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Racquet, Ball Sales Show Major Increases In Dollars and Units for 2004 First Quarter
Industry watchers were cautiously optimistic about the dramatic increases in 2004 first-quarter figures for both racquet and ball sales in the U.S.
Racquet sales numbers jumped 16 percent in units and 11 percent in dollars over the same period last year. And ball sales for Q1 also yielded double-digit increases”21.6 percent in units and 12.5 percent in dollars.
Data from Sports Marketing Surveys USA and the TIA indicate that from January through March of this year, 118,727 racquets were sold, compared to 102,011 units sold in the same three months last year. In terms of total dollars for the first quarter, the industry reported racquet sales worth $15.99 million, up from $14.43 the year before.
March 2004 was the best of the three months, with sales of 55,807 frames, up 19 percent from March 2003, for a total of $7.58 million, up 14 percent.
“For racquets, the first quarter of 2004 was the best in terms of units in the last five years,” says Keith Storey, vice president of research for Sports Marketing Surveys USA, which compiled the racquet data. “So this is genuinely good news.” Q1 2004 also was the best in terms of total dollars since the first quarter of 2001.
But Storey says this good news in racquet sales “is tempered by the continuing slide in the average racquet price, which is now the lowest in the last five years.” The average price of a premium racquet is now $134.68, down 4.8 percent from the first quarter last year, and down 11.8 percent from 2000, when the average price was $152.77.
For ball sales, 2004 first-quarter sales were $19.7 million, up from $17.5 million in the same period in 2003, according to data from the Tennis Industry Association.
“It’s too early to be extremely optimistic, but these are definitely the trends we”re looking for,” says TIA President Jim Baugh. “It’s fabulous news. It’s always great to get off to a good start, and I can feel the positive energy in our sport from retailers and manufacturers as our Tennis Welcome Center campaign is just now starting to hit. We are positioned to have a good year.”
The long-term slide in the average racquet price has led to an increase in the percentage of dollar sales for frames priced from $75 to $149, at the expense of frames priced $150 and above. In fact, Storey says there’s been a decline in the “over $200” price point of more than 50 percent in the last five years, from 18.2 percent of dollar sales for the year 2000 to 8.5 percent for 2003.
First-Quarter Racquet Sales (Jan.-March)
|Year||Units||Dollars (000s)||Average Price|
|% change 2000 to 2004||3.3%||-9.0%||-11.8%|
|% change 2003 to 2004||16.4%||10.8%||-4.8%|
Source: Sports Marketing Surveys USA
TIA Sets Tennis Expo 2005; Will Honor Industry ‘Performers’
The Tennis Industry Association has scheduled the first “TIA Expo” for Jan. 17 to 19 in Orlando, Fla., in conjunction with the 2005 Super Show, which will be going on simultaneously.
The Expo, which TIA President Jim Baugh says will serve as a “rallying event” for the industry, will combine a buying show for softgoods and hardgoods manufacturers with industry seminars, meetings, and a forum on future industry plans. In addition, the TIA will honor approximately 50 facilities, pro shops, specialty shops and manufacturers with its first-ever “Tennis Industry Awards,” recognizing leaders in the tennis business.
“It’s time to honor the great performers in our industry,” says TIA President Jim Baugh. “At the TIA Expo in January, we will honor the top 20 Tennis Welcome Centers throughout the country [one from each of the 17 USTA sections, plus three at large], the top 10 pro shops, and the top 10 specialty shops, and we will give out other manufacturer and sporting goods chain awards. This fall, we will nominate 20 pro shops and 20 specialty shops for our awards.”
The Expo will also have industry seminars on such topics as Tennis Welcome Centers, the parks program, keeping frequent players playing frequently, getting juniors into tennis, merchandising soft- and hardgoods, and competing against mail order and the internet. On the show floor, a hitting court will be set up for on-court demonstrations. In addition, there will be parties and other events.
For more information on the TIA Expo, contact 843-686-3036 or visit www.tennisindustry.org.
