Information to help you run your business.
USTA Invests In The Tennis Channel
The USTA has made a financial investment in The Tennis Channel, the 24-hour TV network dedicated to tennis. In conjunction with the deal, which industry insiders say may be as much as $10 million, the USTA will have an active role in the direction of the network.
“We are keenly aware of the importance of The Tennis Channel to the visibility and growth of tennis and are now pleased to be an investor,” Franklin Johnson said when the deal was announced in mid-December. Johnson is the immediate past president and chairman of the board of the USTA, whose term ended Dec. 31. “By supporting The Tennis Channel, we are supporting the sport of tennis and we look forward to helping the channel grow and reach more and more fans.”
“This is an investment in the growth of the sport — and one that will help to expand the amount of tennis available to the U.S. television audience,” said Arlen Kantarian, the USTA’s chief executive of Professional Tennis. “Destination television for the top sports is important for the future, and a successful namesake network for tennis is a natural next step.”
“For the people who run the sport in the U.S. to share a role in the growth of this network amounts to an extremely gratifying vote of confidence,” said Ken Solomon, TTC chairman and CEO. “We look forward to working closely with the board, staff and entire USTA family.”
Lee Introduces New ClayTech Court Surface
Lee Tennis, the producer of the Har-Tru clay court material, has introduced a new surfacing option that the company says “blends the sliding comfort of clay with the simple, low maintenance aspects of a hard court.”
The product, called ClayTech, debuted in the U.S. in early December at the American Sports Builders Association Technical Meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla. It consists of a polypropylene membrane topped with a layer of natural clay. The membrane product has been used for a number of years in the European tennis market.
“ClayTech is another great sliding surface option for all players who want to play for life, and it’s a solid match for Har-Tru,” says John Welborn, the director of Lee Tennis. “ClayTech’s versatile nature affords its players slide comfort, minimizing the risk of injuries and maximizing health benefits, all-year-round playability, and minimal maintenance similar to that of a hard court.”
From the samples available at the ASBA trade show, the ClayTech product has a look and feel similar to a full Har-Tru court. ClayTech can be installed over an asphalt or concrete base, or an existing tennis court, by placing an adhesive between the base and the product. Court lines are painted in place. ClayTech is available in two colors: red clay and Har-Tru green.
According to Lee Tennis, maintenance requirements are a simple sweep, and water consumption is reduced because ClayTech facilitates water absorption and drainage. The surface also is playable in all weather, including after a rainfall, and is resistant to UV rays, says the company.
Inaugural GSS Stringers Symposium Set
The 2007 GSS Racquet Stringers Symposium will be April 1 to 4 at the T-Bar-M Resort and Conference Center in New Braunfels, Texas, and will feature some of the world’s top racquet technicians and industry professionals in a hands-on learning environment. Sessions will explore the latest trends and technologies in the racquet sports industry.
This first-ever event, presented by GrandSlamStringers.com, will include sessions on racquet customization, equipment selection, stringing for the pro tours, working with natural gut, machine repair and maintenance, basic and advanced stringing, and much more. MRT testing and a stringing contest will be held on Wednesday, April 4.
Not only will participants be able to pick the brains of expert racquet technicians and learn the tricks and secrets the experts use to service touring pros, but there also will be vendor booths highlighting the latest in stringing machines, diagnostic equipment, and other products.
Seminar leaders include Bob Patterson, John Gugel, Richard Parnell, Ron Rocchi, J.C. Carpentier, Mark Gonzalez, Grant Morgan, Frances Davies, and Tim Strawn. Event sponsors include Alpha, Bow Brand, and Wilson.
Stringing Championship Returns to Vegas
The Wilson World Stringing Championships will return to the Tennis Channel Open in 2007. Tennis enthusiasts and professional racquet stringers go head to head to record the fastest time stringing a racquet.
First rounds will be held on Friday, March, 2, at the Darling Memorial Tennis Center at Summerlin in Las Vegas. Final rounds will be March 3. Prizes and/or prize money will be awarded.
Registration is $50 and includes a complimentary ticket to the tournament for the March 2 day session. Participants advancing to the second round will receive a ticket for March 3, too. To register or to view the rules for the event, visit tennischannelopen.com/events or call 866-641-6795.
The Tennis Channel Open will be held in Las Vegas from Feb. 25 to March 4.
