'Tis the Season
For tennis fans in the U.S., it’s like being a kid again, with Christmas fast approaching.
We’re coming into the Tennis Holiday Season. So many things are happening in June, July, and August — all culminating with the greatest of tennis holidays, the US Open — that tennis aficionados can’t help but feel the excitement and anticipation.
The pre-holiday-season activities actually get under way in May, as a major Tennis Welcome Center promotion puts the sport once again in front of millions of newspaper and magazine readers across the country. May, which is USA Tennis Month, also will see at least 16 USTA “Tennis Block Parties” across the country, bringing instruction, interactive games and attractions to people of all ages and abilities.
But then the run-up to the Open begins, and it’s like the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, only longer. With the French Open beginning in May and Wimbledon in June, the excitement starts to build. And then, in July through August, we hit the US Open Series of summer tournaments, which was a big success in its inaugural year in 2004.
The Open Series’ 11 tournaments (although at press time it was unclear whether the TD Waterhouse men’s event would be eliminated, moved, or combined with a women’s tournament) attract all the best players in the world and feature expanded TV coverage. Helping to drive interest in the sport is a bonus prize money race in which the men’s and women’s winners of the Open Series receive double their prize money at the US Open.
At about the time of the US Open, while interest in the sport is high, the consumer rollout of Cardio Tennis will take place, emphasizing fun and fitness on the tennis court.
During the Grand Slam events, the US Open Series, and the US Open itself, facility and shop owners should start to capitalize on this Tennis Holiday Season. Become the source in your area for information on the pros. If you’re lucky enough to be near one of the Open Series tournaments, organize group outings to the event. Run special sales and other events in conjunction with the Open Series and the Open itself. Post draw sheets, TV schedules, and scores in your shop. And of course, have the TV in your lounge tuned to the events. We’re sure you can think of many more tie-ins that can help drive business to your facility and give your regular customers the feeling that you’re really plugged in to what’s going on.
‘Tis the season to feel the spirit of the sport.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.