How Andy Roddick Newsjacked The Us Open

I don’t watch a lot of tennis. I know the major names and, frankly, probably know Andy Roddick’s name more for a cute
face and the fact that he dated Mandy Moore many moons ago.

After battling years of injuries and performances that have not taken him beyond the quarters of a major tournament since 2009, Andy Roddick announced that he would be retiring at age 30. His retirement is not that interesting, but the timing of his retirement is the ultimate newsjack and makes far more than the tennis community take notice.

Newsjacking is all about timing. It’s all about selecting a hyped, searched and watched event (in this case, the US Open), getting in early, and riding the wave. David Meerman Scott created this brilliant graphic about the Life of a News Story and where newsjacking should occur. Scott, in his book with the same title (Newsjacking), defines it as “the process by which you inject your ideas or angles into breaking news, in real-time, in order to generate media coverage for yourself or your business.”

Verbatim, this is what Andy Roddick did. And it’s brilliant. This retirement announcement timing will help carry on his visibility in future endeavors rather than placing him in the books of “Oh yeah, what ever happened to that guy??”

Whether Roddick plays well or not (he happens to currently be playing very well), his name was top of news–from Sportscenter to NPR to The Today Show. The media was already covering the US Open, we were already googling US Open. What better time to announce a major event than on top of another major event?

If Roddick had announced his retirement on a random Tuesday in November, it would have lasted 1 day…tops. He’s not Federer or Nadal. Even if they announced their retirement on a random Tuesday, it would not get nearly the media coverage as announcing on top of a major tournament.

P.S. It is not a coincidence that I, in fact, am engaging in a newsjacking of sorts (while I should have gotten this out there earlier) by riding the Andy Roddick retirement wave that is highly searched.