Prince Launches New O3 Speedport Frames
Prince debuted its new O3 Speedport racquets in a launch to dozens of key specialty retailers in late November, which was held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix. The launch also served to preview other upcoming Prince products, including new strings and grips, shoes, new bags, apparel, and a new stringing machine.
But the big news was the introduction of three O3 Speedport models, the Silver, Blue, and Red. Dealers had a chance to hit with the new frames on the courts at the Arizona Biltmore with teaching pros and tennis legend Stan Smith.
Speedport is the latest take on Prince’s highly successful and award-winning O3 Technology, which was introduced in 2005. Instead of the round grommet-less string holes in the original O3 frames, the new Speedport frames feature slightly larger, rectangular string holes. Prince says the new Speedports increase the frame’s racquet-head speed by 24 percent and creates a more forgiving string bed and larger sweetspot.
“O3’s core premise revolves around oversize string holes [O-Ports], which are ideally suited to improve aerodynamics,” says Roberto Gazzara, director of research and development at Prince. “By refining the size, location, and shape of these ports, we’ve been able to increase racquet speed dramatically, which improves the ability for players to get their racquet in position, making better ball contact and hitting more clean and precise shots.”
“The message is, ‘Engineered for speed,’” says Linda Glassel, Prince Sport’s vice president of marketing. She said that the marketing and advertising support for the new racquets will be “the strongest commitment that we’ve made. We’re going to take [consumer awareness] to the next level.”
A new website launched in early January with 360-degree views of the racquet, and various point-of-purchase materials and wall displays are available for dealers. In addition, Prince is supporting other efforts, such as an “O3 Speed Challenge” — a city tour where consumers can take the challenge of extra racquet speed, says Glassel. Also planned are demo events advertised nationally and regionally.
Nearly 100 touring pros have switched to O3 since its introduction in 2005, and Prince says that touring pros continue to switch to the new technology at a 56 percent conversion rate. The company also says that all these pro players’ rankings have improved since switching to an O3 frame.
For more information, visit princetennis.com.
Sales of Ashaway PowerNick 18 Growing Steadily
Officials at Ashaway Racket Strings report that sales of the PowerNick 18 Squash String have grown 20 percent a year since its introduction in 2002. The string, which was one of the first on the market to use high-tech Zyex fibers in its core, is noted for its combination of playability and durability, says the company, and is the string of choice for two-time squash World Champion David Palmer. PowerNick 18, with its vibrant shade of red, is recommended for professional and advanced amateur players, or the player who is working toward a “red-hot” power game, says Ashaway. For more information, contact email@example.com or 800-556-7260, or visit ashawayusa.com.
John McEnroe Re-Signs with Dunlop Sports
Tennis legend John McEnroe has extended his racquet and ball sponsorship with Dunlop Sports Group Americas through September 2009.
“My Dunlop racquet is a very important and integral part of my game,” says McEnroe. “I played with a Dunlop racquet during the best years of my career and I still play with a Dunlop racquet. I am delighted to be an ambassador for Dunlop, since we have had a very successful partnership for so many years.”
In a career that has spanned three decades, McEnroe has won 155 singles and doubles titles and is considered to be one of the most talented players of all time. The Emmy-nominated broadcaster won his first Wimbledon title in 1981 with a Dunlop Maxply racquet.
“John’s endorsement of the winning qualities of Dunlop racquets is the highest praise we could hope for and is testament to Dunlop’s position as the leading brand in performance tennis equipment,” says Steve Hall, director of marketing at Dunlop.
USTA Partners with Active Network
The USTA and The Active Network Inc. announced a new partnership in mid-December that will provide the USTA with the ability to better service its members and increase participation, says the USTA.
Active, a leading provider of application services technology and marketing solutions for community service and participatory sports organizations, will host and support the USTA’s TennisLink infrastructure, the registration and match-result system for USTA League and Tournament players. Active and the USTA will also work together to build an online tennis community at Active.com that will feature local tennis events and tennis tips and drills. Through marketing opportunities such as newsletter placements and local tennis event announcements, Active will help support the interest in tennis participation among the more than 690,000 USTA members and the 12 million Active members.
“This relationship will allow us to increase benefits for our current members while also giving us the capability to promote tennis to millions of individuals already interested in living an active lifestyle,” says Franklin Johnson, the immediate past president of the USTA.
