True North Sports & Entertainment and Tennis Manitoba are taking a page out of the Winnipeg Jets' marketing book as they try to lure the Davis Cup to Winnipeg in February.
They’ve just launched "Advantage Winnipeg," a ticket sale deposit and social media campaign in support of Winnipeg’s bid to host the Canada-Spain tie from Feb. 1-3 at the MTS Centre. The goal is to hit 5,101, or one more ticket than Vancouver could sell at UBC Thunderbird Arena.
Milos Raonic, the highest-ranked Canadian singles player of all time at No. 15, will lead Team Canada, while Rafael Nadal, already one of the greatest players ever and currently No. 4, is expected to lead the Spainards.
This ticket-selling strategy has worked previously, of course, as True North’s "Drive to 13,000" was part of its demonstration to the NHL that Winnipeg would support the reborn Winnipeg Jets.
Bruce Waschuk, president of Tennis Manitoba, said the goal of 5,101 was chosen specifically to be "one more" than what Vancouver could sell.
"With the support Winnipeg has shown in the past, we’d love to go way past that target," he said.
Calgary’s bid proposes to house the tie in the Stampede Corral, which has seating capacity of 6,475.
The "Rally to 5,101" aims to secure enough seat deposits that could guarantee the greatest attendance for a Davis Cup event ever in Canada.
Sports fans can secure their seats with a $25 deposit, which is 100 per cent refundable if Winnipeg fails to land the event.
Deposits can be made with Ticketmaster beginning Thursday morning at 10 a.m. through Monday at 10 p.m.
Winnipeggers are also asked to "like" the bid on Tennis Manitoba’s Facebook page and show their support on Tennis Canada’s Facebook page. (Vancouver’s bid is well ahead with "likes" at 3,700 compared to just 500 for Winnipeg.) Sports fans can also follow developments on Twitter with @WpgDavisCup.