porsche owners get pampered in delray beach + wall art update

Porsche promotion for 2013 Delray Beach ITC

You might as well crowdsource your marketing, right? Porsche hopes to assemble a display of its car catalog during every session of the 2013 Delray Beach ITC by luring Porsche owners with complimentary parking, valet services, and discounted tickets for the ATP Tour event. Curious to see how that will pan out. How many tennis-loving, Porsche-driving Floridians are there? And how many of them love tennis enough that they’d do to theirs what these Rafa lovers did to their Aston Martin?

Sadcakes: We were absolutely crushed to pieces after being told by Delray Beach ITC organizers that they would not be painting aquatic murals on their Stadium Court as they have done in years past. (Browse: the 2008 mural, the 2009 artwork, and again in 2011)

(flyer via Delray Beach ITC)

flashback: loup & the volley girls at the delray itc

Loup’s lady, Danielle Ribner, chic in the middle of a VolleyGirl sandwich. VolleyGirls wearing the classy 2 Layer black dress.

Tee-time: Loup-sponsored player Sydni Katz looking (and throwing) good in a pale Army green gathered skirt dress. Buy: $95 online

[Read more…]

loup gives VolleyGirls a new look

The VolleyGirls of the Delray Beach ITC have become a staple of the SoFla event. TSF nabbed designer Danielle Ribner of Loup, to chat about the NYC-based chic clothing co dressing the ladies this year. -NM

TSF: Tell us about the partnership between Loup and the Delray Beach tourney? How did it come about? Danielle Ribner, Loup: The director of the Volley Girls at the Delray Beach ITC contacted me a while ago to ask if Loup would consider sponsoring the girls and dressing them for events during and leading up to the tournament. They seemed to really support independent designers and partneringwith up and comers which seemed ideal to me.

TSF: What are the Volley Girls? What are their history?
DR: The VolleyGirls are a team of about 15 women, some of them professional dancers, that promote and energize the tournament.They’ve been around since 2007 and every year they seem to get more popular.

TSF: When you went about this project, how did you pick the right clothes for the girls to wear? Especially thinking about Delray and the flavor/ style of the tournament.
DR: I wanted to make sure the girls had outfits that would stand out, but also feel very relaxed and stylish. Instead of looking like uniforms, I wanted to give them clothes that made them feel like cool girls hanging around the tournament so that their personality could shine through.

TSF Vault: Loup’s always turning our  head

TSF: When you look at a tournament like Delray Beach, do you get excited about the partnerships and the way that tennis can branch out from mainstream traditions?
DR: Yes, definitely! I love that this tournament feels like it’s taken its own path and makes sure to involve the community as much as possible. As a smaller company, it’s important to maintain our identity as we evolve, and I think the Delray Beach ITC believes in that too. | More VolleyGirls pics

More of Danielle (and Loup) after the cut. [Read more…]

he said, he said: delray tourney director & andre agassi

Above, a previously unshared photo of Douglas Hoekzema‘s work at the Delray Beach ITC. Check out that wall, y’all. (photo by Peter Vahan via primaryflight.com)

“We do this to embrace community and show off the talent this town has. It’s the smallest city of any on the ATP Tour, but has the most flavor block for block for sure. It’s all about creating a lasting positive memory that people can leave with whether they’re a core tennis fan or someone seeing our space and athletes for the first time. Amazing art, VolleyGirls, killer local bands, on-court seats, convertible Porsches on-court that fans watch matches in… it’s all groovy at ‘the beach.'” -John Butler, Executive Director of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships

Agassi arrives yesterday in DC to shoot a USTA promo with First Lady Michelle Obama. (Max Blodgett)

Andre Agassi today gave a teleconference in preparation for the BNP Paribas Showdown. When asked about Pete Sampras and the two stars’ awkward moment at last year’s Hit for Haiti, Andre had this to say: “Our relationship is strictly platonic, I’ll say that.” [Laughter] “Hit for Haiti was an unfortunate night that was of my doing. I had a microphone at my mouth for too long… I just called him and apologized. No one regretted it more than me.”

trophy watch: surf, sand, and sun

In Acapulco, both Nicolas Almagro and Flavia Pennetta made it to the finals — like they did last year, but only one of them defended their title.