“Our interest in maximizing participation in activities such as tennis that support healthy lifestyles and our dedication to creating a better experience for online users are precisely aligned with the interests and goals of the USTA,” says Jon Belmonte, Active’s COO.
Additional partnership highlights include a seat on the board of Active to be held by USTA board member John Korff. The USTA and Active will work together to expand the current offerings included in the membership benefits program to support players and their families, including discounts on travel, hotel reservations, sports gear, dining and entertainment features.
‘On Court with USPTA’ Receives Gold Award
The cable TV show “On Court with USPTA,” produced by the USPTA, received the Gold Award in the MarCom Creative Awards 2006 competition. The award-winning episode, “Blueprint for Junior Success,” which aired on The Tennis Channel, won in the category of video/film/TV program (cable).
“On Court” is a 30-minute instructional show featuring USPTA-certified pros as guest instructors. The USPTA became the first tennis-teaching organization to produce and air an educational television series on playing and teaching modern tennis on The Tennis Channel in 2003. Since then, more than 30 shows have been produced that provide instruction about technique, strategy and other facets of the game, such as fun and fitness.
“Blueprint for Junior Success” featured guest professional Rick Macci, a USPTA Master Professional. The episode incorporated key elements that contribute to the success of a junior tennis player including building the correct foundation, developing good footwork skills and having a good attitude. It also examined the junior competitive ladder, USTA’s progressive development phases and USPTA’s general performance components.
The Gold Award is presented to entries judged to exceed the high standards of the industry norm. About 16 percent of the entries received this honor.
DVDs of “Blueprint for Junior Success” and all other “On Court” episodes are available for purchase online at uspta.com.
WTT Crowns 2006 Delaine Mast Award Winners
Ronita Elder of Los Angeles and Rich Gottfried of Rockville, Md., were recognized as the 2006 recipients of the Delaine Mast Award at the WTT Rec League National Finals in Indian Wells recently.
The annual award recognizes a male and a female World Team Tennis Rec League director who contribute to the growth of tennis and WTT, as well as being a leader and role model in their local tennis community. Delaine Mast is the national director of the WTT Recreational League.
In related news, WTT named its top Rec League directors in the U.S., based on the numbers of players that play in their WTT Leagues throughout the year. In addition to the recognition, the directors receive Wilson, Bälle de Mätch, and WTT gifts.
The top WTT Rec League directors for 2006 are: David Bell, Raleigh, N.C.; Ann Bent/Orly Mayron, Broward and Palm Beach Counties in Fla.; Martin Brody, Tulsa, Okla.; Mary Cook/Harvey Jones, Atlanta; Scott Hanover, Kansas City, Mo.; Mike Hasan, San Diego (North County); Mark Johnson, Mobile, Ala.; Carol Jory, San Diego; Pat Purcell, St. Louis; Steve Riggs, Irvine, Calif.; Tri City Tennis Association, Albany, N.Y.; Elaine Wingfield, Key Biscayne, Fla.
Wilson, Emersontennis Partner for EZ Tennis Wand
Wilson Sporting Goods has signed a licensing agreement with Emersontennis to market, manufacture, and sell the EZ Tennis Wand, one of several tennis-training tools from Emersontennis. It will be part of Wilson’s EZ Tennis program.
Wilson’s EZ Tennis product category is one of the leading catalysts to the growth of tennis participation in the U.S., says Jim Burda, Wilson’s director of promotions. Emersontennis has also agreed to expand its existing website to provide a more “teaching-centric” venue.
Orange Bowl Names 2006 Champs
The 2006 Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships was held Dec. 4-10 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, Fla. It was the 60th anniversary of the prestigious event. Past champions include some of tennis’s greatest players, such as John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Chris Evert, Gabriela Sabatini, Anna Kournikova, and Elena Dementieva.
The 2006 champions include:
- Boys’ 18s Singles: Petru Alexandru Luncanu, Romania
- Boys’ 18s Doubles: Daniil Arsenov, Russia, and Roman Jebavy, Czech Republic
- Girls’ 18s Singles: Nikola Hofmanova, Austria
- Girls’ 18s Doubles: Sorana-Michaela Cirstea, Romania, and Urszula Radwanska, Poland
- Boys’ 16s Singles: Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria
- Boys’ 16s Doubles: Xavier Spong, Netherlands, and Ilija Vucic, Serbia
- Girls’ 16s Singles: Allie Will, Boca Raton, Fla.
