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  Your cash drawer is best measure of effective ads #EZ.12412 Exp 01-31
If you are not putting more money in your drawer, it makes little difference if you have a great rate or your ads win all kinds of awards.

    EZ Classified Advertizing™, (free or flat fee classified advertising listings) a Nixon Newspapers affiliate 317/844-8189
        160 W Carmel Dr, Carmel IN 46032
            Website:  www.ezclassifiedz.com/classifieds/classified.php?pid=0&cid=101
            Contact:  Willard P. Rohrer, General/Business Manager   Email:  willardrohrer@hotmail.com  
History #RAWKLU.26682 Exp 02-28
Price:  $0.02 / My two cents worth

Activity needs to be fun and much better to be dramatic (under dogs, small (Schools)
One loss and out, increases dramatic
Gender neutral is an advantage
Venue must be interesting and helpful
Weather dependance is a mistake, although indoors isn't as pleasant so compensate
Swag should be the best and newest items useful
Fair competition and ranking is important
Referees or judges is a must or it's just fun
Value for video enjoyment, best to be live
Fill in calendar slow periods or specific (Jan/Feb slow retail days and weather)

                                                 •••••   30   •••••
warm regards......dmn:marilynmonroe

Don M. Nixon II
• Creative Thinking, Inc. - Director of First Impressions
© Nixon Newspapers    - Chief Cheerleader, proofreader
• Once a Singing Hoosier, always a Singing Hoosier
• One Match Tournament™
• The Pickleball Gazette
• US Open Indoor Championships ®
• US Open Sailing Championships™
• USPS Mail: PO Box 341, Carmel IN 46082-0341
• Physical: 160 W Carmel Dr, Carmel IN 46032
Telephone: 317/844-8189 • Cell: 777-4389

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Don M. Nixon II
Date: Wed, Jan 25, 2023 at 5:53 PM
Subject: Fwd: US Open Indoor Championships - and virtually no cost for balls, nets, etc.
To: ,

Confirm receipt.
                                                 •••••   30   •••••
warm regards......dmn:marilynmonroe

Don M. Nixon II
• Creative Thinking, Inc. - Director of First Impressions

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Don M. Nixon II
Date: Mon, Jan 23, 2023 at 5:53 PM
Subject: US Open Indoor Championships - and virtually no cost for balls, nets, etc.
To: rlgore32@gmail.com

Suspect there would be no need for referees or other usual event expenses.

Here's what I sent 5 years ago which I think gives an idea of the basic project for indoor games and how successful pickleball is still expanding. (see below following Sep 2 -- 2016)

The indoor games would be even better because there would never be a rain delay, which would compensate for people preferring outdoor activities.

Attractions for participation
Fun - games are fun and social (gender neutral) and most people have played the games we would offer
There is an energy as people get better and it can be fun for them to test their skills with others that are the same skill level.

Indiana High School single class basketball championship. Every school could participate

The Super Show each year where sporting goods were displayed as I recall in Atlanta and the press was there, famous athletes and every year the new wrinkles with the equipment or clothing and shoes were shown to store owners. **

Participants always want the best equipment, particularly when the newest paddles or racquets or clubs are better. (Competition is an unruly pest but everyone was an advantage or at least not to let an opponent get an advantage) And the press was encouraged so the word was spread to players, venues and other media content.

There is a different kind of tension when there is a season for that activity so each football has 15 games, which is different than baseball with 100, and tennis or golf with only 4 grand slams, and every 4 years for Olympians. Drama is compelling and people want to be close to the action, even better when a part of it.

Offering swag for souvenirs of high quality which can be used when back home and maybe is an advantage in the activity as talents get better and the hardware gets improved.

Recognition and names in the draw sheets or rosters are good to bring back home to remind the fun of that event in the venue and participation.

As I recall, there was a survey of how many men over 60 still had their baseball glove of youth and it was close to 80%. Don't know if Google would have that information.

So the package would provide:
  fair competition, which presumably makes it more fun if you have a chance
  gender neutral, some activities that is more possible than others
  nice place for the venue
  best swag content and useful

Building an audience for the retail stores participating...the indoor calendar window would be January or February when most retail stores are not crowded, which would make it possible to attract participants from the stores and their best customers. And many stores may have an ad budget from vendors for co-op advertising media reimbursement which would be used instead of simply expiring.

