Tennis Industry magazine


Industry News

Information to help you run your business.

Cardio Tennis Set to Debut in Spring

The TIA and its industry partners have set an appropriately aggressive agenda for rollout of the Cardio Tennis program. Cardio Tennis is a new group activity that features drills to give players of all abilities a high-energy workout. Participants burn calories while playing tennis, although the focus is more on a great workout.

Field tests, research, consumer surveys etc., are taking place through February and the Cardio Tennis program itself will start to roll out at industry conventions during the month. By mid-March, a DVD will be ready, and the web site will go live. Also, applications will be accepted at the web site for approved Cardio Tennis sites.

Cardio Tennis facility kits will start to ship around mid-May. The kit will include marketing tools such as a banner, a heart rate monitor map poster, counter cards, talking points for Cardio Tennis, special programs for Polar heart rate monitors, ad slicks, fliers, and more.

The plan is for the consumer web site,, to go live in mid-June, based on having at least 500 Cardio Tennis sites signed up. Consumer advertising will begin at this time, too. Then around Sept. 1, in conjunction with the US Open, there will be a major public relations effort (based on having 750 Cardio sites). Also down the road, the TIA is planning a kid’s version, called Cardio Tennis 4 Kids.

For more information, contact the TIA at 843-686-3036 or

Record Attendance at Upbeat ASBA Tech Meeting

The 2004 Technical Meeting of the U.S. Tennis Court & Track Builders Association — now called the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) — drew a record 350 attendees to the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans in early December.

ASBA staff
ASBA meeting

It was the first time the Technical Meeting drew more than 300 attendees, according to the ASBA’s Cynthia Jordan. There were about 50 first-timers at the meeting in addition to a high number of international attendees, Jordan said.

The boost in attendance seemed to illustrate the upbeat assessment that many at the meeting and concurrent trade show expressed about the tennis industry. “We’ve had a lot more construction projects this year [2004], and we’re optimistic for next year,” said Rob Righter of Nova Sports.

Drew Stewart of Bakko Bak Bords added, “We’re having a great year. We’ve seen different regions that typically haven’t been that strong” purchasing product.

Teri Wysocki of M. Putterman summed up the mood at the trade show part of the meeting: “Tennis is up. Business is good.”

Jordan said that 340 companies are now members of the ASBA, the most ever. At the Technical Meeting, nine court contractors and four track builders took the certification exams, which is the most ever, she said. The keynote speaker for the meeting was Ron Dibble, former major league pitcher and Cy Young Award winner.

The ASBA Winter Meeting will be Feb. 24 to 28 at the Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix. The 2005 Technical Meeting will be Dec. 2 to 7 at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay in Florida. For more information, call 866-501-ASBA or visit

PTR Sets 2005 International Tennis Symposium


Nearly 900 people from 52 countries attended the PTR International Tennis Symposium and $25,000 Championships last year, and event organizers are expecting an equally impressive turnout for the 2005 Symposium, which will be held Feb. 19 to 25 on Hilton Head, S.C.

Courses will cover such diverse topics as speed training, strategy for doubles and singles, the tennis business, training junior players, fast-action drills, munchkin tennis, wheelchair tennis, sports psychology, coaching advanced players and much more.

The week also includes the PTR $25,000 Championships, which crowns winners in 29 divisions in men’s and women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. Also, more than 40 tennis-related manufacturers and organizations are expected to exhibit at the Tennis Trade Show.

For more information or to register, visit or call 800-421-6289.

TIA Enhances TWC Program for 2005

The TIA is ramping up the industry’s Tennis Welcome Center program in 2005 with new programs, quality control enhancements and increased marketing support.

Tennis Welcome Center

In the works is a “Get Connected for 2005” plan of benefits for TWCs that will include individual websites, hosting, e-mail, online registration, find-a-game features, and more, says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. Both the trade website ( and the consumer site ( will also be enhanced. There also will be “generic” TWC programs available called “Learn to Play Fast” and “Learn to Play Doubles,” an improved marketing manual, and a Tennis Welcome Center Parties Program.

