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- Tennis continues to be the fastest growing traditional sport! Participation is up 43% since 2000, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.
- Total participation is nearly 27 million players, which is a 7% increase over 2007 and the highest level in 15 years, according to the USTA/TIA Tennis Participation Study.
- Frequent players (those playing at least 21 times a year) increased to 5.62 million, a 7% increase over 2007 and up 23% since 2003.
- Tennis play occasions surpassed 600 million in 2008 for the first time ever, which is up 33% from 2003.
- Continuing players grew to 15.13 million, up 9% over 2007.
- Nearly 6 million new players tried tennis for the first time in 2008, which is up 3% over 2007.
- 6 million former players, the most ever, came back to the game in 2008 — up 7% from a year earlier.
- The Tennis Health Index shows that tennis participation increased 10.8% in 2008 and an estimated 15.5% in 2009.
Market Update 2008
- Racquet shipments increased 88% in the youth market since 2003 and 30% in the adult market. Tennis is being offered to more and more kids through school programs and other curriculum.
- Ball shipments are up 16% since 2003.
- The new QuickStart Tennis play format is bringing kids 10 and under into the game using equipment, court dimensions and scoring scaled to their age and size.
Why Is Tennis Participation Growing?
- The tennis industry has developed a strong infrastructure, providing more places to play, programs to learn in and partners to play with. With unified industry support, we’re reaching more consumers through grassroots initiatives, and this has led to an increase in both recreational and league play. Plus, we have a solid delivery system of tennis teaching professionals.
- It promotes a healthy, active lifestyle with great social benefits. In fact, one hour of tennis will burn more calories than virtually any other traditional sport.
- We’ve developed the “GrowingTennis System.” Providers can visit growingtennis.com for all types of information, to sign up for industry initiatives and more. In 2008 alone, more than 1,600 facilities were added to the system.
- Attendance at pro tournaments continues to grow, as well as television coverage. The US Open is the highest attended annual sporting event in the world.
- It’s relatively inexpensive to play — all you need is a racquet and a can of balls. Research shows that tennis participation may not be as affected by the down economy.
TIA Tennis Forum Set For Aug. 30
Mark your calendars for the third annual Tennis Industry Association Tennis Forum, which will be in New York City on Sunday, Aug. 30, just before the start of the US Open. You’ll hear all the latest news about the state of the tennis industry, including participation growth, equipment sales data, the latest grassroots tennis initiatives, and much more. Last year, more than 300 people attended the Forum, which is held during the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference. Stay tuned for more information on speakers at this year’s Forum. Register today at TennisIndustry.org.
Nominate for the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame
The Tennis Industry Hall of Fame recognizes those individuals who have made a significant impact to the sport, from the 1960s to the present. Nominations are made in four categories: inventors, founders, innovators and contributors.
Anyone is welcome to submit nominations by going to tennisindustry.org/HOF/. The final inductees will be honored at a special reception in New York City, just before the start of the US Open during the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference. The Tennis Industry Hall of Fame was created last year, and the first two inductees were Dennis Van der Meer and Howard Head.
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- Grassroots Tennis: Play It Forward!