Tennis Industry magazine

 

Industry News

Information to help you run your business.

USTA Teachers Conference to Include Project 36/60

The 2007 USTA Tennis Teachers Conference, held Aug. 25-28 at the Grand Hyatt New York in Manhattan, will feature a preview of the new 10-and-under initiative called Project 36/60.

This year’s theme is “Working Smart, Working Together” and promotes the idea of presenting the latest techniques and technologies. Martina Navratilova will be the keynote speaker at the opening session.

The Project 36/60 name is based on the 36-foot court used by players ages 8 and under and a 60-foot court for players 10 and under. Project 36/60 is tennis scaled to the size and abilities of young players and is based on six variables: court size, net height, age, ball speed and weight, size of racquet, and scoring.

Four sessions at the conference focus on different aspects of Project 36/60:

Other TTC sessions cover coaching skills, strategy and tactics, tennis techniques, health sciences and the tennis business. For more information or to register, visit www.usta.com/ttc, call 914-696-7004, or email ttc@usta.com.

Tennis Teachers Conference

Tennis Forum to Debut

In NYC During Open The first TIA Tennis Forum, presented by Tennis Magazine, will be on Monday, Aug. 27, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, during the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference. The hour-long Forum, which is free to attendees, will “share the good news” in tennis and serve as a rallying point for the industry.

“There’s been a demand for years to have a gathering place for those in the industry to network, hear the latest tennis news, and be brought up to date on industry happenings,” says Jolyn de Boer, the executive director of the TIA. “We see this Tennis Forum becoming an annual event to fulfill that need.”

Tennis Forum

Some of the speakers at the event, which will be from 8:40 to 9:40 a.m. in Grand Ballroom B at the Grand Hyatt, will include USTA President Jane Brown Grimes, TIA President Dave Haggerty, USTA Community Tennis Chief Executive Kurt Kamperman, and Tennis Magazine Publisher Jeff Williams. Topics will include the latest research in tennis, an overview of key USTA and industry initiatives, and other good news in the sport.

“We want to share the good news,” says de Boer. “So many people have been working so long to keep the sport growing and healthy.”

Admission to the Forum is free and includes breakfast for all attendees, along with an information packet. Because of the tight schedule, there will not be a question-and-answer session. However, attendees will be able to submit questions for any speaker, which will then be answered online in an open forum.

For more information on the TIA Tennis Forum, and to register, visit tennisindustry.org.

Plexicushion Prestige Chosen for Aussie Open

Tennis Australia officials have chosen a U.S. product, Plexicushion Prestige, as the new surface of the Australian Open. The decision to switch from Rebound Ace to Plexicushion came after a review of the upgrade of Melbourne Park, the site of the tournament. The new surface will be used at the 2008 Aussie Open in January.

Removal of the existing surface started in June (right). Lead-up tournaments in Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East also plan to convert their facilities to Plexicushion. Work is being done by Plexipave contractors in those areas.

Plexipave officials say Tennis Australia does intend to have a signature court color for the Australian Open, which has yet to be decided.

Plexicushion Prestige, which is classified by the International Tennis Federation as a Category 2 speed of play, will provide a medium pace for players. The Plexipave System is manufactured by Andover, Mass.-based California Products Corp.

Plexicushion at Aussie Open

Prince Unveils ‘Customizable’ O3 Speedport Racquets

Prince has introduced two new O3 Speedport frames — the Speedport Black and Speedport Tour — which are designed to meet the needs of advanced players, says the company. Prince says the two frames, designed with close collaboration of top touring pros, offer revolutionary “personal customization options.”

Through the new Speedport Tuning System (STS), players can customize the Black and the Tour by using interchangeable string inserts for the exact feel and sound they prefer. Whether a crisp feel with increased string feedback, or a softer feel with improved string vibration damping, Prince says STS allows a player to tailor the frame to their game.