TIA Expands Support Material Available For Nearly 4,000 TWCs
TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer says that the past few months have been extremely busy for the industry association. Among other things, the TIA has been servicing the nearly 4,000 facilities and programs that have signed up to be Tennis Welcome Centers.
De Boer says that lately, there have been an average of 50 new TWCs a week. The original goal for the TWC program was set at 3,000. Each TWC receives a free tool kit that contains marketing material, banners, fliers, posters, stickers, window decals, bumper stickers, business cards and other materials. A new website, www.TWCstore.com, has been set up so TWCs can order more of these materials at cost. In addition, the site contains materials in Spanish, and now has posters and banners of the new industry ads featuring celebrities Jeff Gordon, Daisy Fuentes, Mike Wallace and Roy Jones Jr.
The TWC campaign has been supported by a major marketing push that has put about 50 million TWC messages out to the public through newspapers, magazines, TV, pro tournaments and more, says de Boer.
Also, TWCs can visit partners.tenniswelcomecenter.com for free downloads of more than 50 tools that they can use to promote their facilities and programs. The tools include logos, presentations and more. Also, the site lists special offers from sponsors that are available only to TWCs. Among other news coming out of the TIA’s Hilton Head, S.C., offices are:
- The new website tenniswire.org is up and running. Billed as the online destination for media and others to get informed about what’s happening in the industry, the site contains news from TIA member companies, which can be viewed by anyone. The site is fully searchable by company, date, category and keyword. Each month, the website’s link will be e-mailed to every key contact in the sport.
- The TIA’s official website, tennisindustry.org, has been revamped. The site, with secure access, is now streamlined and easier to navigate, says de Boer, offering news updates daily and industry research. Nonmembers can find out about membership and download an application.
- The TIA board of directors will meet in New York City during the U.S. Open. At that time, there will also be a forum open to all who wish to attend.
Tennis Resorts Online Readers Name Top Resort and Camp
Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and New England Tennis Holidays of North Conway, N.H., took top honors in Tennis Resorts Online’s annual survey of the Top 100 resorts and camps worldwide, released May 1. It is the third straight year New England Tennis Holidays has been named the best camp.
Tennis Resorts Online rankings are based solely on questionnaires vacationers fill out online. They are asked to rate the resorts and camps they know first-hand on each of 16 different categories, ranging from Best Tennis Staff and Programs to Best Lodging, Cuisine, Children’s Programs, and Dollar Value.
Tennis Resorts Online (tennisresortsonline.com), which is five years old, was founded by Roger Cox, the former travel and resorts editor for Tennis magazine. The site, which lists Cox’s personal reviews, also asks readers to rate resorts and camps. As an incentive, the site gives away tennis vacations in a drawing among all those who submit reviews. The site does not accept resort advertising and publishes all reviews it receives, whether favorable or not.
USPTA Partners With Sportwall
The USPTA has formed a strategic partnership with Sportwall International in an effort to challenge the obesity and sedentary lifestyle of America’s youth.
“Sportwall has combined technology and sport in a way that is a great complement to traditional tennis practice and training,” says USPTA CEO Tim Heckler. “As an industry, it’s important that we join forces with creative partners like Sportwall who add new elements of fun that can help us introduce the game to more people and keep them playing.”
Sportwall’s three products — Sports-PC, SmartBall, and ScoobieBall — all combine the use of computer games with the simultaneous use of hands, feet, eyes and ears to achieve a total body workout.
“With the addition of the USPTA, the tennis industry has clearly communicated that they want to lead the charge in encouraging kids to get out and play by partnering with an innovative company like Sportwall,” says J. Wayne Richmond, a corporate development partner with Sportwall and former senior executive with the ATP. “This alliance will have a tremendous impact on the game of tennis and the much larger sedentary crisis we face today as a society.”
The USPTA joins the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, WorldTeamtennis, and tennis legends Billie Jean King and Brian Gottfried as partners of Sportwall International.
