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TIA Scraps Plans For Tennis EXPO
The Tennis Industry Association has canceled the 2005 Tennis EXPO, which was to be held concurrent with the Super Show in Orlando, Fla., Jan. 17 to 19.
“We were ready to roll and had many exciting initiatives planned that could have made this a great event,” says TIA President Jim Baugh. “However, I am a realist. When manufacturers could not unite and commit to the EXPO, I knew this event would not achieve our goals. While I am sad and disappointed, the TIA alone cannot make an event. An event needs support from our industry to win.”
In an announcement at the TIA board meeting in New York in September during the US Open, the TIA spent only a few minutes discussing the cancellation, then quickly moved on to a raft of other initiatives and programs for retailers, facility managers, manufacturers and others in the industry. Baugh also thanked the staff at the Super Show and the SGMA, who had worked with the TIA to bring the Tennis EXPO.
“We must focus on the future,” says Baugh. “We are more focused than ever on accomplishing our mission, ‘to promote and develop the economic vitality of tennis.’”
USPTA Honors Teachers, Coaches, Volunteers
The USPTA honored its top teachers, coaches, players, volunteers and managers during an awards ceremony at the 77th USPTA World Conference on Tennis in September. The 10-day event was held at the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, Calif.
Steve Diamond of Montville, N.J., received the association’s top annual member award, the Alex Gordon Award for the USPTA Professional of the Year. Diamond’s career has included coaching high school teams to being technical adviser on the set of “The Sopranos” TV show. Diamond is the tennis director at Green Brook Country Club in North Caldwell, N.J.
The USPTA Star, recognizing teaching professionals who make an indelible mark on their communities through tennis, was awarded to two members. Anna Hazlett of Evansville, Ind., has been a tennis teaching pro for 30 years and also has made her local tennis community the beneficiary of her charitable attitude. Ronald Elizondo, who as a teenager once served jail time for robbing a tennis center, now brings tennis to economically disadvantaged children in Corpus Christi, Texas.
In the only category open to non-USPTA members, the Facility Manager of the Year award was given to Steve Matlaga of Delray Beach, Fla. Matlaga is decisive in his support for staff as general manager/COO of Gleneagles Country Club.
The USTA/USPTA Community Service Award went to Paul Allam of Redwood City, Calif. Allam is tennis director at the Pacific Athletic Club and event director for a fundraiser that has raised more than $150,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Other honorees are:
- Touring Coach of the Year: Craig Tiley, Champaign, Ill.
- College Coach of the Year: Matt Knoll, Waco, Texas
- High School Coach of the Year: Dan T. Holden, Jr., Dallas
- George Bacso Tester of the Year: Tommy Wade, Huntsville, Ala. Six Earn USPTA Master Professional Status
Six Earn USPTA Master Professional status
Only about one percent of the USPTA’s nearly 13,000 members worldwide have achieved the Master Professional designation. At the recent World Conference on Tennis, six more were added to this elite list:
- Jay Bewley, Baltimore, Md., director of racquet sports at the Baltimore Country Club
- Michael Burge, Bonita Springs, Fla., head professional at Bonita Bay Club
- Howard Chodak, Coral Springs, Fla., director of tennis at Heron Bay
- Rick Macci, Pompano Beach, Fla., owner of the Rick Macci Tennis Academy
- Jim Parker, Houston, director of tennis at Houston Racquet Club
- David T. Porter, Ed.D., Laie, Hawaii, head men’s and women’s tennis coach and full professor of exercise and sport science at Brigham Young University-Hawaii.
Gary receives USPTA Industry Excellence Award
Dave Gary of Topeka, Kan., the director of tennis operations for Wood Valley Racquet Club & Fitness Center and Kossover Tennis Center, received the USPTA’s Industry Excellence Award. The award, presented by USPTA President David Porter (at left in photo) recognizes tennis professionals who are resourceful and entrepreneurial in their approach to the business of tennis, and who balance that with a lot of giving. The award is sponsored by the TIA, which will provide a $1,000 grant, and supported by Sports Tutor, which will present a Tennis Tutor ball machine to Gary.