The Black and Tour will come with two sets of inserts to be placed at 9, 12, and 3 o’clock. The String Port Inserts (which are pre-installed) will provide a softer hitting feel, more string damping and a sweet spot up to 59 percent larger than a traditional racquet while capitalizing on a racquet that moves up to 24 percent faster through the air, the company says.

The String Hole Inserts have traditional pin-sized string holes incorporated into the Speedport opening. These inserts provide a firmer hitting feel, more string feedback and a more traditional sweetspot while still capitalizing on the aerodynamic benefits O3 Speedport provides, says Prince.

“The new Black and Tour racquets provide customization options never before offered — two solid player frames capable of being strung different ways depending on personal preference,” says Doug Fonte, president of Prince Americas.

Prince O3 Speedport Black

The O3 Speedport Black has a 100-square-inch head, 16 x 19 string pattern and weighs 10.8 ounces unstrung. The Tour is 97 square inches with a 16 x 18 pattern and weighs 11.3 ounces. Both frames are 27 inches long and carry a suggested retail price of $220.

Prince O3 Speedport Tour

For more information, visit princetennis.com.

Prince Re-Launches Website

Prince has completely revamped its website, www.princetennis.com, to be “designed with the interest and enjoyment of true tennis fans in mind,” says Linda Glassel, Prince’s vice president of marketing and communications.

new Prince website

“The new website brings Prince to life online,” says Glassel. “It is a tool that can be utilized by all members of the tennis community — players, retailers, program directors, and teaching pros alike.”

The site provides comprehensive player, product, and industry information and is tailor-made to meet the needs of players of all levels, the company says. The new site also is customized for multiple regions and countries.

Aside from in-depth product information, stringing instructions, online newsletters, and a teaching pro locator, the site also offers pro player profile and equipment pages, a racquet selector, “Prince Plugged In” junior program information and application, locations and times of Prince demo events, various downloads and games, featured tennis academies and junior players, and tennis tips.

RSI Wins Excellence Award

For the fourth straight year, Racquet Sports Industry has won an Apex Award for Publication Excellence. The February 2007 issue was honored for overall excellence in the Custom-Published category. The issue contained an “Outlook 2007” section with stories on racquets, shoes, apparel and the tennis business overall. It also had feature stories on changing markets in tennis and the “Seven Sins of Social Tennis.”

RSI February 2007 2007 Apex Award

Whitney Kraft Named Director at USTA National Tennis Center

Whitney Kraft is the new director of tennis programs at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the largest public tennis facility in the world. His responsibilities will include all tennis training and development programs along with special events at the NTC.

In addition, Kraft will oversee all operations of the new, state-of-the-art multi-purpose tennis facility now under construction, and scheduled to open in 2008/2009. It will have 36 outdoor courts and nine indoors. Kraft will report to Danny Zausner, the managing director of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Kraft replaces Bill Mountford, who left earlier this year for a coaching position with the Lawn Tennis Association in England.

Kraft, 47, brings more than 20 years of tennis experience to his new position. Prior to joining the USTA, he served as director of tennis for the City of Fort Lauderdale, and before that as director of racquet sports for the Boca Point Country Club. An avid player, Kraft also has many affiliations in the tennis industry. He and his family will relocate to New York in August.

Wilson Taps Miringoff for Western Manager

Mike Miringoff has been named the Western regional sales manager for Wilson Racquet Sports, responsible for directing the sales and promotional efforts in the western U.S.

Miringoff returns to Wilson from Nike, where he was a key account executive for apparel and also assisted the training of new Tennis Specialty reps. He had previously worked for Wilson from 1996 to 2001, beginning as the national coordinator for promotions before being promoted to South Florida territory manager, where he won the 2000 Dealer Survey Award.

For more information, visit wilson.com.