LSI Offers Elegant Estate Series
LSI Courtsider Sports Lighting has come out with its Estate Series, designed with high-end residential courts in mind. The company says the exclusive pole, fixture and luminaire combination, with a curved clevis bracket design, will add elegance to stately architectural settings, while providing high-performance illumination.
The Estate Series features the Courtsider XL 1000 Watt Metal Halide, sharp cutoff luminaire designed specifically for outdoor courts. Poles are available in base mount or direct burial style, and Courtsider offers a die-cast decorative round base cover for a special finishing touch. Three unique, textured powder-coat paint finishes are available, in addition to the standard colors.
For more information, contact LSI at 800-794-3448 or visit courtsider.com.
Industry Loses Gene Buwick
Gene Buwick, a former president of the Tennis Industry Association and a longtime USTA volunteer, died April 30. Buwick, of Fort Myers, Fla., formerly of Chicago, served as chairman of the USTA Tennis Manufacturers Committee and was a member of the TIA’s board of directors for 20 years. He also played a key role in the development of the USA League Tennis program.
He founded the International Tennis Federation Foundation, Long Beach (Calif.) Tennis Federation, and Glen Briar (Illinois) Tennis Association. He also served on the board of trustees for the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association. Buwick, an accomplished tennis player, was captain of the USTA team at the 1959 Pan American Games. He was inducted into the USTA Midwest Section Hall of Fame in 2003.
He is survived by his wife, Dolores, four children, 12 grandchildren, a brother, and a sister. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the American Heart Association and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Ellesse Sponsors Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Celebration
Ellesse USA is the official apparel and footwear sponsor of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships and the International Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Celebration, to be held in Newport, R.I., from July 5 to 11.
“Ellesse has long been one of the premier tennis apparel brands,” says Ellesse USA President Maria Stefan, “outfitting a host of Hall of Fame inductees during their active professional careers, from Chris Evert and Guillermo Vilas to Hana Mandlikova and Boris Becker.”
Evert will co-chair the event with former President George Bush and Prince Albert of Monaco. On July 10 tennis greats Steffi Graf, Stefan Edberg and Dorothy “Dodo” Cheney will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joined by more than 50 of the 70 living members.
Joseph Cullman, Women’s Pro Tour Pioneer, Dies at 92
Joseph F. Cullman III, former president and CEO of Phillip Morris Co. who was instrumental in creating the women’s professional Virginia Slims Circuit in 1970, died April 30 in New York. He was 92.
As president and CEO of Phillip Morris from 1957 to “67, then chairman and CEO from “67 to “78, Cullman used the company’s Virginia Slims products to endorse and promote the new tour. He also served as U.S. Open tournament chairman from 1969 to “70, during the transformation to “Open” tennis, and he was instrumental in having the first Open in 1968 nationally televised.
Cullman was named president of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1982 and served as chairman from 1985 to 1988. During his tenure, he saw the Newport Casino established as a National Historic Landmark (1987) and elevated the organization to worldwide recognition. In 1988, he was designated chairman emeritus of the Hall of Fame and appointed chairman of the executive committee, a position he held for over 10 years. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990, as a contributor to the sport.
“It was a tremendous honor and privilege to know and work with him,” said Mark Stenning, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. “Joseph Cullman’s impact on the Hall of Fame and the sport of tennis is both indelible and immeasurable.” Born April 9, 1912, in New York, Cullman is survived by his brothers Lewis and Edgar, his daughter Dorothy, two grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His wife Joan passed away this past March.
Head-Starts Tennis Set for Kids
Head’s new Head-Starts Retail Tennis Set is designed to help young players learn and strengthen their tennis game at home. This portable mini tennis kit, which has a suggested retail price of $99, includes two Head Pro Junior 25 racquets, balls and a net.
The lightweight, easy-to-maneuver racquets are designed for young children learning the basics of the game. The training balls included in the set are the Penn Foam Tennis Balls, for easy learning due to their lightweight structure and consistent bounce, and the Pro Penn Stars pressureless teaching balls, endorsed by the USPTA, which have a low-compression core to create a slow-motion effect and a consistent bounce. The 9-foot Head Mini Tennis net is easy to set up and take down, requires no tools to assemble, and includes a carrying case.