- Girls’ 16s Doubles: Jessica Alexander, Tyler, Texas, and Lauren Embree, Marco Island, Fla.
Prince O3 Hybrid Hornet Wins Top Design Award
Prince’s O3 Hybrid Hornet recently won the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design 2006 Good Design Award. It’s the second major award for the O3 Hybrid Hornet after being named a Tennis Magazine Editor’s Choice for 2006.
The award also marks the fourth national award for Prince’s O3 technology. Earlier in 2006, O3 was given an Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) Bronze by the Industrial Designers Association of America (IDSA), and in 2005, O3 received the Popular Science “Best of What’s New” Award. The O3 Silver was named a Tennis Magazine Editor’s Choice in 2005.
“We are truly honored to receive such a distinguished award from The Chicago Athenaeum, an organization with a time-honored commitment to design and aesthetics,” says Linda Glassel, Prince Sports’ vice president of marketing and communications. “The O3 Technology platform has redefined our business and is being recognized among the most creative, innovative products in the world. The award is a testament to Roberto Gazzara and our stellar design team.”
For more information about the Good Design Award, visit chi-athenaeum.org.
2007 PTR Symposium Set
There’s still time to register for the 2007 PTR International Tennis Symposium and $25,000 Championships, which will be Feb. 17 to 23 at Shipyard Plantation on Hilton Head Island, S.C. The week includes presentations by some of the industry’s best, professional development courses, a trade show, an opportunity to network with others in the business, and much more.
Speakers will include Jim Loehr, Mike Barrell, Tim Mayotte, Pat Etcheberry, Rodney Harmon, Lisa Duncan and many more. Also, the Symposium offers popular Professional Development Courses that will include such topics as Growing Kids, Growing the Game; Team Coaching; Advanced Coaching; Successful Doubles; Racquet Stringing; Sports First Aid; and more. There will also be the popular “Drill Exchange,” where PTR members share their favorite drills.
Registration starts at $325 and includes presentations, Awards Banquet, Flag Ceremony, Head Dinner Party, Gamma Casino Night, Kaelin Dinner & Fashion Show, Trade Show admission, USTA Recognition Breakfast, Closing Ceremony, and portfolio. For more information or to register, visit ptrtennis.org, or call 800-421-6289 or 843-785-7244.
Community Tennis Workshop Slated for Feb. 9-11
The USTA is again presenting the Community Tennis Development Workshop — a weekend packed with opportunities and ideas to help increase tennis participation and to increase your business. The 2007 CTDW will be Feb. 9 to 11 at the Hilton Atlanta, in downtown Atlanta, Ga.
Attendees will participate in an educational weekend with leading speakers and have a chance to network with peers who are growing tennis across the country. Topics include budgeting, event planning, media relationships, advocacy, branding, fund-raising, customer service, and more.
- Trevor Lavelle is the new Southern Regional Sales Manager for HEAD Penn Racquet Sports. His replacement in the South Florida territory is Joe Habenschuss.
- Sarah Maynard has joined Wilson Racquet Sports as territory manager for Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y. Previously, she was with Völkl Racquets for eight years.
- The Tennis Channel recently promoted four staffers: Josh Ross to senior web producer, Neema Nikravan to facilities manager, Daisy Guzman to systems manager, and Mark Schaefer to operations coordinator. In addition, Jennifer Kenas rejoins the TTC as a consultant for tennis industry relations.
- Alex Metreveli of Russia is the recipient of the 2006 Davis Cup Award of Excellence, presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation.
- Billie Jean King was inducted recently into the brand-new California Hall of Fame, along with such luminaries as Ronald Reagan, Walt Disney, Clint Eastwood, Amelia Earhart, Sally Ride and Cesar Chavez. Hosts of the ceremony were California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver.
- The International Tennis Writers Association recently honored pro players Roger Federer and Amelie Mauresmo. Tennis writers voted both players as Players of the Year, then also honored them with the ITWA’s Ambassador for Tennis awards, which recognize players who go out of their way to advance the sport on a global level. It’s the third straight year that Federer received both the organization’s annual accolades.
