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Blazing a Path at the Inaugural ATX Open

I love a good challenge, a chance to set the bar, and the thrill of something new. When the team at the ATX Open hired HolterMedia to handle the digital marketing and media relations for the inaugural tournament - I felt a rush of excitement.

We got to set the tone, blaze our own path, and grow with so many people. The world of unknowns excited me. The HolterMedia team got to work creating plans, graphics, captions, reaching out to local and national media outlets, and creating partnerships with a slew of people in the community.

In the months leading up to the tournament, our team worked with teams at Obviouslee, Visit Austin, and Avance Media, and our photography team to create a strategic plan to sell tickets, grow our follower base, and sell sponsorships.

Then came event time.

Pete and Rachel touched down in Austin, grabbed a cup of coffee, and headed to the only host of the first ever ATX Open - Westwood Country Club.

Since this was the first ever event, everything was historical. The draw, the seeds, the moments, the winner, everything. To celebrate, the tournament hosted a Draw Ceremony. Kondo Simfukwe, our tournament emcee, hosted the event, surrounded by members of Westwood, tournament employees, and select WTA players. The excitement surrounding the week ahead was buzzing. The chips were pulled, the match ups were made, and the week was set. Let’s get it started.

The week couldn’t have had a better match for weather. Perfect sunny skies and 70 degree Texas-in-February temps. I spent the first few days of the tournament assisting with media day acting as a liaison between the WTA and the tournament’s media team. I took behind-the-scenes video and photos of the interviews while also catching qualifying action on the courts. I updated our fans with some behind-the-scenes videos and photos of the matches, fun events happening on the grounds, and interspersing the feed with select strategic sponsored posts.

The rest of the week went along just like that, asking our team for any edits to videos or additional photos needed on the fly from our highly-thought out photo request list. I often took walks around the grounds capturing photos and videos of fans having a blast, kids getting autographs from their favorite players, and sometimes getting my own glimpse of the action on the courts.

Each day I updated fans on tournament social platforms with upcoming matches, clips of big plays, final scores, and anything off-the-cuff that happened, sprinkled in some killer shots from our photog team, and checked off our sponsored deliverables that needed to be posted. I also worked with the WTA team to gather full match melts from the broadcast to keep for archiving purposes.

Then championship Sunday arrived. The feeling of a great week behind us but a big stage to show to the world ahead of us gave us all an extra jolt of energy. We were ready to show the world all of our hard work, crown a few champions, and make history. The staff was giddy with excitement, the weather was perfect, and the fans were excited.

The matches got underway. We crowned Marta Kostyuk her first ever WTA title. Then in doubles Erin Routliffe and Aldila Sutjiad took home their first title together. Coincidence all of our champions had “firsts”?! After the ceremonies were over, the breakdown started. Champagne was poured and thank you’s & special shoutouts spread from teammate to teammate. Final photos were taken. Hugs were had. And a job well done. The week was finished but the work would never stop. We turn our sights to year two with the ATX Open.

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