The support for doubles still isn’t as intense as it is for singles. However, the support for the No. 1 men’s doubles team in the world, Bob and Mike Bryan, has grown by leaps and bounds. It has grown so much, that on Oct. 31 www.bryanbunch.net was launched, for their fan club, the Bryan Bunch.
Sisters and webmasters, Amber Vanderzalm and Tiffany Reuschel, started following the Bryans’ careers in 1993, at the USTA Boys Nationals, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Reuschel knew they would be successful, telling their father the Bryans would be No. 1 in the world, someday.
“When you make a statement like that, you have to keep track of them, to make sure you’re right!” Vanderzalm said.
In 2001, frustrated with not being able to find enough information on the Bryans, Vanderzalm and Reuschel created a web site that switched over to the still popular www.bobandmike.com. They wanted to create a place where other fans could find information about the Bryans.
“Some days, it would take us an hour or more, just to find out if they’d won their match.” Vanderzalm said.
While www.bobandmike.com has been the Official web site for receiving news about the Bryans and the Bryan Bunch since 2003, www.bryanbunch.net is strictly for prospective and current Bryan Bunch members. Reuschel hopes that members can create friendships through mutual support for Bob and Mike.
“I’ve made a lot of great friends through the Bunch, people I know I’ll be friends with for life.” Reuschel said.
Vanderzalm and Reuschel collaborated with the Bryans about www.bryanbunch.net on everything from design to content. Bob even created the “How Well Do You Know Bob and Mike?” quiz, with the winner receiving an Oakley watch.
A new three-level membership was created, with current members who renew their membership, receiving the “Gold Level Membership,” at a discounted price of $12.00. Everyone will be automatically entered to win the opportunity of playing a match against the Bryans, at the tournament of their choice.
The Bryans notice and appreciate when Bryan Bunch members attend their matches. Vanderzalm recalls two fans in Paris getting the crowd involved in a difficult match, after being prompted by the Bryans, from the court. The Bryans went on to win the match.
"It's always such a nice feeling seeing those green shirts in the crowd and knowing the Bryan Bunch is in the house!” Mike Bryan said.
“Bob and I really appreciate all you do for us and we couldn't ask for a better team of supporters!"