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Ben & Courtney want to make Season 5 of No Challenges Remaining our best yet! More episodes, guests, and innovative reporting!
Ben & Courtney want to make Season 5 of No Challenges Remaining our best yet! More episodes, guests, and innovative reporting!
596 backers pledged $22,050 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

$22,050

596

Deciding to share their ability to chatter on endlessly about tennis with the world, tennis writers Ben Rothenberg and Courtney Nguyen created the No Challenges Remaining Tennis Podcast (a.k.a. NCR) in early 2012, and have been going strong ever since. 

As it wraps up its fourth year, NCR has continued to grow and evolve. In early 2015, Ben and Courtney committed to a steady stream of weekly episodes, and have maintained that output ever since, publishing a new episode every Tuesday. On a shoestring budget and with limited time and resources, NCR has grown a community of dedicated listeners whose support has made it the No. 1 rated podcast on professional tennis on iTunes. Our five-star rating is backed by over 90 reviews.

While increasing their quantity, Ben and Courtney have also been dedicated to similarly increasing quality. This has meant a greater focus on basics like audio quality (like with Courtney's fancy new microphone-recorder gizmo!), but also more ambitious programming. 

How? Most obviously, our long-awaited Episode 100 featured THREE awesome guests: Jelena Jankovic, Ernests Gulbis, and NCR stalwart Andrea Petkovic. It was awesome fun, and continues to be our most-listened to episode ever.

But perhaps more importantly, Ben and Courtney have worked to incorporate aspects of some of our own favorite podcasts to create more innovative, immersive episodes. This has included super cool stuff such as our behind-the-scenes audio tour of Wimbledon with guide Alexandra Willis, and Ben's recent journey down to the minor leagues of tennis at a ATP Challenger Tour event in Charlottesville. 

Ben and Courtney have each put in hundreds upon hundreds of hours into the first four years of NCR, and have loved every minute of it, and each and every listener in our community of tennis superfans. But the tough reality of our other work means that time isn't free, and after sinking much of our own money into recording equipment, hosting fees, and other show-related expenses, we're humbly asking for your help to keep the show going and growing.

With your backing, NCR will be able to keep up its strenous weekly pace, continue to tackle more challenging projects like the ones mentioned above, and grow the scope and scale of the show while still maintaining the casual, fun, and irreverent spirit in which it was created. 

Your support will also make NCR a more viable priority when our schedules are at their busiest, and allow us to do something that's always proven tough: publishing more frequent (mini) episodes during Grand Slam events when the appetite for our other work in tennis is at its greatest. Put simply, with your support we can make NCR more than just a casual hobby we dip into when we have time. 

By helping us reach our goals, you'll be helping to secure the show's future for 2016. Coming off the historic 2015 seasons of Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, and heading into the Rio Olympics, 2016 could well be the awesomest year for tennis in a long, long time. Together, we can take NCR to the next level and bring you, the tennis fan, more diverse reporting and storytelling from all levels of the sport. That's what Ben & Courtney believe you deserve. But we can't do it without your help. 

Much love,

Ben and Courtney

Risks and challenges

We're old pros at this podcasting game by now and don't anticipate any issues continuing to publish the steady flow of weekly episodes that we've delivered throughout 2015, plus our additional 2016 goals for further programming (with your help!).

The primary risk that may encumber the future of NCR is the employment statuses of its hosts. If, in the future, Ben or Courtney enter into employment agreements that preclude their involvement in the podcast, NCR may be at risk. But we would do everything we could to make sure the podcast continues, whether with new hosts or with a new format.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Every bit helps!

    It's the equivalent of buying Courtney a cup of coffee...which is really a gift to Ben, since Courtney is so cranky without her coffee. You'll get a personal tweet from @NCR_Tennis thanking you by name and the whole Twittersphere will know that you're a cool person!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A slammin' postcard!

    You'll get a personal, gratitudeful, handwritten postcard from Ben and Courtney from one of the Grand Slam cities: Melbourne, Paris, Wimbledon, or New York. Your choice!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Shoutout on the show!

    In the first episode after the campaign wraps, we'll heartfeltly thank each and every backer by name during the show! You included!

