Tennis Industry magazine

 

A Can't-Miss Marketing Strategy

By Peter Francesconi

Many retailers and facility managers think the Tennis Industry Association is mainly for manufacturers. But that is simply not the case. Over the last few years, the TIA has quietly been expanding its reach to facilities and retailers to help them grow their businesses. And, to that end, the TIA has created some excellent tools that you should be taking advantage of.

In 2004, the TIA added new member levels with benefits for facilities and retailers, and TennisConnect.org began providing online tools to handle website building, court reservations, player matching, and much more for facilities. In fact, in the first four months of 2006, more than 350,000 online court reservations were made through TennisConnect.

For more than a year, the TIA has incorporated a unique “Find a Player, Find a Court, Find a Program” feature on industry websites and major consumer sites such as Tennis.com and TheTennisChannel.com. The TIA also administers both the consumer and partner websites for Tennis Welcome Centers and Cardio Tennis.

What’s making all this happen? Technology. For retailers and facilities looking to connect with customers and players, the amount of tech-driven products available from the TIA — and the quality — is amazing.

TIA Executive Director Jolyn deBoer has made the tech focus one of her top priorities, and it’s paying off for everyone involved in this business. If you haven’t visited TennisWelcomeCenter.com or CardioTennis.com, you need to check them out. The features available for consumers, such as a ZIP code search of facilities, and the individual listings of programs, pro shops, player matching, directions, and much more, are outstanding.

What’s even more important for you, though, is getting your facility signed up for these websites (go to Partners.TennisWelcomeCenter.com and Partners.CardioTennis.com). They’re great, free ways to market your business. As a TWC or Cardio site, you’ll have “real-time” access to all your information, so you can list programs and update your listing whenever you need to. You’ll be tapping into a proven success. And, on GrowingTennis.com, you can see all the different tools and services available to facilities, including funding opportunities through the 50-50 co-op program.

DeBoer is coordinating a targeted marketing plan with one of the TIA’s partners, Blue Plate Media Services, that will have Tennis Welcome Centers in major newspapers and websites across the country, so potential customers will be able to find your facility easily. The program launched in early May, and after the first week, with just three markets, website traffic more than doubled. For your business, this could prove to be quite a powerful punch to your bottom line.

Find out what the TIA can — and will — do for your business. Visit tennisindustry.org now, or call 843-686-3036.

Peter Francesconi

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.

 

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