Almagro upset Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 — revenge from their heated third-round Australian Open match, perhaps? And Pennetta bowed out to Venus Williams in just over an hour. The 6-1, 6-2 win gives Venus her second title in as many weeks.

Fish schools Korolev: The tennis pedigree (he’s Anna Kournikova‘s cousin) didn’t quite help Evgeny Korolev maintain trend at the Delray Beach ITC: up until Mardy Fish‘s 7-5, 6-3 win on Sunday, the tournament’s top seeds had never taken the title.

Last man standing? If Nole didn’t end up bringing home this boat from Dubai, it would’ve been pretty sad. The other top guys — Roger, Rafa, Andys Murray and Roddick — all dropped out for various reasons. Thankfully, he lived up to the challenge and beat David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3.

something’s fishy in delray beach

The inventive folks at Delray Beach ITC are back at it again with additions to the graffiti artwork on their tourney’s show court.

As you may remember, they made a splash at last year’s tournament by painting waves on the court’s back walls.

This time, they’ve brought back artist Doug Hoekzema to embellish the side walls with iconic Florida fish like wahoo and marlin, and extending the “rippling water” effect on the court surface to cover the entire perimeter.

Sugar daddy: It wasn’t too long ago that the fate of this second round of tagging was in question because of the financial crisis. Thankfully, artist William Debilzan swooped in to underwrite the project.

Along with funding the murals, Debilzan, who has galleries in Delray Beach, Laguna Beach, and Santa Fe, will also paint two pieces during the tournament; they’ll be presented to the City of Delray Beach during TV coverage of the semifinals.

Other goods: We’ve also been asked to look out for some new-and-improved Volley Girls (this time dressed in sportier attire, courtesy of the Porsche Design Group). Also, they have a new trophy that, hopefully, will be a fine addition to the TSF Trophy Watch.

Quite a catch: Perrenial “comeback king” Lleyton Hewitt accepted a wild card to the ITC, marking the first time he’s been back to Delray Beach since winning the tournament’s inaugural title in this city back in 1999.

“It’s good to go back to Delray Beach; it’s been a long time since I’ve played there,” said Hewitt, who turns 28 on Tuesday. “The surface has changed as well. I won there on green clay courts, and it’s going to be good to go back and play on hard court. I’m looking forward to it.”

The Australian is currently battling for the Regions Morgan Keegan title in Memphis. He upset third seed James Blake in the first round and compatriot Chris Guccione in the round after. He next faces Belgian Christophe Rochus for a spot in the quarterfinals. Their half of the draw also includes Sam Querrey and top seed (and wildcard) Andy Roddick.

More: See some pics of the artists in action after the cut…

delray beach makes music

Delray Beach ITC Soundtrack

The folks at the Delray Beach ITC have amped up their non-traditional marketing techniques, following up their Volley Girls (no, but thanks) and their backcourt murals (five thumbs up) with the tournament’s first ever soundtrack, entitled “Making a Racquet”.

The album features winners of a Florida artist music search, including the now defunct Coexist Scientist (which again proves that bands I like or want to like are always the ones that break up. Meanwhile, Sean Paul is still making music…), the reggae sounds of The Resolvers, and Jacob Jeffries, who sounds an awful lot like David Gray.

From ITC head honcho John Butler: “We all fell in love with these performers as soon as we heard them. And to have them all together again at one show… What a way to kick-off the holidays.”

Proceeds from the album ($7 apiece) will go to the Milagro Center, an organization that exposes underprivileged kids in Palm Beach County to all forms of art.

And to celebrate the release of this soundtrack, Butler and his camp are throwing a party tonight at 8 pm at City Limits. Beginning tomorrow, twenty retail outlets on Delray Beach’s fabled Atlantic Avenue will take over sales of the CD. This includes shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants that separates ITC’s tennis stadium from the beach.

I’ve been really impressed with the way that this tournament has brought together different parts of the local community in a very grassroots way. Especially now with the economy (and the world) how it is, it’s nice to know that no tournament is an island.

More info: Making A Racquet CD release party, Friday, November 19, 8 pm at City Limits, 19 NE 3rd Ave in Delray Beach. Admission is FREE. For more information call City Limits at (561) 279-8222.