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Here at Beyond the Baselines we’re excited to catch up with the co-founder and publisher of Racquet Magazine, Caitlin Thompson, for our latest podcast.
Caitlin offers wise and salient observations on the state of tennis, both on the court and in the media, just as getting on the court and socializing with like-minded friends remains as important to Caitlin as is scheduling a business meeting in an office, In fact, she seems to enjoy the court more as an office!
A former Division 1 player at Mizzou, Caitlin’s media career has included time at the The Washington Post, Time Magazine, and The New York Times before Racquet exploded onto the scene in 2016. This boutique magazine aimed at an aspirational leadership embraces yesterday’s culture and moves forward to attract new and returning tennis fans. The roots of Racquet? Nostalgia for tennis’s past culture with a flair toward the future. Caitlin was keen to revive an image of tennis that is more approachable and immersed in culture. We recall a heady blend of nostalgia and style that was both wild and exciting which in turn has become a celebration and homage to the stylish days of tennis in the ’70s and ’80s. Racquet Magazine recalls the characters, flair and style that epitomizes the golden age and ethos of the sport.
Tennis, Twitter, and Time – How Tennis Can and Should Transcend Media and Centuries
In conversation with Ed, Caitlin draws upon a wealth of experience to give us her observations on a variety of eclectic topics: Twitter may be a giant platform for celebrities to air their views, and for fans to respond, but will the social media platform become a dusty relic in a changing, more closely regulated culture within social media? Caitlin is immersed in marketing and publishing and we query with her how important is the written word in a world of brisk social media. On a light-hearted note we talk about those behind the microphones – who holds the microphone today and who should hold it in the future for tennis commentary? Maybe this podcast offers a couple of suggestions for the changing of the guard for the CBS and NBC commentary boxes! JP and Martina watch this space!
We talk about how politics is currently transcending sport and its positive and negative impact on tennis and its image. Outspoken players have existed in the past but new social platforms with outspoken players today might not always be enhancing the image of our sport? Politics influences sport in multi-faceted ways. Maybe the stories that hit the headlines aren’t always properly contextualized and challenged. It’s a discussion that will go on for years, we believe.
Our regular business-sided listeners will be keen to hear Caitlin’s views on the need to attract dynamic investors to the sport and media surrounding the sport as she ponders some of the best kept secrets in NYC – both courtwise and foodwise! courts and an appetite for a narrative and tradition in tennis.
Finally, in whimsical mood we explore a sense that the halcyon days of tennis appeals to a large group of people who remember an era. However do missed opportunities mean tennis has not capitalized on its strengths by adding new fans? In fact could it have marginalized itself through a boring narrative and brand dominance. Caitlin cites NBA vigor while tennis may be seen to suffer from a bland corporate narrative.
Truly a breath of fresh air in a somewhat stagnant post-Covid environment, Caitlin continues to create a space that invites exciting, influential and vibrant personalities in to the world of tennis. Tune in to the podcast to find out even more!