For more information, contact Head at 800-289-7366 or visit head.com.
New Ashe Youth Center Planned
A new $10 million, state-of-the-art Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Center is slated to be built on a 7-acre site near Philadelphia. Participants at a dedication ceremony at the site in April, before heading to the existing center for the annual benefit and auction, were (from left) Christine Beck of the board of directors for Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis & Education, Pennsylvania State Rep. Daylin Leach, Ashe board Chairman Robert Swift, Philadelphia Councilman Michael Nutter, Pennsylvania State Rep. Kathy Manderino, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, tennis analyst and former champ Mary Carillo, and tennis commentator and author Bud Collins.
Prince to Sponsor Infiniti Tencap Tennis League
Prince is sponsoring the Major Infiniti Tencap Tennis League of Kansas City, one of the region’s premier tennis organizations. In addition to working with the league to provide custom-made jackets for league champions, Prince will also help to create discount benefits and prizes for participants. The partnership, according to League Director Kathy Gates, will provide players with additional incentives for getting involved in tennis.
“We are very excited to work with Prince,” says Gates. “This partnership will provide great benefits for our participants while also promoting our league by linking up with the premier tennis brand. Prince’s involvement is sure to add even more excitement to the championship matches.”
As a part of the sponsorship, Prince will offer league players a discount on Prince products at local Kansas City-area retailers. Additionally, during the summer league championship matches scheduled for July 21, Prince will present custom jackets and other prizes to the tournament’s top players.
Since 1984, the Major Infiniti Tencap Tennis League has provided organizational services to some 26 clubs and tennis facilities in the Kansas City area. More than 2,500 players participate in the league each year, which offers spring, summer, fall and winter programs for both adults and juniors. For more information on the league, visit www.tencap.com.
HEAD Reports Racquet Revenue Up $7 Million in First Quarter
HEAD N.V. announced that revenues from its Racquet Sports division for the three months ended March 31 increased by $7.1 million, or 16.7 percent, to $49.5 million from $42.4 million in the same period in 2003. The company said the increase was mainly from improved sales prices in tennis racquets, higher sales volumes in balls and the strengthening of the euro against the U.S. dollar. Across all its sports categories, Head N.V. reported a first-quarter net revenue increase of 28.3 percent over last year, from $73.6 million to $94.4 million.
“We are encouraged by signs of an improvement in economic conditions and of increased demand for sporting goods equipment,” says HEAD Chairman and CEO Johan Eliasch. “In particular, in the first quarter of 2004, TIA data shows that the market for both tennis racquets and balls in the U.S. showed the biggest year-on-year quarterly increase for over five years, and for the first time in one and a half years the Japanese tennis racquet market did not decline.”
NASDAQ-100 Open Team Strings 1,420 Racquets
At the recent NASDAQ-100 Open, 1,420 racquets were strung by nine stringers on 10 machines (TST Precision 500). The stringing team included (from left): Steve Harris (Top Serve Tennis), Bob Daelemans (managing director, Luxilon Sports), Ron Kohn (managing director, Top Serve Tennis), Isabella Kohn (general manager, Top Serve Tennis), Michael Ludwig, Stewart Allwright (managing director, Stringlab), Dirk Van Haele (player services manager, Luxilon Sports), Rick Cannan and Rebecca Cannan (Racquet Central), Ralph Kusche (Ralph’s Rapid Racquets), Vince Chiarelli (String Along With Vince), Corrie Chan and Sam Chan (Sam Chan Racquet Stringing), and Albert Lee (Racquet Tech).
Texas-Arlington Sweeps Singles Titles At First Collegiate Wheelchair Chps.
Host Texas-Arlington’s Danny Fik and Sarah Casteel captured the singles titles at the inaugural USTA National Collegiate Wheelchair Tennis Championships held May 1 and 2. The event was held at the UTA Tennis Center.
In doubles, Middle Tennessee’s Kevin Green and Russell Rodriguez won the men’s championship, while Arizona’s Nicole Saltzberg and Kiersten Mohr won the women’s title.