Winner Chosen in Dunlop Contest

In a contest sponsored by Dunlop Sports Group, thousands of contestants submitted their best guess as to which Dunlop Aerogel racquet top-ranked player James Blake would choose to play. At the end of June, Blake announced that he would play with the Aerogel 2Hundred, and with that decision, Ana Straub of West Palm Beach, Fla., won a trip to New York to attend the US Open.

Straub’s name was picked by Greenville, S.C., Mayor Knox White (left) on a visit to Dunlop’s U.S. headquarters to conduct the draw from among the correct entries. Straub and a guest will fly to New York for a two-night stay to attend the Open. She also will receive a personally signed Blake Aerogel 2Hundred frame and a tennis bag filled with Dunlop gear. The total grand prize is valued at about $5,000.

Dunlop contest

Alpha to Distribute Stringway Machines

Alpha Racquet Sports is the new U.S. distributor for Stringway stringing machines. Stringway, based out of the Netherlands, features a unique one-pull drop-weight system.

Stringway, from Alpha

For more information, visit Alpha’s website, alphatennis.com.

Classic Turf Completes Public Park Job

Classic Turf Co. of Woodbury, Conn., recently completed refurbishing 17 tennis courts at four public parks for the town of Trumbull, Conn. (below). The company used its patented Classic Turf System, a cushioned sheet-goods surfacing system.

Classic Turf

Six of the existing courts were ripped out and rebuilt from the ground up, including new fencing. The other courts had extensive cracks that were fixed with the Classic Turf Slipsheet System before the 6 mm rubber was applied and the courts were coated. Classic Turf also resurfaced a basketball court in one of the parks.

“We made 13 of the courts brand new in less than a month using new technology we’ve been able to develop,” says John Eren, Classic Turf’s vice president and engineer. “The curing time has been decreased and allows for a shorter construction period, so players are back on the courts quicker.” For more information contact 800-246-7951 or visit Classicturf.org.

Link, Lai Win Titles At USPTA Clay Event

Julien Link of Sarasota, Fla., defended his men’s open title at the $8,000 USPTA Clay Court Championships in May at the Ibis Golf and Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., after defeating Adrians Zguns of Port St. Lucie, Fla., 6-2, 7-5. Shareen Lai of Morrisville, Pa., defeated Sophie Alriksson of Lake Wales, Fla., 6-1, 6-1 to be crowned the women’s open champion, and later teamed up with Alriksson to win the women’s open doubles.

Other winners are:

The tournament was the first of five prize-money national tournaments on several court surfaces that the USPTA offers to its members as part of the USPTA National Surface Championship Series. The next event is the USPTA Grass Court Championships Aug. 24-26 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. For information, contact the USPTA at 800-USPTA-4U or visit the “members only” section of uspta.com.

Head Offers Radical, Extreme Accessories

Complementing its MicroGel Radical racquets, Head has also launched the new Radical Supercombi bag, in colors to match the new racquet. The Supercombi holds eight to 10 racquets in two compartments. It also has an accessories compartment and uses climate control technology.

Head Radical bag

Also in the new Radical line, Head has a Radical cap, made of polyester and nylon with a sweat-absorbing inside lining and adjustable Velcro closing.

Head Radical cap

And to go with Head’s new Extreme racquets, the company has come out with the new Extreme backpack, with a large central compartment, adjustable shoulder straps, and an end handle to hold upright.

For more information, visit head.com.

Tennis Cart Now Designed for Transition Balls

Oncourt Offcourt’s Deluxe Club Cart (below) now comes with a new mesh divider designed to separate different types of instructional tennis balls, making it easier for teaching pros to adapt their instructional programs to beginners and more advanced players. The divider is now standard on all Deluxe Club Carts and is available for a minimal charge for existing carts. Oncourt Offcourt carries a full line of transition balls, including high-density foam Spinners as well as low-compression and slow-bouncing pressureless Champs. For information and to receive a free color catalog, contact Oncourt Offcourt at 1-88-TENNIS-11 or visit oncourtoffcourt.com.

