Outspoken, forthright, and unafraid is how Mark H. McCormack and his team view their client, Billie Jean King. Her status as one of the legendary figures of the twentieth century is virtually assured. But, from the McCormack Archives, we find King at a crossroads, her competitive playing career soon coming to a close.
King is transitioning out of the WTA, the professional tour she helped create, and moving into a venture she created, World Team Tennis. McCormack thought it would be a wonderful time for King to consider broadcasting, as broadcasting would give her a way to continue to be an enormous public figure in tennis. McCormack believed her unique insights and irresistible enthusiasm for the game of tennis would make her one of the most delightful commentators in sports. Using IMG’s vast resources, McCormack and King developed a marketing brochure to promote their shared interest to the mass media. Soon after, King became a broadcaster for the games most prestigious events for ABC, NBC, and HBO.
In this month’s collection we are lucky to have uncovered Billie Jean King’s schedule for her final singles season in 1984 and her schedule throughout the 1985 season, which she dedicated to her team tennis career. At the time, King was 39 and 40 years old respectively. Also included are the draft and the final version of King’s marketing brochure material. Lastly, this month concludes with the iconic photo of King and Martina Navratilova after King celebrated her record breaking 20th championship at Wimbledon in 1979.