Fun activities
Fair competition
Nice venues
Gender neutral (which in pickleball seems to be obvious and somewhat unique)
Something to do in an annual season not much going on, but watching activities indoors on tv
  It would be a good time for the sponsor to consider promoting the specific games people bought over the holidays and maybe have events to select players to represent a store or city...many options during slow news events.

Riding in the Little 500 bicycle race was an annual event at IU. It was in the old Stadium and held 40,000 spectators. At that point the activity was less than 10 years old.

Every rider got a jacket and you could easily see a lot of them wearing it around the campus in March, April and the race was in May. Each Fraternity or housing unit had a co-sponsor for a sorority or housing unit. Another device to make it gender neutral and part of the 40,000.

Sep 2 -- 2016

Here’s what I know - the best events are controlled by the venue which has the best interest of the event’s continued success and dedicated participants who are stakeholders, not necessarily those who bid to pay to sponsor or broadcast/distribute it. The Masters Golf event is an example.

Stakeholders may be persuaded to invest time and funds to keep it unique and valuable. Often the principal stakeholder is led by a visionary who makes decisions in spite of those who are skeptical.

Bill Cook was such a person and his successor, Steve Ferguson, is as well. When I didn’t think I was getting any traction with the folks at French Lick, (not casting any stones, they had no significant incentive to buy my story, particularly when I began tooting the event)

Ultimately, after having planted the seeds, and Chris Tann, the most interested then leaving, I thought of going through the back door with Steve’s right hand. That’s how I got to dealing with Jan. Here is the detail and if there is anything pertinent left out, let me know. I kept trying to build more evidence as time went by they needed to get on the band wagon or they may be left out. Since I only met Steve once, when I was with Jan, I’m not sure that impression was significant for the staff to understand Steve seemed to be in favor of supporting the effort and since that meeting, any smoldering fire embers need to be fanned to make any kind of blaze.

Here’s the history:
French Lick Resort project

I began playing pickleball in Florida with a friend in 2010
In 2011 got the idea for US Open event and met or talked with the following French Lick contacts
Dyan Duncan 2011
Tessa Jones 2013 - Dyan’s asst
2014 pestered Wilson about sponsoring an event and laid out the format for an outdoor event in Florida during their off season in early fall and at French Lick for the indoor event in Jan or Feb
Adina Cloud 2014 - sales manager
Tracy Galloway 2014, 2015 sales associate
Chris Tann 2015 in charge of activities, no longer there in 2016
Sophie Guthrie 2016 ref: follow up with sales
Contacted Kim in 2016 to see if I could build a fire under the French Lick staff…Steve Ferguson virtually runs Cook Medical Group* since Bill Cook died. Bill was a visionary and highly regarded by all who knew him. Steve’s brother, Jim< was a fraternity brother of mine and I didn’t know him well other than name. But my fraternity father, Richard Ford, over the years knew Jim quite well and I would be quite surprised if Ford didn’t know Bell Cook pretty well as well.

*steve ferguson
asst kim
P.O. Box 489  ·  Bloomington, IN 47402-0489  USA
Phone: 812.339.2235  ·  Toll Free: 800.457.4500

Principal activity makes some kind of medical stent, also affiliated travel agency with corporate planes, owns and refurbished hotels at French Lick and West Baden and just finished building the $4MM Pete Dye golf course there.

Apr 26 --

Pickleball venue
Forgot to include the pictures. Venue is at East Naples Park and now have 64 dedicated courts for the tournament.

If convenient, let me know you received information.