Deluxe Club Cart

Ashaway Offers Dynamite Strings

Designed for top amateur and professional players looking for more power and playability, Ashaway’s Dynamite strings are available in 16-gauge Dynamite WB and the lighter Dynamite 17. Both feature a core of helically wound Zyex fibers overbraided with high tenacity multifilament microfibers for superior wear and easy stringing, says Ashaway. In addition, the string’s Zyex fibers provide durability and a resistance to moisture and temperature. For more information, visit ashawayusa.com or call 800-556-7260.

HEAD C3 Rocket string

Head says its new C3 Rocket is a mainstream string that features what the company calls “C3 technology.” The C’s stand for “Crystal,” which is a refined polymide in the string; “Coaxial,” a free inner moving monofilament core; and “Construction,” which provides maximum elasticity, says Head, leading to excellent touch and control. The string comes in 16 and 17 gauge. Visit head.com for more information.

HEAD C3 Rocket

Penn Offers New Ballistic Racquetball

The Penn Ballistic is specially designed for outdoor racquetball, but also suitable for indoor play. The ball boasts increased durability and maximum visibility, says Penn.

“Nobody has been able to produce an ultra-fast ball with a reliable bounce until now,” says Doug Ganim, racquetball promotions consultant for HEAD Penn. “Penn engineers have done an outstanding job setting a new industry standard for outdoor ball performance.”

Penn Ballistic

Bud Collins Out at NBC

After 35 years, NBC Sports has decided not to renew Bud Collins’ contract for Wimbledon.

“So I had 35 great years with them. I have no complaints about them, but I hope to stay in tennis,” the 78-year-old Collins said during Wimbledon in July. “I’m not retiring. Too young to retire.”

Collins, who has been a writer for the Boston Globe since 1963, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994 and won the prestigious Red Smith Award presented by The Associated Press Sports Editors in 1999.

In other news, NBC Sports has announced a long-term extension of its contract to broadcast Wimbledon. The network has been covering the tournament for the last 39 years. Details of the new contract extension were not announced.

Short Sets

Former USTA President Jorgensen Dies

Former USTA President Gordon Jorgensen of Indian Wells and Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., died June 10 at his home in Indian Wells. He was 86.

A partner in a consulting engineering firm, Jorgensen was the USTA president from 1987-‘88. He had also served as chairman of the U.S. Davis Cup Committee and chairman of the US Open, along with other positions in the USTA. For four years, he served as a vice president of the International Tennis Federation.

Gordon Jorgensen

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Barnes Jorgensen, three children, and a brother. Donations may be made to the Gordon Jorgensen Scholarship Fund at the Barnes Family Youth Tennis Center, 4490 W. Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, CA, 92107.

Theme Art Captures US Open Spirit

The official 2007 US Open theme art was created by Joanne Hus of Stamford, Conn. It’s the first time in the 126-year history of the Open that a woman has designed the theme art. The design contains an uplifted tennis racquet alongside the Statue of Liberty’s raised torch, with the US Open flaming ball logo serving as the torch’s flame. The theme art will be incorporated into all 2007 US Open promotional material. Hus has created commissioned artwork for companies that include Chase Manhattan Bank, GE Captial, and more.

2007 US Open poster

Gamma Introduces New Products

New from Gamma is the Smart Grip Overgrip, with a micro-textured “DermaGrip” surface that Gamma says grips your hand for more traction and control. The elastic backing material stretches thin, providing exceptional performance with minimum grip buildup, says the company. The Smart Grip Overgrip is available in white, blue, or black three-packs.

Gamma Smart Grip overgrip

Also new is the Gamma Shocknot, which is a “Zorbicon” tie-on vibration dampener. The Shocknot can be installed on a racquet in multiple configurations to vary the amount of shock and vibration dampening. It’s available in red/blue, yellow/green, and black/white, in two-packs.