The tournament features players from four schools: Arizona, Middle Tennessee, Northeast Louisiana and host Texas-Arlington. This year’s inaugural event is expected to be the start of a growing event, with the field expanding each year.
“The event was superb and was exactly the kind of event we hoped it would be,” said Tina Dale, the chair of the USTA’s Wheelchair Tennis Committee. The event is part of the USTA, Intercollegiate Tennis Association and National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association’s intramural tennis initiative.
USTA Names New Membership, Women’s Tennis Directors
The USTA has named Barrie Markowitz as its senior director of membership and Jean Nachand as director of women’s tennis for the USA Tennis High Performance program.
Markowitz joins the USTA after 13 years at American Express in a variety of roles, most recently as vice president of OPEN: The Small Business Network. She will be based out of the White Plains, N.Y., headquarters and will be responsible for all aspects of the USTA’s membership program, including the development and implementation of strategic programs to grow membership and enhance membership benefits. USTA membership currently stands at an all-time high of more than 675,000, up 30 percent from 1998.
Markowitz is a 1986 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 1990.
Nachand will join the USTA following 19 years with the WTA Tour, most recently as vice president of competition and on-site services. She will begin her new position on July 5 and will be based out of the USA Tennis High Performance Training Center at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Nachand will be responsible for the overall management of the women’s program, including overseeing the coaching staff and directing player activities at the Training Center. The USA Tennis High Performance program is charged with facilitating the development of world-class American tennis champions.
A native of California, Nachand graduated from the University of California at Irvine as a three-time All-American and is an inductee into the UCI Athletics Hall of Fame. She represented the U.S. at the World University Games in Bulgaria in 1977 before turning pro and playing at the Satellite and Tour level for four years.
Also, the USTA recently named Mike Nishihara as its strength and conditioning coach for the USA Tennis High Performance program. He will be based at the USA Tennis High Performance Training Center in Key Biscayne, Fla., and will be responsible for planning and implementing physical testing and training programs for players, and for educating players and coaches on issues of strength, training, conditioning, injury prevention and treatment.
Sporting Goods Industry Lobbies ‘The Hill’ For Support of P.E.
Sporting goods industry executives plus a number of sports superstars arrived on Capitol Hill recently to help fight childhood obesity, championing the cause for daily physical education classes in schools.
A delegation of well-known athletes, sporting goods manufacturers, sports retailers, concerned citizens, and association leaders visited Capitol Hill on May 5 to participate in P.E.4LIFE’s 4th Annual National P.E. Day activities, presented by SGMA International. They lobbied Congress for continued funding of daily P.E. classes in U.S. schools.
Some of the more prominent athletes in this delegation included 1982 Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL superstar Herschel Walker, tennis great Billie Jean King, six-time Ms. Olympia Cory Everson, NFL running back Clinton Portis, heavyweight boxing champ Chris Byrd, and WNBA player Jennifer Azzi.
At a news conference on Capitol Hill conducted by P.E.4LIFE, a 10-step action plan was unveiled, which will help make children healthier through quality, daily physical education programs and increased physical education. During the lobbying efforts, individuals held more than 100 meetings with U.S. representatives and senators to garner their support of the Carol M. White Physical Education for Progress Program (PEP). The industry was pushing for the PEP Bill to be funded in 2005 for $100 million. Last year, Congress approved $70 million in PEP funding.
The PEP program provides grants to school districts and community-based organizations to upgrade local physical education programs. PEP grants can be used to purchase sports equipment and train teachers in innovative physical education techniques.
Lotto Outfits Rome Event
Lotto Sport Italia, which outfits pro Dominik Hrbaty (below), was the official footwear supplier of the Telecom Italia Masters held in Rome in May. Lotto supplied the T-Court II model to the tournament’s 150 linesmen and more than 200 ball kids.
Comedian Alan King Dies; Longtime Tennis Supporter
Comedian Alan King, a longtime friend of tennis and a fixture at the U.S. Open, died on May 9 of lung cancer at a New York hospital. He was 76.
