All eyes are on York for the 2003 Rogers AT&T Cup


Above: Ad campaign artwork for the 2003 Rogers AT&T Cup Women’s Tennis Championship at York 

You’ve heard of tennis elbow. Now York has Tennis Eyes – the amusing theme of its involvement in the 2003 Rogers AT&T Cup Women’s Tennis Championship on now at York in the National Tennis Centre until Aug. 17.

Back, forth, back, forth…. Everyone will be “following the bouncing ball” heard in a catchy new 30-second ad as part of the campaign for this prestigious tennis event. (Visit to watch this creative commercial, developed by Toronto-based doug agency.) Even the “eyes” in the ad are glued to the ball being lobbed and bounced on the courts.

And no wonder: Look at the world-class lineup. We’ve got the Belgian pair, Justine Henin-Hardenne (above, left) and Kim Clijsters (above, right), who had a public spat during this year’s French Open final, with Henin-Hardenne capturing her first Grand Slam title. Will they wage war during the York event? Stay tuned!

Other high-profile players include 2002 defending champion Amelie Mauresmo (left) of France, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario (below, left) of Spain.

And York will clearly be part of it all. “The campaign goes into the Tennis Canada event program and into the TV coverage on TSN [The Sports Network],” said Richard Fisher, chief communications officer at York. “The look is carried through, right down to the marquee, booth, printed materials and clothing. The campaign is made for people who love tennis and is designed to positively associate the University with this great annual event.

“The use of the logo and the York red carry the branding message while, at the same time, the idea itself remains fixed on the audience’s love of tennis. As with all good advertising, it’s both single-minded and effective,” added Fisher.

If you are one of the ticket holders, you may visit York’s “tennis village,” bounded by Founders Rd., Ian Macdonald Blvd. and Chimneystack Rd., where there’s a York retail booth with Tennis Eyes T-shirts available (there’s that campaign theme again). And there are freebees, too: York Tennis Eyes tattoos and York publications, such as Profiles and Quick Facts.

York students are out in full force in the village, staffing the retail booth, greeting visitors and distributing York material. They can be recognized at once by their visors and the Tennis Eyes T-shirts.

New national tennis centre construction underway

Next year York will host Rogers AT&T Cup tennis in a brand-new, luxurious, $35-million facility that will feature a stadium seating 12,500 or more, a grandstand court, 12 match-and-practice courts and eight indoor courts for year-round use. The new site, set to open in 2004, will sit on 15 acres of property west of Pond Rd., near Black Creek Pioneer Village. York signed an agreement with Tennis Canada last year for a 49-year lease on the building.  

Gone will be the bleachers and, instead, spectators will be able to relax in comfortable seats with backs, arm rests and drink holders. There will be 6,000 premium seats in the lower bowl and corporate suites overlooking the court, as well as restaurants, retail stores and administrative offices housed in the stadium building. 

Right: Current National Tennis Centre at York’s Keele campus

The women’s tennis championship

The Rogers AT&T Cup Web site says that, since 1892, “the most accomplished women’s tennis players on our planet have showcased their skills on Canadian courts. Only Wimbledon and the US Open have longer histories than the major Canadian stop, which is acknowledged by the tennis world to be one of the best-run tournaments in the world.

“One of the nine Tier I tournaments on the Sanex WTA Tour, the Rogers AT&T Cup offers US$1.325 million in prize money and attracts the stars of women’s tennis. Jennifer Capriati returned for her second consecutive trip to the final but lost to a confident Amelie Mauresmo in 2002. Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Martina Hingis are multiple winners on the champions list of the tournament, which alternates annually between Toronto and Montreal.”

For more information about this event, visit the 2003 Rogers AT&T Cup Web site at