TIA Introduces New Programs, Products, and Services
At a key meeting in New York during the US Open, the Tennis Industry Association laid out an aggressive agenda designed to help facility operators and retailers throughout the country and to help boost TIA membership itself.
TIA President Jim Baugh and USTA Chief Executive of Community Tennis Kurt Kamperman recapped the “Tennis Campaign” for the assembled TIA board and audience of about 60. Key to the Tennis Campaign, said Baugh, is an industry that is working more closely together than ever before. The key initiative launched to consumers this year is the Tennis Welcome Center program, which now has more than 4,000 facilities and parks signed on.
Kamperman said that many TWCs have not made full use of the free marketing materials available to get the word out in their local communities. Data shows that of the TWCs that did advertise locally, 62 percent saw an increase in business, compared with 39 percent that saw an increase in business even though they didn’t advertise.
Baugh also outlined a plan to help turn back the loss of frequent players over the last few years, which includes addressing what players themselves identify as “key influencers”:
- Teaching Pros — which help players improve, keep them active and keep them playing frequently.
- Teams and Leagues — which keep players engaged in the sport and committed.
- Tennis Parties — a key for many successful facilities, to keep the fun and social contact in tennis.
- Telephones and Telemarketing — players want someone to contact them and set up matches.
- Technology — using technology as a tool to communicate with players and to help schedule matches, lessons, tournament and event registration, and more.
These “key influencers” to increase frequent play were revealed in the recent Tennis Participation Study, where 66,000 people were interviewed in independent research.
But the “trump card,” said Baugh, is focusing on fitness. “After ‘fun,’ exercise is the top reason people play tennis,” he said, “and for women and the 50-plus market, research shows that exercise is more important than fun.” Data from the TIA indicates that many new and former players would play more or would play again if they knew tennis is a good workout.
Baugh introduced “Cardio Tennis,” expected to roll out to the trade in the spring, then to consumers in the summer. Cardio Tennis will be a series of drills geared to giving players a great cardio workout. “It’s less about super strokes and more about a super workout,” Baugh said. “Cardio Tennis will be to tennis what spinning is to riding a bike.”
Also at the meeting, Baugh introduced new products and services designed to help facility operators and retailers. One is TennisCon- nect.org, a new software package aimed to help facilities and pros increase play frequency and communication. The software includes a website builder, group e-mail capability, live on-court reservation system, player matching, calendars and much more.
Other new TIA products include a Merchant Card Service that can reduce the rates to process credit-card transactions, and an Advantage Card to give members discounts on hotels, car rentals, airlines, restaurants, and more.
To find out more, contact the TIA at 843-686-3036, or visit TennisIndustry.org.
New TIA Membership Levels
“We think everyone in our industry has a reason to be a TIA member,” says Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “First and foremost, supporting the TIA equals supporting our plans to grow the game through all our grassroots initiatives. And now, we are offering some great tools, services and research for everyone to use, exclusive from the TIA, to grow the game and to grow your business, too.”
Individual memberships start at $100, retailer/facility memberships are $250, Facility Plus memberships (which include the new TennisConnect.org software) are $595, and Supporting Members pay $1,000. Participating Partners pay a percentage of sales, with a minimum of $5,000.
Contact 843-686-3036 or TennisIndustry.org.
Wilson, ITF Re-Sign 3-Year Davis Cup Ball Agreement
Wilson Sporting Goods and the International Tennis Federation have re-signed a three-year sponsorship agreement that keeps Wilson as the official ball of Davis Cup. In addition, Wilson Sports announced that it will also produce an official Davis Cup tennis racquet.
Wilson has been involved with Davis Cup since 2002. The Davis Cup racquet, says the company, complements Wilson’s current activities as the sole equipment supplier of the ITF development program, which has been a foundation of Wilson’s grassroots support of tennis throughout the world.