- James Hunt of Orlando, Fla., has been named chairman of special populations for the USPTA. Hunt has been a member of the USPTA for 25 years and holds a Pro 1 certification. In his role, he hopes to get the USPTA and its members involved in taking tennis to both the Special Olympics and special populations. Contact 407-924-7505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Luxilon Expands Global Player Servicing
Luxilon, a leading manufacturer of specialty monofilaments, says it will aggressively expand global player servicing and sponsorship initiatives for 2007. The new comprehensive program will include reallocating resources and placing a stronger emphasis on direct player services and the development of specific sponsorship programs.
“The first year of our Luxilon/Wilson partnership has been a tremendous success, with pro player demand for our string beyond even our own expectations,” says John Lyons, Wilson’s global business director of accessories.
Lyons will manage the day-to-day Luxilon business related to product development and marketing. Global Tour Director Michael Wallace will continue to oversee all players for both Wilson and Luxilon. Supporting Wallace will be the following expanded Luxilon Global Service Team members:
- Massimo Calvelli, European Tour Manager (Florence, Italy)
- Alex Muresan, USA Junior Tour Manager (Chicago)
- Renaud Vallon, European Junior Tour Manager (Lyon, France)
- Birgit “Biggi” Ziener, Amer Sports Europe (Munich, Germany)
Also for early 2007, Wilson and Luxilon are set to launch two new hybrids. Champions Choice, a combination of Alu Power Rough and natural gut, and Ultimate Duo, a hybrid of Alu Power and Wilson’s top-rated NXT Tour multifilament.
Coaches, teaching pros, and trainers seeking more information should contact their Wilson rep or visit wilson.com. ATP, WTA, or ITF ranked junior players seeking Luxilon sponsorship should contact Ms. Birgit Ziener, phone +49 89 89801 274 or email email@example.com.
Tennis Pioneer Lamar Hunt Dies
Hall of Famer Lamar Hunt died Dec. 13 in Dallas after a long battle with cancer. He was 74.
Hunt is the only individual to have been inducted into three major Halls of Fame: the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972, the Soccer Hall of Fame in 1982, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993. He co-founded World Championship tennis in 1967, which existed for 23 years before giving way to the start of the ATP.
Hunt helped develop and build the American Football League in 1959 and is credited with coining the term “Super Bowl.” After the AFL and NFL merged in 1966, he was credited with introducing the two-point post-touchdown conversion to the NFL.
He was currently owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Lamar Hunt Trophy is presented annually to the American Football Conference Champions. Hunt was also an original investor in the North American Soccer League (NASL).
USRSA member classifieds
FOR SALE: Babolat Star 3 $1895. Purchased new in 2001. Machine recently checked out and certified by Albert Lee. Will deliver within 200 miles of Reston, Virginia. Email or call Robert Barnett for particulars. firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 703-478-9874.
FOR SALE: Babolat Star 3 Stringing Machine. Completely Reconditioned by Tennis Machines Inc. Serial No. 10971/MFG. Dated 8/9/89. Very Good Condition. $2800. Contact Russ Sheh, USPTA/USRSA 760/323-7536.
ASBA Draws Hundreds To Daytona Meeting
The 2006 American Sports Builders Association drew more than 300 court and track builders, including 50 first-time attendees, to the Plaza Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach, Fla., in early December for seminars, presentations, a trade show, awards, and more.
“We’re a group of competitors that puts aside its competition and comes together to benefit the industry,” said Gerry Wright, the ASBA’s chairman, at the opening session. The keynote speaker for the conference was Greg Hoyle of Hoyle & Associates of Denver, who spoke about Team Building, Conflict Resolution, and Lessons from a 14th Century Contractor.
Among the highlights of the meeting were a tennis “Problem-Solving Roundtable,” led by David Marsden of Boston Tennis Court Construction of Hanover, Mass., and Joe Matoskey of General Acrylics of Phoenix. Also, the Tennis Division meeting featured “A State of Tennis” session with Keith Storey of Sports Marketing Surveys and John Welborn of Lee Tennis, who represented the Tennis Industry Association. Geoff Norton of the USTA also presented to the group on USTA Public Facility Funding and how it impacts the ASBA.
The ASBA will hold its Winter Meeting Feb. 22 to 26 at the Tradewinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach, Fla. The 2007 Technical Meeting will be Dec. 1 to 4 at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas.