    (You'll also get a Slam city postcard of your choice)

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    #ImJustHereForThePostcards!

    It's our $10 reward times four! Pick this level and you will receive postcards from us from all four Slam cities (Melbourne, Paris, Wimbledon, and New York) in 2016.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    An audio segment of your choice!

    Pick a topic, any topic, and Ben and Courtney will sound off on it for 8-10 minutes. You can either choose to have your chosen segment included in one of our episodes, or we can record it as a standalone mp3 file for your own personal enjoyment!

    (You'll also get a Slam city postcard of your choice)

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    A video segment of your choice!

    Pick a topic, any topic, and Ben and Courtney will sound off on it for 8-10 minutes on video! This could be posted for all to see on the NCR YouTube channel, or we can send it to you directly.

    (You'll also get a Slam city postcard of your choice)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A program from any tournament of your choice this year on the ATP or WTA tours!

    Seriously, from anywhere. Want to soak up the elegance of Wimbledon through florid writing? Yours! Want to see how the sport is written about in Kuala Lumpur? We can do get, too! Even if we're not there, we'll endeavor with all our might to get it to your doorstep.

    (You'll also get a Slam city postcard of your choice).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Guest rant/rave!

    You've heard Ben & Courtney rant and rave throughout the years, now we'll give you the mic to share your thoughts and feelings with the world! You'll have the ears of our thousands of listeners for up to five minutes, and the topic can be whatever you want (though Ben and Courtney will maintain final approval rights to block profoundly problematic subject matter).

    (You'll also get postcards from all four Slam cities!)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    One-Hour Private Skype Session!

    Step into the NCR studios (aka Skype) for a lengthy chat with Ben and Courtney about whatever topics you choose for an hour! Want to talk about tennis? Great! How to get started working in the sport or in media or in podcasting or whatever else we might have insight into? Cool! Or maybe you want to discuss the 2016 Eurovision field with Ben or the latest offerings on Netflix with Courtney? Also good! We can talk about anything and everything related to whatever!

    (You'll also get postcards from all four Slam cities!)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Guest Editor!

    Plan and produce an episode of NCR! We'll pick a week that works for all three of us, and you get to choose the topics for that week's show and help us plan out the show. Order the segments, create your own segments, pick which questions we answer, etc! No prior technical knowledge is required. We'll take care of the editing.

    (You'll also get postcards from all four Slam cities!)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Anytime "Emergency" Podcast Card!

    Know those moments when something crazy happens in tennis and you just need a way to process your feelings on it all? We've done emergency episodes in the past for things like Marion Bartoli's sudden retirement and the Kyrgios-Wawrinka circus, and we're giving you the power to put up a Batsignal and call for an emergency NCR episode (of 20+ minutes) on the topic of your choice to be published within 48 hours or less of your request!

    (You'll also get postcards from all four Slam cities!)

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Premium guest director spots!

    This is another batch of our initial guest director reward, with a 20% mark-up to stay fair to the earlybirds who backed us quickly for what was the first reward of ours to sell out of its scarce offering. With this reward, we'll work with you to make the NCR episode of your dreams. Whatever topic(s), big or small, and done in the way you want. No technical expertise of your own needed at all.

    (And you'll get postcards from all four Slam cities!)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    **EXECUTIVE PRODUCER**!!

    This is a year-long award for our biggest backers. Your name will be included in the credits (the wrap segment before our rant/raves) of each and every NCR episode in 2016, under the glittery title of "Executive Producer"! The whole of NCR-land will hear how sweet and awesome you are on a weekly basis, and it'll be pretty sweet and you'll be awesome.

    (You'll also get postcards from all four Slam cities!)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    SEASON-LONG SPONSORSHIP!!

    Have a product or service you want to advertise to thousands of hardcore tennis fans? For $5,000, you'll get a 30 second ad in *every* episode of NCR in 2016! We'll work with you on making sure the spot is exactly how you want it. (If you're interested in advertising with us on a smaller scale, we're also open to discussing that with you).

    (You'll also get postcards from all four Slam cities!)

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Funding period

- (44 days)