Mexico's Weekend Man
The Federación Mexicana de Raquetbol is is having it's Campeonato Natcional Selectivo De Primera Fuerza, Master Y Juvenil 2014 "Alvaro Beltran". Wait, it's the Selective National Championship First Force Master and Junior 2014 and Alvaro Beltran?
Basically, Mexican Nationals and Junior Nationals being held together I'm translating and that it's honoring Alvaro Beltran. In a Mexican news article that covered the event's press conference, it says the Federación wanted to honor the countries best player ever in Singles and Doubles. And what better way than to honor him in his own house than by adding his name to it. Beltran stated during the press conference that he is happy that the event bears his name and that it gives him great pride. He is hoping to take first place and that playing at home, he hopes to secure support from the fans which will be critical for him when he needs it.
The event, which began it's early rounds yesterday, is being held in Tijuana, Mexico. Some improvement for the tournament that are being touted by the Federación are electronic scoreboards and slow motion review. They stated that they will be broadcasting the event online to the whole world in hopes of spreading the sport.
On the blog, I've often noted just how Mexico builds up it's players and showcases them. Paola's their biggest example but putting Beltran's name on this national event is evident that they believe it's important to highlight their players, while they are still on top of the game with this kind of support. It's a smart play, when you see just how famous Paola is in Mexico. And the whole country knows about racquetball as a pro sport.
I'm not imagining the U.S. organizations will start naming their national events after players on top of the game any time soon. I personally don't think that would work here in the states. I am pretty confident that if the U.S. put racquetball on a national stage, it would spread oversees. But how do you do that? It's an old discussion and feels old to me, having seriously followed the sport for about 3 years now.
I spend a ton of time on this stuff and with my 2 cents, I'd bet on the beautiful portable clear glass court. Obvious? Yes and no. You have to build up dynamic players. Look at the court like a portable studio. Aggregate and edit hyper-fast, exceptional play footage of players. Individually, this would work for the players, because what they do off the court could then be developed with for endorsers, producing new ways for advertisers to get a good ROI, doable because many of the big ones have their own media producing divisions within. Many are separate entities. They will grow the sport as they engage their markets. It's really that open. Just look at the numbers.
I'm glad for Alvaro this weekend. He's a force on the IRT. More than that, he's a genuinely nice guy and deserves it.
Right now, racquetball-wise, Mexico is the place to be.