For more about the ASBA or any of its meetings, or to join, call 410-730-9595 or 866-501-ASBA, or visit sportsbuilders.org. The ASBA’s Tech Meeting was put together by (above, from left) Executive Vice President Carol Hogan, Financial Manager Judy Mellendick, and Association Coordinator Cynthia Jordan.
TIA Recognizes Top 50 TWCs
The TIA is recognizing the best in Tennis Welcome Centers with its new TWC Top 50 Awards. The facilities were chosen based on the numbers of new and returning players, the level of participation in grassroots initiatives, and community tennis development (including Block Parties, Co-Op Program funding, and beginner adult, junior, and adaptive programs). Also considered were compliance with introductory program listing criteria, survey activity response, and registration on tenniswelcomecenter.com.
The Top 50 TWCs are:
- Heatherwood Country Club, Birmingham, Ala.
- Scottsdale Park Ranch Sports Complex, Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Arizona Tennis Association (multiple TWC locations), Scottsdale, Ariz.
- Los Gatos High School, Blossom Hill Park, Castillero Middle School, Los Gatos & San Jose, Calif.
- Sunburst Park, Joshua Tree, Calif.
- Rudgear Park, Walnut Creek, Calif.
- Northstar Tennis, Truckee, Calif.
- 5 Star Tennis at Lindero Country Club and Stretch-n-Grow Tennis, Los Angeles County, Calif.
- Barnes Tennis Center, San Diego, Calif.
- Claremont Resort and Spa, Berkeley, Calif.
- Littleton Golf & Tennis Club and Holly Tennis Center, Littleton and Centennial, Colo.
- Meadow Creek Tennis and Fitness Club, Denver/Lakewood, Colo.
- Valley Country Club, Aurora, Colo.
- Delaware Tennis Center at Bellevue State Park, Wilmington, Del.
- Treasure Bay Golf and Tennis, Treasure Island, Fla.
- Paul J Maxwell Tennis Center, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
- Reynolds Plantation Lake Club Tennis Center, Greensboro, Ga.
- The Cherokee Tennis Center, Woodstock, Ga.
- Bitsy Grant Tennis Center, Atlanta, Ga.
- Apple Athletic Club Tennis Facility, Idaho Falls, Idaho
- Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet & Fitness Club, Homewood, Ill.
- Pike High School, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Indian Creek Racquet Club, Overland Park, Kan.
- Querbes Tennis Center, Shreveport, La.
- William E. Carter Playground, Boston, Mass.
- Maine Pines Racquet & Fitness Club, Brunswick, Maine
- Herb Neils Tennis Center, Libby, Mont.
- Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center, Raleigh, N.C.
- The Atlantic Club Tennis Center, Manasquan, N.J.
- TennisTIP.com, New York, N.Y.
- East Williston High School, Roslyn Heights, N.Y.
- South Towns Tennis Club, Orchard Park, N.Y.
- Point Set Indoor Racquet Club and The Woodmere Club, Oceanside and Woodmere, N.Y.
- Shadow Valley Tennis & Fitness Center, Maumee, Ohio
- Towpath Racquet Club, Akron, Ohio
- Family Circle Tennis Center, Daniel Island, S.C.
- Grande Dunes Tennis Club, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
- Lexington County Tennis Complex, Lexington, S.C.
- Tennis Center of the Black Hills, Rapid City, S.D.
- Circle C Tennis Club, Austin, Texas
- Southlake Tennis Center, Southlake, Texas
- Arlington Tennis Center, City of Arlington Parks and Recreation Department, Arlington, Texas
- Summit Athletic Club, St. George, Utah
- Regency Sport and Health Club, McLean, Va.
- Rowe Tennis Center at the Rappahannock Area YMCA, Fredericksburg, Va.
- An Achievable Dream Academy, Newport News, Va.
- Spotswood Country Club, Eastover Park, Purcell Park and Harrisonburg High School, Harrisonburg, Va.
- Sports and Fitness Edge of Essex, Essex Junction, Vt.
- Columbia Basin Racquet Club, Richland, Wash.
- City of Oconomowoc Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department, Oconomowoc, Wis.
With New Distribution, Völkl Takes Aim at U.S. Market
Völkl Tennis, based in Germany, has moved its U.S. marketing and distribution from New Hampshire to California, and now will be distributed by Klip America, says Sean Frost, the vice president of sales.