In terms of quality control, the TWC application and renewal process will now include specific criteria to determine eligibility, and there will be seminars and training workshops on customer service and local tennis marketing. In addition, the tennis teaching organizations will be adding educational certification and developing specialty courses. Better communication also is a key: The TIA plans to establish a TWC project manager position and to create 50 TWC ambassadors within the framework of the USTA sections.

Increased marketing support includes a projected commitment by the USTA of at least $2 million. Some of that money will go to fund marketing efforts including advertising in consumer magazines, newspapers, and TV. The plan also includes increased signage and other opportunities at pro tournaments, marketing to retailers to get them involved in their local communities, and a National Tennis Month (May) p.r. campaign.

TTC Launches on 42 Cable Systems

The Tennis Channel 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports launched on 42 cable systems in November and December, extending its reach in California, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and other areas. The 42 markets are:

The Tennis Channel

Bud Nihiser Retires From HEAD Penn

Bud Nihiser

After 42 years in the sporting goods industry, HEAD Penn Ohio-based District Sales Manager Bud Nihiser has retired. Nihiser spent more than 13 years with HEAD Penn, servicing clients in Indiana and Ohio.

“I feel truly blessed to have spent my entire career in this industry,” he says. “There are coworkers and customers dating back 40 years that I still stay in contact with.”

“Bud’s accounts love him for good reason,” says Greg Mason, HEAD Penn’s director of marketing and pro-specialty sales. “He consistently demonstrated highest integrity and truly cared about the business.”

Nihiser’s replacement in the Indiana/Ohio territory will be Steve Rothstein, who’s been in the tennis industry for 19 years.

USTA Names BJK to Chair High Performance Committee

The USTA has named Billie Jean King to chair the USA Tennis High Performance Committee. Also, Jack Kramer has agreed to join the committee as a special advisor. The committee will assist the USA Tennis High Performance professional staff, led by Paul Roetert and Eliot Teltscher, with its charge to facilitate the development of world-class American champions, providing promising players with access to the best coaching, training and conditioning.

“We are fortunate to have the incomparable Billie Jean King volunteer her expertise to take on this important responsibility,” says USTA President Franklin Johnson. “We are equally delighted to have one of the seminal figures in our sport, Jack Kramer, in an advisory role.”

King has worked with the USTA in a variety of capacities following her legendary playing career. She recently announced her retirement from the U.S. Fed Cup Team, which she helped coach this year, after 42 years of involvement with the team as a player, coach, and captain. Kramer was instrumental in forming the ATP in 1972 and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1968.

The USA Tennis High Performance program operates from two facilities — its headquarters in Key Biscayne, Fla., and a new training center in Carson, Calif.

Thorlo Unveils 2 New Tennis Socks

Thorlo Tennis Level 2

Thorlo brand has launched two new tennis socks, to give consumers a choice of protection: Tennis Thorlos Protection Level 1 and Tennis Thorlos Protection Level 2.

The new Level 1 sock is designed to provide protection for low intensity, less strenuous activities, for instance for occasional tennis players who prefer lightweight padding at the ball and heel and wear narrow-lasted shoes. CoolMax provides wicking to help keep feet dry, and the Level 1 sock will not change a player’s shoe size.

The new Level 2 sock, designed for medium intensity activities that are moderately strenuous, provides medium density padding along the heel, ball, and top of the toes. It combines CoolMax and Thorlon for wicking and padding.

Thorlo also offers a Level 3 sock for high-intensity activities. This product has high-density padding under the ball and heel and along the top of the toe.

Tennis Thorlos are available in crew, cuff top, mini crew, micro mini crew, and roll top styles and range in price from $11 to $13. For more information, visit

HEAD Penn Announces Organization Changes for 2005

Jennifer Parker

HEAD Penn Racquet Sports announces several strategic organizational changes, including restructured territories, a new regional sales manager and a new business manager for Penn.

Jennifer Parker, formerly the communications manager for HEAD Penn and the product manager for Penn accessories, is Penn’s new business manager. She is now responsible for managing all aspects of the Penn business including branding, packaging, point-of-sale and sales programs.

