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Industry News

Information to help you run your business.

Wilson Offers ‘Trade-Up’ Racquet Program

Through June, Wilson is offering a “trade-up” program for racquet purchases. Consumers register on a web site and receive a $30 coupon via email. Consumers print the email, which includes a unique coupon code, then bring it along with a valid trade-in racquet to a dealer to receive $30 off select Wilson [K] Factor racquets.

Wilson trade-up racquet program

The trade-in racquet must be strung, in good playable condition regardless of brand and have been manufactured within 10 years of the promotion end date. The dealer has final discretion on condition of acceptable trade-in.

The retailer needs to complete the transaction with the consumer by June 30 and needs to save the coupon email and original proof-of-purchase of the participating Wilson [K] Factor racquet in order to be eligible to receive the program discount from Wilson.

For every transaction, the dealer must send in all redeemed coupon e-mails along with matching proof-of-purchase, along with a fill-in order of participating [K] Factor racquets for the same number of frames the dealer has sold through this promotion. Dealers who fulfill these requirements will then receive $20 off their normal program price for in-line participating [K] Factor frames.

For the recycle and reuse aspect of the program, retailers collect the trade-in frames and can donate them to a charity or event of their choice, or contact a Tennis Service Rep to find an event or charity in their area. For more details, contact your Wilson rep.

USTA Seeks Best Tennis Town in America

The USTA is inviting every town, borough and city to compete for the title of Best Tennis Town in America. To participate, they must register online at besttennistown.com and complete a submission form, put together a five-minute video highlighting the passion their community has for tennis and up to five letters of support from local politicians and community members. A panel will review all the entries to narrow the selection process to the top 10 finalists.

Beginning in mid-July for two weeks, the general public will view the 10 videos and vote for what they think is the Best Tennis Town in America. The top three finalists will attend the US Open, with the winner to be announced at the event.

Top prize is $100,000 and the title of Best Tennis Town. The second-place winner will receive $50,000 and the third-place winner will receive $25,000. The rest of the top 10 finalists will receive $2,000 worth of tennis equipment.

More information and the complete rules and regulations are posted on besttennistown.com.

Gamma Sports Renews PTR Sponsorship

Gamma Sports has renewed its sponsorship agreement for three years to be the official string, accessories and court equipment supplier of PTR. New PTR members receive a free set of Gamma strings, and all PTR members can take advantage of discounted prices on Gamma strings, stringing machines and court products, including ball hoppers, nets, windscreens and more.

“In today’s environment, return on investment is crucial. We are very happy with the ROI PTR and its members provide,” says Gamma Product Manager Chuck Vietmeier.

“Gamma is a solid, progressive company with wonderful people and a wide variety of competitive tennis products,” says Dan Santorum, PTR CEO. “We are thrilled to continue our longstanding relationship.”

USPTA Launches Professional Tennis Coaches Academy

The USPTA has launched Professional Tennis Coaches Academy I, the first part of what will be a broader online academy system to provide enhanced educational curriculum, including business, lessons, player development and more.

The PTCA I combines audio, visual and text formats, as well as short quizzes at the end of each section. Within teaching skill topics, there are examples of tennis lessons using progressions and videos to improve a teacher’s quality of private and group lessons. The business and programming section includes facility and pro shop management, equipment and Little Tennis. Advanced player development covers anatomy of a shot, common shots, specialty shots, rules of tennis, strategy and tactics, and effective planning and drills.

This educational benefit allows tennis-teaching pros to review all the critical material for the certification exam and further their tennis education from the comfort of their own home or office via their computers. Also, the PTCA and its offering of online tools allows the USPTA to accommodate more people interested in beginning a career as a teaching pro based on the convenience of the certification and education process.

The PTCA I also includes new instructional information available to members who were certified before Jan. 1, 2008. They can receive four educational credits upon completion of the course.

For more information visit uspta.com or call 800-USPTA-4U.

Court renovation

Classic Turf of Woodbury, Conn., started the renovation of two old, cracked and unsafe asphalt courts at the Middle School in Woodbury, replacing them with two post-tension concrete courts, which will feature Classic Turf’s cushioned, roll-goods surface, along with custom fencing. Visit classicturf.org for more information.

Classic Turf

Babolat Debuts New Pure Drive Racquets

Babolat has launched a new generation Pure Drive racquet, featuring GT Technology, which has graphite tungsten for control, says the company. The 2009 Pure Drive also has a new look, while still conserving its characteristic blue color.

The Pure Drive was launched in 1994 and has been used by former World No. 1 players Carlos Moya, Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters. Nearly 1.5 million of the frames have been sold in more than 120 countries.

Babolat Pure Drive with GT

GT Technology is a hybrid material, combining braided carbon fibers and tungsten filaments primarily in the racquet head to reduce torque at ball impact. “Tungsten is combined with layers of graphite, resulting in improved frame construction,” says Folco Canonico, international product group manager. “The technology acts as a performance booster.”

The 2009 Pure Drive racquet range includes:

Babolat also has a new line of Team bags that match the colors of the new Pure Drive. The line includes bags that hold three, six, nine or 12 racquets along with a competition bag and backpack. For more, visit babolat.com.

River tennis

Tennis legends Billie Jean King and John McEnroe rallied on a barge floating on the Hudson River in New York City, part of a day-long celebration to kick off the 12th annual National Tennis Month in May. King and McEnroe spent the afternoon rallying back and forth in front of the Manhattan skyline.