“We’re investing more dollars and more manpower than what had been invested previously,” Frost says. “And Boris Becker, who owns 50 percent of Völkl, will be more involved in the company and more visible in the U.S.”
Officially, Klip America will be doing business as Völkl Boris Becker Tennis North America. (Also under Klip America are the Sergio Tacchini apparel brand and Isospeed strings.) The team at Klip includes Benjamin Robbins, who has a long history in the sport with the ATP Tour, Octagon sports marketing, Nike, and Adidas, and Benny Neumann, who will be the brand’s marketing manager.
Frost says that racquet dealers on the West Coast will notice they’ll be receiving product quicker. He adds that Völkl will be working on special shipping terms, too.
Upcoming for Völkl are four new racquets, the DNX 2, DNX 4, DNX 6, and DNX 7. “The ‘Attiva’ series, which includes the DNX 2 and 6, are geared toward women players,” says Frost. “They have rounder-shaped grips, are a bit more head light, and slightly more flexible. The Attiva Sensor Grip system also provides extra cushioning.”
Frost says Völkl plans to add apparel in the second half of 2007, along with strings, accessories, and court products. In 2008, he says, the brand is looking to add footwear. “Our goal is to be that one-stop shop, to cover the player from head to toe,” he adds.
“Völkl has been one of the best kept secrets in tennis,” says Frost. “Internationally, we’ve been known as a ski company that makes great racquets. But now we want to make tennis stand alone. We’re going to get the brand to the next level.”
- The Southwest Tennis Buying Show will be held Feb. 9 and 10 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in The Woodlands, Texas. More than 100 buyers and 200 tennis-teaching professionals are expected to attend the show, which is hosted by the Texas Division of the USPTA. Deadline to reserve booth space is Jan. 31. Contact Jenny Gray at email@example.com or 903-561-3014.
- The U.S. Davis Cup team, led by Captain Patrick McEnroe, will face the Czech Republic in the first round on an indoor clay court at CEZ Arena in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Feb. 9-11. The U.S. has an overall 4-1 record against the Czechs in Davis Cup.
- The USPTA’s Competitive Player Development Conference will be Feb. 25-27 at the Suncoast Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the USPTA Intermountain division and The Tennis Channel Open. Some of the industry’s leading experts will speak on developing competitive players. Registration is $250 and includes all materials and access to The Tennis Channel Open. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-877-8248.
- Zina Garrison will continue as captain of the U.S. Fed Cup team through 2007, the USTA announced. The U.S. will host Belgium April 21-22 for the 2007 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group I quarterfinal at a site to be determined by the USTA.
- The USTA has created the Janet Louer National Organizer of the Year Award for USTA Junior Team Tennis. The award will be presented to an individual who delivers USTA Junior Team Tennis to their community and embodies the true meaning of having a positive impact on children. Louer, who died of cancer in May 2006, was instrumental in the development of junior tennis and served as the administrator for USTA Junior Team Tennis in Georgia.
- Advanta Corp. has extended for the fifth straight year its principal sponsorship of Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, a nonprofit organization that serves more than 10,500 children in the greater Philadelphia region with year-round programs that combine tennis instruction with educational initiatives.
- The USTA Florida Section Foundation is committing $50,000 to build two multi-purpose tennis courts at the Real Life Children’s Ranch in Okeechobee, a residential group home caring for boys and girls ages 6 to 18 who are physically, sexually, or emotionally abused; homeless, neglected, or mildly disturbed.
- Based on ATP rankings after the end-of-season Masters Cup in Shanghai last fall, Dunlop is the most widely used racquet among the top 10 European men on Tour, with Tommy Robredo (No. 5), Tommy Haas (No. 7) and Tomas Berdych (No. 9) using Dunlop frames.
- A new tennis magazine, serving Northeast Florida, is set to launch in 2007. JAX Tennis magazine, published by Richard Vach, will serve areas including Ponte Vedra Beach and St. Augustine to the south, Amelia Island to the north, and the greater Jacksonville area. Vach is the former publications editor for the ATP Tour, and a contributing writer for Tennis Week and The Tennis Channel and TENNIS Magazine websites. Contact 904-992-4332 or email@example.com.
- Reports indicate that Jimmy Connors intends to travel with pro Andy Roddick as much as 16 or 17 weeks in 2007, nearly double what he did in 2006 as coach of Roddick. In 2006, Roddick was on the road for ATP events for 19 weeks.
