ERA404 Hired to Design Site for Tennis Legend, Arthur Ashe
NEW YORK—On the 14th anniversary of the death of tennis legend, Arthur Ashe, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and ERA404 Creative Group, Inc., launched the official site devoted to his life, lessons and legacy—ArthurAshe.org.
In early July, ERA404 was approached by former client, Jeffrey Ernstoff(www.ernstoffcreative.com), with an interesting project in mind—to work with Arthur Ashe’s widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and design a site devoted to her late husband’s work.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated in Arthur Ashe,” said ERA404 Creative Director, Don Citarella. “He’s an American icon—a legend—and the opportunity to participate in a project like this was a dream come true.”
Jeanne’s idea was to create a central repository for all things related to Arthur Ashe to offset the countless sites online that exist for the sole purpose of portraying him as a tennis legend alone.
“People are really enjoying Arthur telling Arthur’s story,” says Moutoussamy-Ashe. “He speaks for himself, he gives his thoughts, he gives these lessons, and that was what was so important to me—to have Arthur be able to tell these stories, and tell his legacy through his words, particularly to children, so that they can see him as a live person.”
ERA404, who designed the site and created the introduction and site tour, had one goal in mind when working on the project. “We wanted everything to look, feel and operate like a one-of-a-kind site,” said Citarella. “Jeanne wanted people to connect with Arthur and find the experience memorable. We wanted it to feel like you were having a conversation with him.”
The ArthurAshe.org site introduction mixes audio from people in Ashe’s life with visual elements that slowly weave a tennis net. When the user enters the site, they’re standing behind the tennis line of one of many different courts from around the world. Currently, there are different movies from parts of Ashe’s life: Life Story, Sport and Tennis, Kids, Education, Service and Wellness. As the site continues to grow, image galleries, video and audio clips, and text and web resources will continue to be added so that users can explore the different categories.
“We’re lucky now to say we’ve worked with two of our heroes,” said Technical Director, Mike Citarella. ERA404 designed the official site for late photographer, Herb Ritts(www.herbritts.com), in 2004.
“ERA404’s team is young and energetic. They were good listeners and had the ability to grasp the needs of the client,” said Moutoussamy-Ashe. “I had a very pleasant experience.”
“It was wonderful to work with Jeffrey [Ernstoff] again,” said Don Citarella, “and Jeanne is an amazing person. For the last six months, I’ve worked with a talented team of people to create an inspiring site to honor Arthur Ashe. I’m only sad that the project is finished.”
Established in August 2000, ERA404 Creative Group, Inc. is a New York-based design, development and marketing agency. Recent clients include: The Australian Trade Commission, Broadway Video, Jonathan Safran Foer, The Herb Ritts Foundation, Sanrio/Hello Kitty and The Target Corporation.