Racquetball remains busy this summer, people playing and a lot of tour related stuff being set up for the upcoming season.
Actively following a long, I know USA Racquetball just sent a group of young players to the 2014 Pan American Sports Festival, an event, that as far as I can gather, is a lead up event to next year's Pan Am Games in Toronto. The US showed strong results, but I'm not quite sure this team will lead up the USAR come next summer. I do know, there is something to having a cohesive group with defined purpose at events. There is power in that. (You can get a break down in action from The Racquetball Blog and find out more about the team from the USAR site.)
On the pro front: Next week is the 2014 Torneo Grand Slam De Racquetball, being held in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Biggest purse to date. It seems almost surreal from here. "The Paola Longoria Experience"
And as I caught this photo, my thoughts went to a couple of things. The first thought was a continuation of what I've been taking in for some time now... how Mexico has latched on to their World Number 1 player in such a big way. The second is a more subtle thought, that came through the communication of what I see. It translates in my mind this way: Come see Paola dominate. I don't see the LPRT anywhere in the press conference shot, although I'm sure she mentioned the tour during her talk back to the Mexican press. (And it may be somewhere on the backdrop poster.)
Is there a way for the LPRT to manage their image, outside of Paola, in Mexico? What subtleties are being picked up by racquetball fans outside of Mexico? Will the tour learn to harness Paola to raise sponsorship the way Paola has harnessed the LPRT and others to smartly raise her cache?