Gamma Shocknot

For more information on these and other Gamma products, visit gammasports.com or call 800-333-0337.

Sign Up for Court Activity Monitor

Sign up your facility for the new Court Activity Monitor (CAM), which will provide a monthly count of tennis activity in your area and in the U.S. The simple — and free — online form at GrowingTennis.com takes just a few minutes to fill out, and all data provided is confidential.

When you register your facility for the CAM, you’ll also be entered into a drawing to win one of five $200 gift certificates at the end of the year and receive a quarterly summary of grassroots tennis activity in your area from the TIA. In addition, your facility will qualify for a discounted rate on the online business system TennisConnect.

Data from the CAM will be used to help keep track of tennis participation and help to develop grassroots tennis in the U.S.

King to Headline NRPA Expo

Tennis legend and public park tennis advocate Billie Jean King will be the keynote speaker at the 2007 National Recreation and Park Association Congress & Exposition, to be held Sept. 25-29 in Indianapolis.

Thousands of park and recreation professionals, citizen advocates, industry suppliers and others attend the NRPA event each year. The Congress & Expo includes hundreds of educational sessions, networking opportunities, and the latest products and services from nearly 500 exhibitors.

For more information and to register, visit nrpa.org.

Wanted: USTA Executive Director & COO

Looking for a job in tennis? How about executive director of the USTA? The USTA recently listed the job opening — executive director and chief operating officer — as current Executive Director Lee Hamilton prepares to leave his position in 2008, after five years in the job.

The ED, a position that is “subject to the direction of the [USTA] Board and fully accountable to it,” oversees the day-to-day operational programs, policies, and procedures of the USTA and the national office. “Job-specific success factors” include an “in-depth knowledge of managing the operations of sizeable and complex not-for-profit and for-profit organizations,” along with a working knowledge of tennis, and a working knowledge of the USTA and/or “experience with a major national sports organization.”

For the full job description, visit usta.com and click on “About Us” and “Job Listings.”

USTA

Letters

Plexicushion at Aussie Open a ‘Carefully Considered’ Decision

To the Editor:

I have just read your announcement of the decision made by Tennis Australia to change the surface of the Australian Open to Plexicushion Prestige (July 2007, Industry News). This was a decision that was carefully considered by Tennis Australia to improve playing conditions at a Grand Slam event and to serve as an element in their program to improve player performance. The process of selection was defined and rigorous.

The Plexicushion formula was developed independently of the other brand that we own. The committee was aware of the difference in the two systems. Plexicushion was selected in part because of the fine reputation of Melbourne-based installer Wm. Loud Co. and the reputation Plexicushion has earned in places such as the United Kingdom, Sweden, and at major U.S. universities.

We are excited about this selection by Tennis Australia. The Australian Open will have a first-rate, consistent, and very playable surface this coming January.

Art Tucker
Vice President, Plexipave

We welcome your letters and comments. Please email them to rsi@racquetTECH.com or fax them to 760-536-1171.

New DuraSoft+ from Prince

With its resilient foam technology, Prince’s new DuraSoft+ replacement grip offers a softer feel, improved shock absorption and resiliency, says the company. It carries a suggested retail price of $9.49. Visit princesports.com.

Prince DuraSoft+

Ektelon Offers New ‘Customizable’ Racquetball Frames

Ektelon offers three new O3 racquetball racquets, the O3 Copper (top left), O3 White (top right), and O3 Ruben Gonzalez (RG) (bottom), each of which incorporates the company’s new “Total Racquet Customization,” which allows players to fine-tune their racquets depending on power, stability, weight, and balance preferences they desire.

All three racquets come with a set of four thermoplastic “power plugs” that can be inserted into the 12 o’clock O-ports to change the weight and balance of the frame. In addition to the power plugs, the O3 Copper comes with two interchangeable throat pieces called “power ring inserts” that allow players to string the racquet four different ways so they can customize the string bed for more power, control, and string life.

