I did a very successful double negative once. Tennis was exploding. I had just been with Wilson Sporting for a few months, and imprinted “Wilson, we’re not number one for nothing” on several thousand tee shirts and handed them out to all the top junior tennis players in the country. The kids loved it. English teachers hated it. The Senior VP of Wilson called me into his office in Chicago for, as his secretary said, a scolding.
Boy, did he floor me. He told me he had a flight to catch and then said, trying to make a point, “we ain’t in the tee shirt business.’ I said, “Ain’t in the tee shirt business ….. FOR Nothing”.
He looked at me and asked, “Can you join me on my flight to LA? We will book you a first class return.” That flight led to the ability for our department to loosen up the tie in how we represented Wilson to the growing tennis community.
Now I find myself at another important cross roads of a booming sport. We are trying to encourage investors to build indoor centers for pickleball, because we bring what they need, consumers to eat their food, drink their beer, or work out in their gym.
Or what about a hospital? They walk around talking the talk about the importance of exercise, and then build a center for those that don’t. What’s wrong with being pro-active on this health thing?
We “Get no respect” from these large organizations, nor do they seem to understand the difference between pickle and matchsticks. Why are they the curious in curiosity? Recently we were told by a leading local organization, after years of attempting to make an appointment, that pickleball is a fad like aerobics. Are you kidding me? Are we going to take that? I’m not!
Meanwhile, we have many members of our community who have faced death, who survived, who climbed back up that hill called pain, and now play pickleball at an amazing level. I decided to create a Cardiac versus Cancer Survivor Team Pickleball Competition to honor these players to be held June 28 in Northside Park, Ocean City. Captains of the Coastal Communities Pickleball League stepped forward to help as has First State Pickleball Club.
To promote the event, we plan on a FUN and Fund Raiser at Big Chill Beach Club on Thursday June 6 from 4 to 6 pm. But besides generating money for the winning team to give to their charity, I felt this was a great opportunity for the entire pickleball Community to flex their collective muscle. I want everyone to bring their paddle for the photo opportunity of showing what happens when you invite the pickleball community to a party. After all, we are the Poster Kids of Retirement Living.
When Kathy Casey asked me about the possibility of having too many people attending the event on June 6 event, I responded: “Well, they have the beach where they can run wind sprints and do calisthenics while they wait to get in. After all, Cardiac or Cancer gets a dollar for every Crooked Hammock beer they consume at the Big Chill Beach Club.”
Folks, this might just be the one evening you don’t want to miss.
Big Chill Beach Club is located on the south side of Indian River Inlet, between the bridge and the Atlantic Ocean on the beach.