New DVD Magazine Debuts
Anew DVD tennis magazine, called IN•TENN, was introduced at the 2004 US Open. The DVD (which was also inserted with this issue of RSI magazine), is aimed at improving how people play the game, says Bob Gore, IN•TENN’s publisher.
“Each issue of IN•TENN is packed with instruction, strategy, drills, tips and conditioning information,” Gore says. “IN•TENN will increase your knowledge of tennis.” IN•TENN, which will be distributed quarterly, is only available on DVD. Each issue will be at least 90 minutes long and include 18 to 24 different video features. “The viewer points and clicks to watch the feature they want to watch, when they want to watch it,” the company said in a statement. For more information , visit intenn.com or contact Gore at 707-888-3714.
PTR Sets Symposium
The PTR will hold its International Tennis Symposium & $25,000 Championships Feb. 19 to 25 at the PTR headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
The Symposium annually attracts about 1,000 tennis teachers, coaches and tennis enthusiasts from more than 50 countries. In conjunction with the Symposium is the PTR $25,000 Championships, which will feature 28 divisions of play in men’s and women’s singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Also, there will be a Tennis Trade Show, featuring more than 40 tennis-related manufacturers and organizations.
For more information, contact the PTR at 800-421-6289 or visit www.ptrtennis.org.
PTR/ROHO Award Winners Named
John Johnston of Gainesville, Fla., received PTR’s Wheelchair Pro of the Year Award, presented during the PTR/ROHO $15,000 Wheelchair Tennis Championships, held Sept. 22-26 on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Johnston, a PTR member since 1989, is the tennis coach at Buchholz High School and plays on several able-bodied USTA Leagues. This year, he will be the first wheelchair player ever to compete in the USTA Nationals.
PTR’s Golden Eagle Award for service to the game was presented to Michael Paul of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Paul is the president of Middle Tennessee State University’s Wheelchair Club. Sports Tutor gave Paul a remote-control ball throwing machine.
This year’s Sportsmanship Award went to David Hartsek of Lexington, Ky.
Bälle de Mätch Signs Deal With Texas Coach Group
Southern California-based tennis apparel manufacturer Bälle de Mätch, has announced that it has a four-year contract with the Texas Tennis Coaches Association (TTCA) as the official team uniform supplier for all of the Texas high school and middle school tennis programs.
“We are excited about partnering with a company that is interested in supporting high school tennis in Texas,” says Randy Stewart, TTCA president. “Bälle de Mätch is an up-and-coming brand our kids will love to wear.” “The TTCA is a fantastic association of dedicated coaches whose members give so much of themselves in order to improve the tennis experience of kids all over Texas,” says Bälle de Mätch co-owner and partner John Embree.
In other news, Bälle de Mätch recently hired eight new sales reps. John Rushworth will handle the Northern California area. Marshall Carpenter and Sam Dehoyos will be in Colorado and Utah, respectively. Carey Powell will handle Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Evan Garfinkle will oversee southern Florida. Leitha Herring will take Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Mississippi. Dan O’Rawe will manage the Caribbean and Mexico. And Angie Berman will cover Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, eastern Washington and eastern Oregon.
For more information on the company, call 847-729-2497.
Gamma Adds to Its High-Performance String Line
Gamma Sports recently unveiled its newest high-performance strings — the Live Wire Revelation and Zo Sweet. Revelation features Live Wire filaments that are fused rather than bonded together for greater feedback and control. Live Wire filaments are fibers that stretch and recover at the same rate. As a result, says Gamma, maximum energy is stored in the string at impact and increases the energy returned to the ball upon recovery. In addition, the company says Revelation maintains tension longer than other “soft” multifilament synthetic strings, enabling the string to maintain its desired performance longer. Revelation also features a new longer lasting pearl coating on the outer surface. Revelation sets and reels are available in both 16 and 17 gauge.
