A Solid Foundation
There’s been a lot of good news in tennis lately. Participation is rising, equipment sales are up, the number of “play occasions” has increased. And, of course, the big statistic that many people have quoted over the last six months: Tennis is the only traditional participation sport to have grown in the last five years, up 10.3 percent, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.
Clearly, things are beginning to click in this industry.
But underneath all these participation increases is one solid, and very obvious, fact: Everyone who plays tennis in the U.S., whether a recreational player or a pro, has to play on a court.
And that’s why, in my opinion, the most important people in this sport are those who build and maintain tennis courts. They are, figuratively and quite literally, the foundation of tennis in this country.
Your business — whether you are a tennis retailer, facility or club manager, teaching pro, or manufacturer — depends on people playing the game. And that, in turn, depends on having courts to begin with. Tennis will not grow if courts in a community are in poor shape, or worse yet, if there are no courts.
Court builders, ably represented in the U.S. by the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), are in a remarkable position. Their influence has been increasing throughout this industry, and that’s great to see. Groups who have taken on the responsibility to increase tennis participation in the U.S. are reaching out more and more to those who make and refurbish our courts. We at RSI are dedicated to helping the court-building business, because we know how important it is to tennis overall.
If you’re a retailer or teaching pro or other industry person who never thought much about the court-construction business, take the time to get to know those who build and repair the courts in your area. They’re the foundation of your business, too.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.