As the world’s famous squash event, the British Open, marks its return to the world stage at London’s O2 Arena after a two-year absence, iLoveSquash becomes the latest success in the sport which is bidding to join the Olympic Games programme in 2020.
Launched on Facebook in 2009, the standalone page provides regular news from the world of squash for Facebook fans – not using the presence to drive traffic onto a separate webpage. The daily posts inform the Facebook squash community of tournament news, player features, pictures and videos.
In addition the posts are also fed onto the www.i-Love-Squash.com site which provides additional information for those who want more than the brief Facebook content.
Now with more than 30,000 fans, iLoveSquash leads its social media rivals in the sport by a significant margin.
“The aim for the next year is to create partnerships with players, clubs, tournaments, the governing bodies of the squash nations and the leading associations in the world of squash to support the principal aim – to get Squash into the Olympics,” said co-founder Peter Schmidl.
Alex Gough, CEO of the men’s international player body the Professional Squash Association (PSA), said: “iLoveSquash is a real success story for squash in terms of the game reaching as many squash fans as possible. I am sure they will continue to reach more and more fans and help to grow the sport further.”
Andrew Shelley, CEO of the World Squash Federation (WSF), added: “Squash players are great communicators, and iLoveSquash provides a great platform. It has been growing well since its formation and I am sure that it will get bigger and provide a great service in the years to come.”
Tim Garner, Tour Director of the Women’s Squash Association (WSA), said: “iLoveSquash has really grasped the social media concept and given those who love our sport the perfect vehicle to connect. It’s obvious from the number of fans that it is a success and I am sure that it will grow organically as our game evolves towards Olympic inclusion!!”
Leading players are also taken by the successful initiative: “I think iLoveSquash is a great idea about informing people and the squash community about all the world of squash,” said Frenchman Gregory Gaultier, the world No2. “We know how many people use Facebook and how important it is to talk about our sport and try to attract as many people as possible to be one day part of the Olympic family. I love the idea of the iLoveSquash concept.”
Nick Matthew, the two-time World Champion from England, added: “Social media is very important in the modern world. iLoveSquash is a great way for squash fans of all ages, from everywhere in the world, to interact and share their love for our game online.”
Nicol David, the Malaysian who has topped the women’s world rankings since August 2006, is also a fan: “The main aim for Squash is to be in the Olympics and I would do anything to get squash that spot it deserves in the Games. Squash2020.com is our bid campaign and it’s a way for the public to play their part in supporting squash to get into the Olympics. If Squash gets the bid in 2020, then I would continue to work hard and get myself ready to participate in the Games eight years from now. iLoveSquash is going to be a driving force for this too.”
Nico Limmeroth, the site’s creative partner, concluded: “We will implement new ideas to maintain our growth rate to get to 50,000 fans over the next 15 months.”
Facebook site: www.facebook.com/IloveSquash