Gamma Zo Sweet is a new hybrid combination featuring 17-gauge Zo monofilament main strings and 17-gauge TNT2 cross strings. This string provides players with a softer feel for greater comfort and power without sacrificing control, says Gamma.
Zo Sweet is a hybrid recommended for hard hitters who find polyester mains and crosses too stiff. To reduce impact and dampen vibrations for greater comfort and a solid feel, Sweet uses TNT2 17 as the cross strings. For additional information, visit gammasports.com or e-mail at email@example.com.
New Badminton String from Ashaway
Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced MicroPower XL, a new badminton string designed for players looking for a thin, playable string with more power and durability. The new 21 Light (.73 mm) tournament-gauge string measures 10 percent thinner than standard models, causing less wind resistance and allowing the shuttle to be hit harder and faster, says Ashaway. The manufacturing process combines 3,000 microfilaments onto one highly-oriented core. For more information, call 800-556-7260 or visit ashawayusa.com.
RSI/USTC&TBA Facilities of the Year: Interior Design
The beautiful indoor tennis facilities at The Bannockburn Club in Bannockburn, Ill., won honors in the RSI/U.S. Tennis Court & Track Builders Association 2003 Facility-of-the-Year Awards. The club added a separate new structure with four indoor courts to its existing facility. Global Sports & Tennis Design Group was the architect/engineer on the project, working with MC Sport Systems. The indoor courts use California Products’ DecoTurf and Courtsider Aerosystem Lighting by LSI. (For details on the 2004 Outstanding Tennis Facility Awards, contact the USTC&TBA at 410-418-4875 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Montreal Club Installs Classic Turf
Classic Turf of Woodbury, Conn., recently resurfaced the six indoor courts at the exclusive Le Sporting Club du Sanctuaire in Montreal, which is owned and operated by Tennis Corporation of America. Classic Turf President Tumer Eren said his company installed his standard 8 millimeter Classic Turf, which is a cushioned acrylic surface.
Eren said that earlier this summer, his company also resurfaced the Washington, D.C., court of the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. The work was completed by Bishop Tennis Courts of Sterling, Va. For more information about Classic Turf, contact 800-246-7951, e-mail email@example.com, or visit classicturf.org.
- HEAD N.V. and Donald Young of Atlanta have signed a multi-year agreement where the 15-year-old tennis phenom will use Head racquets, bags and accessories and Penn tennis balls.
- The 15 Plexipave courts installed at the Beijing Tennis Center played host to the ATP China Open Tennis Championships, which took place Sept. 10 to 26. The Pro-Purple color courts included a center court with seating for 10,000.
- Purchasers of Head’s Protector will receive a mini-CD attached to the frame that contains details on how the Protector addresses tennis elbow concerns, as well as tips on how to alleviate the symptoms. Highlights also include a history of Head’s technological innovations, medical studies and tests that led to the development of the Protector, and an overview of Head’s ProtectSystem.
- Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia won the US Open women’s singles title with a Head Liquidmetal Instinct. It was the second Grand Slam title this year for the Liquidmetal Instinct frame. Earlier, Head player Anastasia Myskina took home the French crown. Other Head players winning titles at this year’s Open were Mark Knowles, in men’s doubles, and Andrew Murray in boys’ singles.
- Fischer racquets claimed two titles at this year’s US Open. Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain won her third straight women’s doubles title (with Paola Suarez), and Vera Zvonareva of Russia won the mixed doubles title (with Bob Bryan). Fischer player Jessica Kirkland was the runner-up in girls’ singles.
- The Dunlop 300G helped collect three medals at the Olympics. Mardy Fish won a silver in men’s singles, Amelie Mauresmo won a silver in women’s singles, and Alicia Molik earned a bronze in singles.