••••• 30 •••••
warm regards......dmn:marilyn monroe

Don M. Nixon II
• Creative Thinking, Inc. - Director of First Impressions
• Nixon Newspapers - Chief Cheerleader
• US Open Pickleball Championships™ - Challenge
• USPS Mail: PO Box 341, Carmel IN 46082-0341
 160 W Carmel Dr, Carmel IN 46032
• Telephone: 317/ 844-8189 •Cell: 777- 4389

Pickleball in French Lick
From: Don M. Nixon II [mailto:dmnixonii@hotmail.com] Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 2:47 PM
To: Rohlfing, Kim
Subject: Pickleball in French Lick

I have included pictures of the venue in Naples FL for the inaugural event, which begins this week. You can see how well they have done with sponsors and players at their site, which is at this link:

There is a significant difference playing indoors and outdoors primarily because specifications for the ball is different so I think there would be an opportunity to work with them to put on a similar event in Indiana that would be indoors. French Lick would be an ideal venue.

They predict they will have 10,000 paying fans and have more than 1,000 players. The city of Naples or Collier County just completed 54 courts for their use in a park which last year had only nine dedicated courts and several joint use courts with tennis and had both tennis and pickleball lines.

Although they have been planning this event for a couple of years, Spirit Promotions has done an outstanding initial event and have had significant work within the community promoting the event and game. The folks behind the project are at this link:

As I mentioned, I had visited with several people at French Lick about doing something indoors over the last several years, including Dyan Duncan, Tracey Galloway, Adina Cloud, Tracey Galloway, Tessa Jones and Chris Tann.

Here are two videos which explain the game:

If you need more detail, let me know. I don't want to swamp you with details, but quick action may provide an opportunity to have an event by the end of this year and establish an annual event with a permanent location in French Lick and world wide exposure within a short period of time. And a trip to the finals this weekend in Naples FL would demonstrate the interest and popularity of this activity.

Thanks for your interest.

••••• 30 •••••
warm regards......dmn:marilyn monroe

Don M. Nixon II
• Creative Thinking, Inc. - Director of First Impressions
• Nixon Newspapers - Chief Cheerleader
• US Open Pickleball Championships™ - Challenge
• USPS Mail: PO Box 341, Carmel IN 46082-0341
 160 W Carmel Dr, Carmel IN 46032
• Telephone: 317/ 844-8189 •Cell: 777- 4389

NOTE:  Legally privileged and confidential information herein I…

From: Kim.Rohlfing@CookMedical.com
To: dmnixonii@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Pickleball in French Lick
Date: Wed, 4 May 2016 14:01:40 +0000

Hi Dyan,

Please see the email below. Don Nixon called last week asking to speak with Steve about hosting a pickleball tournament at the Resort. He said he has spoken with you in the past.

Do you recall this man or your conversations with him?

Steve likes the idea of having a Winter event since it is the slow season, but we are not exactly sure what all it would entail.

Any info you can provide is much appreciated!


Kim Rohlfing
Administrative Assistant
Cook Group
(812) 331-1025 ext. 2180

May 4 --

Pickleball venue - Pickleball in French Lick
Thanks for the follow up. I have heard from several players and local residents about how well the tournament went.

Dyan called me the other day to advise she was forwarding the information to another on the staff.

A year ago, I had also discussed the possibility of providing rings winners with Ginger Riley. Here's the detail and the way they would have looked.
Store Location 1:
3770 N. Newton St. | Jasper, IN 47546 | Toll Free: 1-888-DISINGER | Tel: (812) 482-4833

Feb 18 --
Here is pricing
Tooling one time $1,895 for each mold
Sterling $495
10 ct gold $1,495
14 ct gold $1,795

Jan 9 --
Here is a photo of the class ring which might be copied to become a championship ring for a pickleball tournament I mentioned the other day. Ultimately it might be interesting to know the cost for one in platinum, gold, silver, bronze and pewter.

Let me know if you need anything else to get some idea of what it might cost. Each event would include eight rings. There is an interesting story about why I have two.

The women's rings are similar to this but slightly smaller. I don't have a photo of one of them.

Thank you.

••••• 30 •••••
warm regards......dmn:marilyn monroe

Don M. Nixon II

May 20 --

100th running of indpls 500, 200th Indiana birthday 1st event at French lick
FLR tomato juice - milk drink at 500

Pickleball venue - Pickleball in French Lick
Thought you might want to see for yourself what pickleball looks like at the level a television audience can be built. CBS Sports is showing it tonight and Monday.

I will be happy to send you some public reaction from follow up stories if that's helpful.

