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Cari Buck – Remembers 2015 Roland Garros

Cari Buck is probably glad to be home. Having been in Paris for Roland Garros, she now has an opportunity to actually relax and get back to her Southern California home. During the tournament, the Tennis Channel Manager, Client Services, explained, “I work with our Tennis Industry Relations (TIR) Team. My official title while at Roland Garros was ‘Interview Coordinator’, working with the ITF, ATP, WTA, players, agents, and other media. We have three interview coordinators working on both live tennis and original programming shoots, such as our shows ‘Best of 5’.

Cari-Buck-Photo-Fred-Mullane-_-camerawork-usa“I work on the live side and each day starts with a production meeting… reviewing the day’s plan, from all sides – programming, ad sales, interview requests and production for both our live desk and coverage and our show French Open Tonight.”

Buck has been with the Tennis Channel for more than eight years. “I was working as the National Sales Manager at a fitness company, but knew I needed a change and really wanted to get back into the tennis industry, so I sent my resume and after two interviews was offered a position as an Ad Sales Coordinator, working for Doug Martz, Senior Vice President of Ad Sales,” she recalled. “When I first started, I was in more of an administrative position, working as an assistant, answering phones, booking meetings, preparing proposals, etc.

“After being a National Sales Manager in my former job, many thought I had taken a step back, but I knew there was an opportunity to grow.  I worked hard to take on more and more responsibility and challenges, eventually moving into Ad Sales/Marketing, working with clients and the entire Ad Sales team.  I started working on the Tennis Channel Sweepstakes and taking on Social Media projects and trade shows. As the Manager of Client Services, I now work as a liaison between clients and the Tennis Channel, making sure that they are taken care of, that we have all the assets we need for them in order to execute the Ad Sales deals from the marketing side.  I also work more closely with TIR Department in its dealings with USTA, USPTA, TIA and other industry organizations.”

The Buck name is well known throughout tennis. Jim, her father, was a former USC standout, as a player, who taught at Van Nuys High School, and coached the tennis teams. Over the years, he was a US Junior Davis Cup Team coach and captained a number of the US International Tennis Federation Men’s Senior ITF teams. He has been a long-serving member of the Southern California Tennis Association Board of Directors. His wife, Annette, who is also a loyal Trojan, began working at the SCTA in October of 1985 in Membership Development. She segued into becoming the Director of Adult & Senior Tennis. Given that tennis is part of being a Buck, son, Jim played locally as a junior and is now a distinguished lawyer based on the East Coast. Cari, also spent time competing, and has gone on to expand her tennis resume.

“Outside of the Tennis Channel, I am currently President of the USPTA California Division and a member of Executive Committee of National USPTA,” she said. “I am a USPTA Certified Elite Pro, and I am in my fifth year as a member of the USTA National Wheelchair Tennis Committee, where I have been both Committee Vice-Chair and head of the Marketing sub-committee.”

Over the year the Bucks, who were the SCTA Family of Year in 1985, have devoted themselves to wheelchair tennis. Thanks to their dedication, the game has grown substantially. This spring, Cari Buck received the SCTA Wheelchair Tennis Service Award for 2014. Concluding a listing of her tennis involvements, she added, “I am a member of SCTA Adult and Senior Comp Committee, Chair of Wheelchair Tennis Committee and spent five years as a coach at the ITF/USTA International Junior Wheelchair Tennis Camp.”

Further defining her Roland Garros activities, Buck said, “Once matches begin, we kick into gear – following scores and working with the media center to fulfill interview requests.  After a match finishes, we are given a time for each player we have requested, and then we meet the player and escort them to the interview at either the Tennis Channel live desk or our French Open Tonight set, also called the ‘tree house’.  Once we are on our way, we contact our producer and give them an update that indicates we are ‘walking’ so that everyone will be ready when the player arrives.  We also handle on-court ‘flash’ interviews after matches which can be exciting because the crowd is usually still in the stands cheering, and the player is excited and literally fresh off their win.

“Walking with the players to interviews is always interesting, some are chatty and casual, some are all business, but honestly every player I have ‘walked with’ has been great, especially since sometimes it can be a bit crazy getting through the crowd.  Sometimes we may have just one security escort, other times we may have five or six depending on the player.”

The Tennis Channel has utilized Buck’s talent and personality at the US Open, Indian Wells, Cincinnati and Madrid, as well as in Paris. “My favorite major is, without a doubt, Roland Garros (the French Open)”, she admitted. “The excitement of a Slam, the city of Paris, what more could you want? While things can get crazy for sure, there is always a tradition and intimacy that makes Roland Garros feel so different to me. I also love the rich history of the tournament, and the museum on the site is always a favorite stop for me.”

Mark Winters

Look for a fresh examination of tennis topics at “Mark Thoughts”

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