- Dirk Cos is the new president of Universal Fabric Structures of Quakertown, Pa. In other moves: Craig T. Scott joins the company as vice president of marketing and sales, Jeffrey Merlet is the new sales manager, and Alec Gorsky is the new government contract manager.
- Subscribers to Bob Larson’s Daily Tennis or Tennis Celebs e-mail newsletters will receive a free one-year USTA membership, a $35 value for adults, $15 value for juniors. Regular price for Daily tennis is $97, and for Tennis Celebs $47. Junior subscriptions are $77 and $27, respectively. When current subscribers renew, Daily Tennis and Tennis Celebs will cover the cost of USTA membership. Visit dailytennis.com or tenniscelebs.com for more information.
- USTA First Vice President Franklin R. Johnson has been nominated to become the next USTA chairman of the board and president, replacing Alan Schwartz in a two-year term beginning in January. Other nominations are: Jane Brown as First Vice President; Lucy Garvin, Vice President; Gordon Smith, Vice President; and James Chaffin, Secretary-Treasurer. Nominated as directors at large are: Katrina Adams, Jim Baugh, Martin Blackman, David Dinkins, Joseph Grover, John Korff, Joaquim Rasgado Jr., Donald Tisdel, and David Wheaton.
- Welch Tennis will sponsor a clay-court maintenance seminar on Friday, Nov. 5, at The Oaks at Boca Raton in Florida. Contact Deb Carlson at 800-282-4415 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- More than 900 people entered to win a Penn prize pack at the Western and Southern Financial Group Masters tournament in Cincinnati in August. Entrants had to guess the number of Penn tennis balls in a huge tub. The winner, Tim Geraci of Cincinnati, hit the number on the head — 460. He went home with a Penn tennis duffle bag, cans of Penn tennis balls, and more.
- The following have been named as USPTA Player of the Year in their divisions: Men’s Open: Anders Eriksson, Georgetown, Texas; Women’s Open: Julie Cass, Austin, Texas; Men’s 35-and-Over: Mark Harrison, Melbourne, Fla.; Women’s 35-and-Over: Robin Keener, Melbourne, Fla.; Co-Men’s 45-and-Over: Jim Parker, Houston, and Brian Cheney, Chandler, Ariz.; Co-Women’s 45-and-Over: Sue Bramlette, Houston, and Kathy Vick, Lubbock, Texas.
- USPTA divisions receiving awards recently were: Division of the Year: USPTA Texas; Newsletter of the Year: USPTA New England; Most Improved Division of the Year: USPTA Florida.
- The USTA’s Advanced Media Committee recently named southerntennis.com the “2004 USTA Website of the Year. It is the official site of the USTA Southern Section.
- NBC’s coverage of Roger Federer’s four-set victory over Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final delivered a 3.6 overnight rating/10 share-up 33 percent over last year’s 2.7/8 for the Federer-Mark Philippoussis final, according to Nielsen Media Research. It is the event’s best overnight rating since 2000 when the Pete Sampras-Patrick Rafter matchup generated a 5.0/14.
- Newton, Mass., attorney Lazar Lowinger is the new tennis columnist for La Semana, the largest Spanish newspaper in New England. He also comments on tennis on Cuenca Vision, a TV station serving the Spanish community of greater Boston.
- Santa Ana College freshman Michelle Esquivel became the first women in California Community College history to capture a state tennis singles title while being concurrently enrolled in high school. The 18-year-old college freshman/high school senior finished the season undefeated in conference play (15-0) and 30-1 overall. Esquivel, who graduated from Sunny Hills High School (Fullerton, CA) on June 10, captured the California Community Colleges Women’s Tennis Singles title in May.
Wilson celebrates 90 years
In celebration of its 90th anniversary this year, Wilson Sporting Goods released a commemorative poster at this year’s US Open. The poster features many of Wilson’s top players from the past and present, including Jack Kramer, Venus & Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Pete Sampras, Justine Henin-Hardenne, and Stefan Edberg. For more information, visit wilsontennis.com.