The 1st US OPEN Pickleball Championships broadcast via cable channel CBS Sports
Friday, May 20 @ 7 pm EST
Monday, May 23 @ 7 pm EST

May 13 --

Pickleball venue - Pickleball in French Lick

Thought you might want to see reaction to this event. I have talked with participants from Marco Island and Naples, FL where I spend about a month in Mar and Apr as well as at home in Indpls, who I play with. Each provides a glowing report of how well the event was set up and conducted, and elaborate how much fun it was and the several days (overnight) they spent at the venue.

The only negative was from a 4.0 mens doubles team (Eric Hurst from Plainfield (Matt Welsh from Noblesville was his partner) who told me heat and humidity made it difficult for him to play his last match of the day since he had not anticipated it would be that warm. They won their first 4 matches in the main draw and lost in the first round of the double elimination bracket.

The men’s pro finals with mixed and women’s pro finals will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network on May 20 at 7pm.




Spirit Promotions plans to do more events elsewhere and begin with four in Florida maybe this year, and work with other tournaments to become qualifiers for the next Naples event. It seemed they were well pleased with all their efforts but don’t think they would be able to handle more participants, or even as many as this year in the same event in Naples next year. Limiting it to qualifying events would give them the opportunity to participate or dictate some terms for the future.

I know many venues do not want to do much more than provide the facility to rent rooms, now is a unique opportunity to lock in an annual event which can only grow, and provide eventual great publicity and destination for slack time at French Lick.

I don’t know if I mentioned several years ago, I suggested to Wilson an outline for this event and acquired the plural domain name: US Open Pickleball Championships - which automatically transfers that inquiry to their name, which is singular.

I have offered to work with them to develop what they seem to be planning. Since currently there is some effort within the pickleball organizations to determine if there should be one ball, which would eliminate the significant difference between the indoor and outdoor game, a window of opportunity to parallel and later lead events is closing rapidly and I think a partnership with Spirit Promotions to handle the event itself would be the most expedient way to forge ahead.

There are still several features I have in mind which they have not considered and we would be in the best negotiating position now to consolidate and make an indoor event in the Dec time frame permanent for French Lick. Publicity and sponsorships could be developed which would be enormously valuable for French Lick
and West Baden, which would be a perfect venue for finals and special invited guests. (Or even a celebrity event)

I would be happy to discuss in detail if you think there is a value to drawing enthusiastic participants who would return annually and bring their family and friends.

Jun 10 --

Follow up
I talked with Jan this am. He advised he was the most likely person to follow up with. Appreciate your interest and will not be sending cc's unless requested.

Thanks for all your help.

••••• 30 •••••
warm regards......dmn:marilyn monroe

Don M. Nixon II
• Creative Thinking, Inc. - Director of First Impressions
• Nixon Newspapers - Chief Cheerleader
• US Open Pickleball Championships™ - Challenge
• Telephone: 317/ 844-8189 •Cell: 777- 4389

Jun 8 --

Pickleball venue
cc: Dyan Duncan, Jan Tellstrom

I married a woman from Huntingburg in 1964 and have visited French Lick frequently over the years. I made contact with Dyan in 2011 talking about a promotion with this:

"The idea is to promote history and raise money for local historical associations, especially those with museums by finding period board and card games, (about 1840) and set up tournaments to be held at local historical sites (could be co sponsor property and hope to work with the bed and breakfast association to enlist innkeepers to be hosts) and then develop county champions who would be invited to participate in a state tournament to be held at Conner Prairie.

Conner Prairie and the state historical society have expressed interest, particularly Conner Prairie because having the event in Jan or Feb would fill in an activity during a slow period for them.

Would want to develop a package deal for the local tournament hosts which would include instructions, provide the materials (with help from local company - Fundex) and instructions how to get publicity from local media and when to send out invitations and press releases.

Please keep confidential."

I began playing pickleball about that time and thought that activity indoors would lend itself to French Lick as an ideal venue, although its location posed a destination problem. I knew it would take something unusual to attract the kind and number of players to make it work. Subsequently I acquired the domain "usopenpickleballchampionships.com" and the trademark for Indiana and tried to get Wilson Sporting Goods interested in sponsoring and promoting the event. (*)

I had developed a monthly newspaper: Indiana Racquet Sports and I been long involved with the US Open Clay Court Championships in Indianapolis from a media perspective. That event was here for about 20 years and for 14 was voted by the players (including Conners, McEnroe, Nastase, Lendl, etc.) as the best in the world, 10 of those consecutively.

