Bright Spots for Our Sport
From the TIA Executive Director
In March, the news that tennis participation had skyrocketed was picked up by media outlets worldwide, generating nearly 600 articles; tennis returned to Madison Square Garden and the USTA launched Tennis Night in America. This positive news, however, countered the conditions on Main Street, and although the last five years have seen growth in tennis participation, racquet and ball sales, we are in unprecedented times for businesses that are forced to deal with a weakened economy and changing consumer marketplace. But many brights spots do exist:
- Participation may actually increase in a down economy, especially frequent play. TIA research is a valuable asset to guide our industry and measure vital benchmarks.
- Through technology, the GrowingTennis System has provided consumer searches, online enrollment, online business systems for facilities and retailers via Tennis Connect, and a platform for enhanced communications.
- Industry-wide initiatives have been successful. Tennis Welcome Centers continue to introduce new players to tennis the right way — through instruction, Cardio Tennis has added new players and revenue for facilities, and QuickStart Tennis is rapidly being adopted to get kids 10 & under into the game and help build future players (page 20).
- Businesses have been saving money with free marketing tools and services, including free listings on consumer sites plus discounts on credit-card processing, insurance, and sponsor offers.
There are many more measures we are focused on advancing. At the TIA, we have a committed Board of Directors and strong partnership with the USTA, teaching groups and allied organizations who are dedicated to building a healthy roadmap for the future. Thank you for your continuing support of these efforts to grow tennis.
See all articles by Jolyn de Boer
About the Author
Jolyn de Boer is an avid player, and has been in the tennis industry for 26 years and is the executive director of the Tennis Industry Association.
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