- Smash Magazine has renewed its title sponsorship of the Smash Junior Cup, to be held on Daniel Island in Charleston, S.C., Feb. 23-26. More than 400 regionally and nationally ranked boys and girls ages 8 to 18 are expected to play the event. The winner of the Girls 18 Division is awarded a wildcard into the Qualifying Draw of the 2007 Family Circle Cup.
TIA Offers ‘Better Your Business Workshops’
The TIA is planning at least 12 “Better Your Business Workshops” throughout the country in 2007, designed to assist Tennis Welcome Center and Cardio Tennis sites with their overall daily operations, programming, and marketing.
The interactive BYB Workshops will include business solutions in the areas of public relations, marketing, customer service, technology, and program design and implementation. The workshops also will feature Cardio Tennis training.
“The workshop will help you increase your business by attracting and retaining more tennis players, plus offer solutions to help increase your bottom line,” says Brian O’Donnell, the TIA’s manager of national grassroots programs. There will also be a separate Cardio Tennis on-court training session for certified teaching pros.
To sign up for the workshops, which are offered for a nominal fee, visit GrowingTennis.com. The TIA says it may add four to six additional workshops to the existing schedule, which is as follows:
- Hilton Head Island, S.C., Feb. 20
- San Francisco, March 30
- Los Angeles, March 31
- Richmond, Va., May (date TBD)
- Dallas, May 4
- Las Vegas, May 18
- Tucson, May 19
- Denver, June 9
- Louisville, Ky., June or July (TBD)
- Fond du Lac, Wis., June or July (TBD)
- Tampa, Fla., September (TBD)
- Chicago, September (TBD)
IMG Acquires Tennis Week And TennisWeek.com
Sports and entertainment giant IMG has acquired Tennis Week magazine and its companion online news site, tennisweek.com. The deal, which closed in December, was announced in early January. Terms were not disclosed.
Tennis Week, which lists its circulation as 60,000 subscribers, was founded in 1974 by Eugene L. Scott, a former Davis Cup player with a world ranking as high as No. 11. Scott remained publisher and editor-in-chief of Tennis Week until his death last March at the age of 68.
“IMG’s acquisition of Tennis Week and tennisweek.com is the result of talks Gene began before he died,” says Tennis Week President Polly Scott, who inherited ownership of the magazine from her husband. “He recognized that both the magazine and the website had enormous potential for growth and was very excited about those possibilities.”
IMG says it plans to launch a “fully re-conceptualized first issue” of Tennis Week in mid-March, at the Sony Ericsson Open, with a schedule of six glossy, perfect-bound, 100-plus-page issues in 2007.
Andrea Leand, formerly of Tennis Week, has been named executive director of the publication for IMG. Leand, a former tennis touring pro, graduated from Princeton University in 1998 and received an MBA from Johns Hopkins School of Business in 2003. Industry sources say that Leand was interested in putting together a group to buy Tennis Week as early as last spring.
This will not be IMG’s first foray into publishing. In 2003, the company introduced The Daily, a fashion week publication with a readership of more than 100,000 fashion and media executives. The Daily MINI and fashionweekdaily.com were subsequently introduced to extend coverage.
Cardio Tennis to Debut at Fitness Expo
Cardio Tennis will be joining the “Better Your Body Get Up and Go! Sports and Fitness Festival,” which will tour three major cities this year. This sports and fitness expo will visit Dallas May 5 to 6, Chicago Sept. 29 to 30, and New York Nov. 3 to 4.
At each site, visitors can see the latest in sports and fitness equipment, go to clinics and seminars, and actually bring their workout gear and take part in the activities. “We’ll be putting tennis right into the fitness industry,” says Brian O’Donnell, the TIA’s manager of national grassroots programs. “It will be kind of the first time that’s been done.”
More information is at betteryourbody.com.
Waite Tapped as PTR Director of Development
Jack Waite is the new director of development for the PTR. He’ll oversee develop, and conduct PTR Professional Development Courses throughout North America, including the PTR on Campus program. A former pro tour player, who reached the ATP’s Top 50 ranking in doubles, Waite was the CEO of Le Petit Tennis, a program designed to bring tennis to young children in their schools. He also worked at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla.
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