Much of that success was due to the volunteers who mostly ran the event, many I knew, including the few paid, like the tournament director, who understood what made the event so popular with the players and fans.(**)

Pickleball was virtually unknown in 2011, so I knew it wouldn't be likely to have a big dream plan work so I started plugging away with people I thought would make it interesting. And when French Lick was refurbished, I was convinced it would be an ideal venue.

In 2010, my wife died and the Villa we purchased in the 80s she had always traded to explore other exciting places. I began 2011 spending the first week of the year at the Villa with two grand children and watching pickleball explode in popularity and participation and playing in several tournaments, and became the Indiana Senior Games singles champion in 2012 and 2014.(***)
Played 6 matches in 2012, lost each, but was the only one in my age group. It pays to be an early participant. In 2014, played one match, barely squeaked by an opponent who was more skilled but he had a fall and hurt his knee. We both were scheduled to play doubles and mixed doubles. I reminded him it was double elimination and we could play the next match, but if he won, we would have to play the tie-breaker. He opted to default. Repeat gold medalist - but would much rather have had a ring, hence the effort to use your facility.

Owen and Maren would stay the first weekend and then I would rest up until the next Friday and they would be back in school. During that time over the next few years, I talked with Dyan, Tracey Galloway, Adina Cloud, Tessa Jones and Chris Tann. I also visited with the folks at Jasper who had the clothing store and jewelry store. Chris seemed to be pretty enthusiastic, and I brought  Dave Priest and Denny Mallon to visit and show how easily it is to set up taped lines on the courts. (**)
Dave was the long time publicity chairman and Denny the tournament director

Subsequently, Dyan suggested I visit with Jan Tellstrom, which I did last week and planned to follow up again Friday.

I am more convinced than ever this project could start like a rocket, creating an annual event which could be expanded until it reached capacity, but needs dynamic leadership and more resources, which you already have in house.

Incidentally, when I was the Auburn (IN) Evening Star publisher in 1969, the annual Auburn Cord Duesenberg Labor Day event was struggling for several reasons.

John Martin Smith, Jack Randinelli, Bob Kekenge and I persuaded Russell Kruse to set up an auction to deal with and fix some of the difficulties. That annual event continues, and may not have reached its capacity yet.

Our newspaper in Peru, established the Circus City Festival, which also has survived annually.

I'm convinced French Lick can initiate this event and watch it take off as well. Let me know what I can do to help. I do, however, know the window of opportunity is open, but may soon close.

Let me know if you have more questions.

I have included cc's in an attempt to not create any surprises. If that's not appropriate, please advise.

••••• 30 •••••
warm regards......dmn:marilyn monroe

Don M. Nixon II
• Telephone: 317/ 844-8189 •Cell: 777- 4389

From: Kim.Rohlfing@CookMedical.com
To: dmnixonii@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Pickleball venue
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2016 15:00:49 +0000


I wanted to check back with you on this. I noticed on one email that you had included both myself and Dyan Duncan. I didn’t want to duplicate efforts or cause confusion. Is there someone from French Lick that you are in contact with already?

Thank you,

Kim Rohlfing
Administrative Assistant
Cook Group
(812) 331-1025 ext. 2180

From: Don M. Nixon II [mailto:dmnixonii@hotmail.com] Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 2:51 PM
To: Rohlfing, Kim
Subject: Pickleball venue

Forgot to include the pictures. Venue is at East Naples Park and now have 54 dedicated courts for the tournament.

If convenient, let me know you received information.


••••• 30 •••••
warm regards......dmn:marilyn monroe

Don M. Nixon II

    Creative Thinking, Inc. 317/844-8189 (O) 777-4389 (C)
        160 W Carmel Dr, Carmel IN 46032
            Contact:  Don Nixon, Chief Cheerleader, Editor & Publisher, Proofreader   Email:  dmn.ez.nni@gmail.com