Tennis Industry magazine


Our Serve: Use All Your Tools of the Trade

By Peter Francesconi

It doesn’t matter what profession you’re in — carpenter, sales executive, tennis teaching pro, lawyer, retail shop owner — you need to have the right tools for the job you do. The bottom line, naturally, is the bottom line: The right tools will help you grow your business and help you make money.

Of course, speaking tennis, there are tools that help you directly with your bottom line. For example, a teaching pro is nothing without a tennis racquet. And then there are tools that will help you build for the future, such as becoming part of the Tennis Welcome Center initiative to grow the sport as a whole. Growth in the sport will lead to a growth in your business, too.

This issue of RSI has some great examples of both types of tools. Much like a racquet is to a teaching pro, so is a ball machine to virtually any tennis facility. It’s an invaluable tool that you need to utilize to best advantage. You can get a great bang for your court-time buck by providing your members and players with the right ball machine, and a great ball-machine program.

And as far as tools of the trade, our exclusive Guide to Ball Machines (page 29) is an invaluable guide to all the units available, along with their features and benefits. The package also includes how to put together a ball-machine program that is virtually guaranteed to make you money, while at the same time giving your players an activity that will keep bringing them back.

Another tool for your business is the newly announced U.S. Open Series of pro hard-court tournaments that lead up to the U.S. Open. For six weeks this summer, 10 men’s and women’s tournaments have agreed to link up to be marketed together and provide a “road to the Open.”

Key to the deal, which was spearheaded by the USTA’s chief executive of Professional Tennis, Arlen Kantarian, is a great television package (see page 17) that adds at least 100 hours of tennis on TV in those six weeks, including men’s and women’s finals every Sunday afternoon.

How is this a tool for your business? Chances are you have a TV area at your facility. Now, you have more tennis programming for your members to watch — while they spend more time at your facility. We’re sure you can think of ways to capitalize on this: Hold tennis parties around the time of the tournament broadcasts, put certain products on sale during these times as “U.S. Open Series Specials,” or since the new Series will include a points race and bonus money for pro players, keep a running chart on the wall of how your members’ favorite pros are doing.

The bottom line, though, is that the sport from which you make your living is getting a huge shot in the arm in terms of exposure. And that’s a tool of the trade that will benefit all of us.

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.



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