Ektelon O3 Copper Ektelon O3 White
Ektelon O3 RG

For more on the frames or about customization, visit ektelon.com, or call 800-283-2635.

Help Us Find the Champions of Tennis

There’s still time to nominate people and organizations for RSI’s annual Champions of Tennis Awards, which recognize those who are making a difference in the business of tennis. For more information, and to see the list of award categories, visit tennisindustrymag.com/articles/2007/06/champions_of_tennis_2007.html.

Nominations can be emailed to RSI@racquettech.com (put “champions” in the subject line) or faxed to 760-536-1171. We need your nominations by Aug. 3, 2007. The Champions of Tennis will be announced in our November/December issue.

Playing the Numbers

Tennis lovers know that to grow the sport, the last thing anyone should do is take away the chance to play. And school coaches know that the last thing they want to do is to cut someone from a team.

For more than 1,500 high school tennis teams across the country, neither of these is a problem, since they’ve established a “no-cut” policy for their tennis teams, ensuring that all students who want to play on a school tennis team have that opportunity. And with the new school year just around the corner, it’s not too late for your local high school to join in.

“Anyone who wants to learn, we want to help them enjoy the game,” says Marian DeWane, head tennis coach at Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho, whose most recent squad boasted more than 100 players on three teams. For her program, DeWane has several assistant coaches, some of whom are volunteers who once played on her teams.

“Everyone should have the right to play a sport,” says Luke Jordan, a member of a no-cut team at Kamiakin High School in Kennewick, Wash. “With practice and devotion, a player will get better at it. Without the opportunity to play, the student will never know how skilled they are or [could] become.”

The USTA offers assistance to coaches looking to introduce a no-cut policy to their program, including an advisory committee made up of coaches who have experience and success with it. If you’re a high school coach, it’s easy to start a no-cut program at your school. Visit usta.com/no-cut for more information.

— Kristen Daley

Register Early for USPTA Conference and Save

Persons registering for the USPTA’s World Conference on Tennis before Aug. 15 can save up to $100. The event will be held Sept. 17-22 at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel, Fla., and will include seminars and specialty courses, along with a tennis-only buying show, awards presentation, and more.

About 1,500 attendees are expected, including tennis pros, industry leaders, manufacturers, wholesalers, and media. During the conference, the USPTA will host its International Tennis Championships.

USPTA

For more information and to register, visit uspta.com or call 800-877-8248.

Peoplewatch

TIA Expands Insurance for Members

To help meet the needs of retailers and facilities, the TIA has expanded its insurance offerings to members with TIA TennisInsure. The new program includes liability, property, auto, umbrella, and workers’ compensation insurance. Previously, the TIA offered only product liability insurance for manufacturers.

“Now, through the TIA, facility and retailer members will receive expanded coverage, at a great rate, with a highly rated national insurance company,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. Citadel Insurance Services will provide the comprehensive insurance package, and TIA members will receive a 5 percent to 10 percent package discount.

Williams Debuts Limited Edition Gold-Leaf Frame

Wilson’s [K]Factor racquet technology dominated Centre Court at Wimbledon this year, as Venus Williams and Roger Federer came away with the titles.

Williams played with a new [K]Factor gold limited edition racquet, made of real 22k gold leaf. Wilson created only 650 of these exclusive models, a white and gold one for Venus and a black and gold model for her sister, Serena. Both frames debuted at Wimbledon.

Wilson K Factor gold limited edition

In claiming his fifth straight Wimbledon crown, Federer played with the [K]Six.One Tour, a racquet that he helped to design, says Wilson.

Classifieds

For Sale: Gamma 5003 Stringer with Wise 2086 tension head. Good condition. $650. Call Russ Sheh (760) 408-0936 or (209) 465-9283.

 

Babolat Play

TI magazine search

TI magazine categories


TI magazine archives


 
 

Movable Type Development by PRO IT Service