Also, longtime Dunlop/Slazenger tennis manager Kai Nitsche has joined HEAD Penn as the Southern regional sales manager. He brings his extensive marketing, sales, and product manager experience to managing the region stretching from North Carolina to Florida and west to Texas and the central Midwest.

In other sales territory moves, designed to best fit regional climates and retailer and consumer purchase patterns, former Eastern Regional Manager John Tranfaglia is now responsible for the newly formed Northern region. His territory will include his current Northeastern markets as well as markets south to Virginia and throughout the upper Midwest. Rich Neighbor will continue as Western Regional Manager with no market changes.

Short Sets

Ashaway Introduces Line Of Multi-Polymer Monofilaments

Ashaway says its new line of multi-polymer monofilament tennis strings represents the first synthetic gut on the market to combine both resiliency and durability in a single string.

Ashaway MonoGut

MonoGut was designed for power players who want a strong string while providing good feel and control, says the company. It’s available in 16- and 17-gauge versions, as well as a hybrid set. The 16L-gauge MonoGut provides maximum durability with a highly playable string, says Ashaway, and is the most popular monofilament construction for professional players. MonoGut 17 is recommended for hard-hitters and players who find hybrids too stiff.

New Crossfire MonoGut hybrid string sets combine 16L-gauge MonoGut mains and 16-gauge synthetic gut crosses for durability, playability, and tension holding. Ashaway says the sets are ideal for both hard-hitters who want a softer-playing string and power players looking for a more durable hybrid.

For more information, contact 800-556-7260 or visit

Olympus, USTA Ink 4-Year Deal, Talk Fashion Show

Olympus Imaging America Inc. has signed a four-year worldwide marketing partnership to expand its association as the Official Camera of the US Open and its charter sponsorship of the US Open Series, the eight-week summer tennis season that links 10 tournaments to the US Open, the USTA announced in December.

The deal, for a reported $35 million, is believed to be the largest of its kind for any sport in the category of cameras, imaging, printers, and binoculars, other than the Eastman Kodak deal for the Olympics, reports the publication SportsBusiness Journal.

Olympus will be designated as the “Official Camera” of the US Open and the US Open Series and will be named the “Official Binocular” and “Official Photo Image Storage and Image Printing” sponsor of the US Open.

The USTA and Olympus apparently are discussing the possibility of staging a fashion show, the business publication reported. Olympus sponsors Fashion Week in New York, which occurs around the time of the US Open, and both organizations appear to be looking for crossover promotion opportunities.

New ‘TennisMind’ CD

TennisMind CD

Sport psychology consultant and tennis teaching pro Dr. Robert Heller has released “TennisMind,” which combines visual and auditory technology to address 20 key areas to help your competitive athletes perform at their best. The two-volume mental conditioning CD/software program, written by Heller in conjunction with Subconscious Training Corp., contains lessons for developing confidence, managing mistakes, controlling anxiety, taming anger and 16 additional topics designed to help players build “emotional muscle.” TennisMind is $49.95 from The Winning Edge (


‘Got Milk?’ Scholarships Available For Student-Athletes

Do you know of or coach a high school scholar-athlete who’s looking to get money for college? The National Milk Mustache “got milk?” Campaign has teamed up with USA Today for the eighth annual Scholar Athlete Milk Mustache of the Year (SAMMY) Awards.

The SAMMY’s grant 25 college scholarships to stand-out high school seniors nationwide who have made milk their beverage of choice, excelled in the classroom and are at the top of their game. In addition to a $7,500 scholarship, each winner will attend a special awards ceremony at Disney’s Wide World of Sports and grace the pages of USA Today with their own milk mustache ad that will run in June 2005.

A celebrity panel of athletes, including Andy Roddick, Michelle Kwan, Jason Kidd, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, and Brad Johnson, will select the SAMMY winners based on academic performance, athletic excellence, leadership skills, and community service.

High school seniors can visit to complete and submit an online application, where they’ll be required to describe in 75 words or less how drinking milk is part of their everyday life and training regimen. Entries must be submitted by March 4. Finalists will be named by June.



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