I will be stepping back from tennis to expand a few personal horizons and further my work with DuoParadigms Public Relations & Design, Inc, a public relations and design company dedicated to helping Christian businesses and organizations broaden their reach in the world of online media.
Selling On the Baseline was a decision that I did not make lightly. It wasn’t a hasty decision, but one which I felt needed to be made as above all, OTB’s readers deserved the most dedicated leadership and management possible. Equally as important, I knew that OTB needed just the right buyer who could see its vision and would be committed to its future.
It is my distinct pleasure to announce that OTB has found just the right man for the job. Like many of you, Justin Pohn is a dedicated tennis fan and truly loves the sport. After seeing first-hand his enthusiasm and vision for the future of On the Baseline, I’m confident that under his new direction, OTB will continue to thrive and reach new heights.
Some things, though, will not change. Many of the writers you’ve grown to enjoy will continue to provide stimulating and challenging discussions. OTB will continue to be a tennis leader in embracing social media and online marketing. Exciting things are coming in the weeks ahead as this year’s edition of the Players to Watch Series is already shaping up to be the best ever! Most of all, the commitment to journalistic integrity and women’s tennis will continue.
To all the readers, players, agents, advertisers, guest writers, tennis industry insiders, and WTA officials I’ve had the privilege of working with through the years, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Without you, none of this would have been possible. I’ve long found myself challenged, inspired, and encouraged by our loyal readers and I can never thank you all enough for your support. Many of you I’ve been privileged to get to know and I look forward to continuing those relationships in the days ahead as friends.
To Justin, thank you for catching the vision of OTB and I wish you the best as you take up this new opportunity. To my family, Melanie Bogner, Larry Walls, Paula Vergara, and Chris Oddo, you have all been such wonderful supporters of OTB and have assisted in countless of ways through the years. Above all, I thank God for the wonderful five years I’ve experienced and the lifelong memories and lessons that I will continue to cherish.
Hello fellow tennis fanatics, let me introduce myself. I’m the new editor of OnTheBaseline.com, professional women’s tennis news from around the world. Tennis has been a part of my life since the age of six. I grew up in Chicago, Illinois and my first brush with tennis was having an opportunity to be a ball boy at the Volvo Men’s tournament, and the original Virginia Slim’s Women’s tournament held in Chicago, IL. That experience got me hooked. I even hit a few balls with John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova during an introductory session. Of course, so did a hundred other 6 year olds, but that didn’t matter. I think I remember passing Johnny Mac, at least that’s the story I’m sticking with.
I’ve played USTA tennis through the years at different levels, including Division I college tennis. Today, I continue to play singles, doubles, and mixed doubles in the USTA leagues and tournaments. I simply love the game, and love being around it.
I know I have large shoes to fill with Aaress moving on to fulfill her career goals. I’m sure she’ll pop in from time to time and be a guest writer, or post some commentary. In the upcoming years ahead, I’m looking forward to bringing you the most up to date, informative news in women’s professional tennis from around the world. I can’t wait to get your feedback on what you want to see and hear about in the world of women’s tennis.
2011 will be a fun year at OnTheBaseline.com. We’ll have more fan and follower interaction than ever. You’ll have many opportunities to win prizes such as tennis equipment, tickets to events, and other gifts. Let me know what you’re most interested in hearing and seeing on the site in the upcoming season. Do you want an expanded tape talk section (instructional guides), or more equipment and clothing reviews? How about expanded live written coverage of events, which ones? Are you interested in more contests with prizes? Or maybe more player interviews and interactions (with who?)
Remember to keep your eyes peeled for the 2011 players to watch series starting December 1st. Also remember to vote for your favorite players in the 2010 end of the year Baseline awards starting December 10th.
Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be patient, I’ll do my best to respond in a timely fashion while I’m getting myself adjusted.