A comic favorite for six decades, King frequently could be seen at the U.S. Open and other tennis tournaments and events. He successfully invested in several businesses, and he used much of his fortune for charitable donations. He also founded a pro tennis tournament, the Alan King Tennis Classic in Las Vegas.
- The St. Louis District Tennis Association will host the 78th National Public Parks Championships from Aug. 1 to 7 at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center, in St. Louis, Mo. The tournament will serve as an official activity of the 100-year anniversary celebration of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. There is no qualifying, and all tennis players are welcome. Visit www.missourivalley.usta.com for more information.
- Dunlop’s 600G I.C.E. racquet received Tennis magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award in the publication’s June issue. The magazine said it’s an “excellent game-improvement racquet with an ideal blend of power and control.” For information on Dunlop products, call 800-277-8000.
- The SGMA board of directors has elected Tom Cove to the new post of executive vice president. Cove will subsequently assume the presidency of SGMA International on Feb. 1, 2005. Current President/CEO John Riddle will continue in that position through January 2005.
- The Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame inducted six new members in May: players Jim Delaney (Stanford), Paul Haarhuis (Armstrong State JC and Florida State), Gardner Larned (William & Mary), Billy Lenoir (Arizona), John Sadri (North Carolina State) and player/coach Jim Osborne (Utah).
- The USPTA Texas Division’s Southwest Buying Show will be Aug. 27-28 at the Woodlands Resort and Conference Center near Houston. For more information, call 888-445-0505.
- The USTA recently named the 2003 winners of its Media Excellence Awards. Print — James Beck of the Charleston (S.C.) Post & Courier; Broadcast — tennisreporters.net co-owners Ron Cioffi and Matthew Cronin; Multicultural Media — Tracy Allen of The Call Newspaper of Kansas City, Mo.
- Vic Braden was the featured speaker at Ferris State University for the 18th Annual Professional Tennis Management Program Banquet and Workshop in April. Braden appeared courtesy of Wilson Racquet Sports.
- The U.S. swept all four team events at the North/Central America and Caribbean Regional Championships in May, held at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Fla., and advanced to the World Group Final in Junior Davis Cup (16-and-under boys), Junior Fed Cup (16-and-under girls), and Word Junior Tennis (14-and-under boys and girls). The World Junior finals will be Aug. 2-7 in the Czech Republic; the Junior Davis and Fed Cup World finals will be Sept. 28-Oct. 3 in Barcelona.
- Dunlop 300G touring pro Amelie Mauresmo won her second Ladies German Open title in May.
WTT Kicks Off Pro League Season in July
Some of the biggest names in tennis”including Andre Agassi, Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick, Monica Seles, Anna Kournikova, and Maria Sharapova”will take to the courts during the 2004 World TeamTennis Pro League presented by ADT Security Services. The 2004 schedule includes 70 matches in 10 markets between July 5 and 25, with the WTT Finals set for Aug. 27-28 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
Other top-name pros set to play WTT this year include Mardy Fish, Mike and Bob Bryan and this year’s top WTT draft pick Patrick Rafter, making his league debut for the Philadelphia Freedoms.
After the regular season, the top two teams from the Western and Eastern Conferences advance to the season-ending WTT Championship. Semifinal matches will be on Friday, Aug. 27, and the WTT Finals will be held on the following day at the USTA National Tennis Center. The winning team will be awarded the King Trophy, named after WTT co-founder Billie Jean King.
ITA Awards Division II Tennis
The 2004 ITA national award winners for NCAA Division II tennis are (Men/Women):
- Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year: Tom Schrader, North Florida/Simon Earnshaw, Armstrong Atlantic State
- ITA National Senior Player of the Year: Jan Krejci, BYU-Hawaii/ Zsofia Golopencza, Armstrong Atlantic State
- ITA National Rookie of the Year: Stefan Dumitrescu, USC-Spartanburg/Jing Jing Liu, BYU Hawaii
- ITA National Player to Watch: Paulius Jurkenas, West Florida/Luisa Cowper, Armstrong Atlantic State
- ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership & Sportsmanship: Eduardo Rincon, Valdosta State/ Grace Wilhoite, Indianapolis
USTA, NRPA Award $250,000 For Tennis in the Parks Program
For the second straight year, the USTA has partnered with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to award $250,000 in grants to more than 80 park and recreation agencies across the nation. Grantees were selected from over 400 applications to receive up to a $5,000 grant to enhance the quality of their park and recreation programs The Tennis in the Parks grants support one of three specific needs: hiring a certified pro, hosting and/or attending a USTA Development Coach Workshop, or offering USA Team Tennis for youth and adults including a community event.
“Parks are a critical component in our efforts to grow the game,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis. “This program provides the opportunity for the USTA, NRPA, USPTA and PTR to work together to make tennis more accessible to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds in community parks throughout the country.”
“We’re excited to build on the successful momentum of last year’s Tennis in the Parks program,” says Kathy J. Spangler, national partnerships director of the NRPA. “The program elevates the caliber of tennis instruction so kids and adults are properly trained in a fun and safe environment.”
The National Recreation and Park Association, headquartered in Ashburn, Va., is a not-for-profit professional and citizen association dedicated to advancing parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts.
Collegiate All-Star Team To Compete In Exhibitions In China
Ten players and three coaches were selected by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association to represent the U.S. on the 2004 American Express Collegiate All-Star Team in two exhibition team matches in China in June. In addition to American Express, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Adidas and Tennis Magazine (China) are also sponsoring the tour. Tennis legend Stan Smith was named honorary coach for the team. A former U.S. Open, Wimbledon and NCAA champion, Smith also participated in an exhibition series in China in 1977.
The trip, hosted by the Chinese Tennis Association, had the U.S. squad competing against teams selected by the CTA, consisting of the best young players in China, ages 17-23.
The American Express Collegiate All-Star Team members are: (men) Lester Cook of Texas A&M, Phillip King of Duke, Rob Steckley of Lander (S.C.), Brian Wilson of Illinois, Jeremy Wurtzman of Ohio State, and (women) Zsofia Golopencza of Armstrong Atlantic State (Ga.), Amanda Johnson of Duke, Jennifer Magley of Florida, Jennifer McGaffigan of Illinois and Alicia Salas of Notre Dame. The All-Stars were selected by the ITA board of directors for their outstanding tennis achievements, as well as for their sportsmanship and ambassadorial qualities.
Team coaches are Louise Gengler of Princeton and Doug MacCurdy of the College of Santa Fe (N.M.). Prior to collegiate coaching, MacCurdy served as managing director for the International Tennis Federation and was director of player development for the USTA.
USTA Names First Chief Diversity Officer
The USTA named Karlyn E. Lothery to the new position of chief diversity officer, responsible for facilitating the implementation of strategies in the recently created “USTA Diversity Plan: Multicultural Focus.” The plan and the position are dedicated to increasing multicultural participation throughout the organization, from the national office to the sections and Community Tennis Associations, as well as all other internal and external business relationships.
Lothery will relocate to the USTA National Headquarters in White Plains and report to Lee Hamilton, Executive Director and COO.
“The USTA is committed to making diversity and multicultural participation an embedded part of the USTA culture by increasing multicultural participation in both the sport of tennis and the USTA itself,” says Hamilton. “Karlyn’s extensive experience in project management and corporate strategy make her the ideal person to lead us in our implementation of this top priority.”
Lothery joins the USTA after a decade in public relations, marketing and journalism. Since 2000, she has worked with Susan Peterson Productions Inc. in Washington, D.C. as training manager and communication consultant, where she designed new training techniques, managed marketing messages and strategies, and worked in public relations and crisis communications. Previously, Lothery held a number of on-air and behind the scenes positions in both television and radio in Augusta, Ga., and Charleston, S.C.
Lothery earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Georgetown University in 1995. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and of the Washington, D.C. Chamber of Commerce.