Billie Jean King and John McEnroe

Nova’Pro Offers Guide To Rejuvenate Synthetic Grass

Synthetic grass courts that have been neglected for some time may require intense rejuvenation procedures. NGI Sports has a guide available to help facilities and court builders with repairs.

Common problems on synthetic grass courts include deep moss and algae growth, separated seams or shrinkage of turf panels on courts that were manufactured without incorporating a dimensionally and thermally stable primary backing or interliner, matted fibers, loose and slippery sand granules, and worn-out fibers and rutted spots.

For further recommendations or assistance, contact NGI at 800-835-0033 or info@ngisports.com.

Penn’s ‘Golden Giveaway’

For a limited time this summer, specially marked 4-packs of Penn Championship and Pro Penn+ tennis balls will include free gifts as part of Penn’s Golden Giveaway promotion. Included in the pack are free gifts ranging from a carabiner sport watch to a Head performance racquet to free Penn tennis balls for a year.

Penn's Golden Giveaway

Special white pack graphics alert consumers to the Golden Giveaway promotion and the gifts found inside each pack. Due to size, some gifts are presented in the form of a redeemable coupon. Product will be available beginning in June at major sporting goods retailers and pro/specialty shops nationwide.

HEAD Repositioning Puts Focus on Consumer Passion for Tennis

HEAD has launched a brand repositioning effort designed to put an increased focus on individual athletes’ personal interaction with the game of tennis. The new marketing campaign showcases the passion for the game of tennis with its claim “The Power of You.”

To support the repositioning campaign, HEAD recently signed World No. 3 Novak Djokovic, giving the brand three players in the top 10 and a renewed emphasis on the brand’s junior tennis program. These young stars, along with others in the top 100, will be more deeply integrated into Head’s marketing activities as part of its “Head & You” campaign, says the company.

In addition, HEAD continues to incorporate its technologies into new products, including its latest racquets, which will be packaged under the umbrella brand concept “YouTek.”

“Our goal is to shift focus back on the consumer and bring more emotion to our customer,” says Johan Eliasch, CEO of the Head N.V Group. “We have a strong foundation of young talent in the ATP that will help carry our message to ensure the HEAD brand meets consumer need and has continued success.”

As part of YouTek, HEAD incorporated d3o, a “smart material,” into its racquet line. The material adjusts for different strokes, says Head, so for slower hits and slices, it absorbs the impact to provide a softer touch and greater feel. For fast strokes, d3o locks together to provide power.

Congratulations to the Following for Achieving MRT & CS Status

New MRTs

Kevin Chan, San Diego, CA

Scott Joslin, Hendersonville, TN

New CSs

Martin Mueller, San Diego, CA

Leif Eliassen, Boca Raton, FL

Short sets

Industry sales

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores, January-March, 2009 vs. 2008

Units 2009 114,646
  2008 143,173
  % Change v. ’08 -20%
Dollars 2009 $15,890,000
  2008 $19,952,000
  % Change v. ’08 -20%
Price 2009 $138.60
  2008 $139.36
  % Change v. ’08 -1%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-March 2009 (average selling price)

Best-Sellers

  1. Babolat Aeropro Drive Cortex (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive Cortex (MP)
  3. Prince O3 Speedport Black (MP)
  4. Wilson K Blade (MP)
  5. Prince EXO3 Red (OS)

‘Hot New Racquets’ (Introduced in the past 12 months)

  1. Prince EXO3 Red (OS)
  2. Wilson K Pro Staff 88 (MS)
  3. Prince O3 SP Black Team (MP)
  4. Wilson K Zen Team FXFalse
  5. Babolat Aero Strike (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-March 2009 (average selling price)

  1. Adidas Barricade V
  2. Nike Air Breathe Free 2
  3. Prince T 22
  4. Adidas Barricade II
  5. Nike Air Breathe Cage II

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-March 2009

  1. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
  2. Wilson NXT
  3. Wilson Sensation
  4. Prince Lightning XX
  5. Luxilon Alu Power

Duke Wins ‘Tennis on Campus’ Crown

The club team from Duke University won the title at the 2009 USTA National Campus Championship, held at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz., in April. It was the Blue Devils’ first-ever Campus Championship crown.

For the 2008-2009 academic year, there are more than 30,000 participants and over 500 schools involved in the Tennis on Campus program. This year’s Championship was bigger than ever, drawing 550-plus competitors from 64 of the country’s top programs.

Each player at the 2009 event received accessories from program sponsor Tennis Warehouse and host section USTA Southwest. Wilson Sporting Goods added free shoes for championship team captains in 2009. This year alone, 40 teams were on the waiting list to compete in the field of 64.

Several bigwigs, including tennis icon Billie Jean King, USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Gordon Smith, and USTA First Vice President Jon Vegosen, made appearances at the championship.

For more on the USTA Tennis On Campus program, visit tennisoncampus.com.

USPTA Announces Tennis Health Website

The USPTA has launched tennis-health.com, a website supporting the “Tennis … for the health of it!” initiative. This free, interactive site targets teaching pros, tennis consumers, health-care professionals, and non-tennis playing consumers. It’s goal is to communicate the tremendous health benefits of tennis and that tennis is fun, easy, exercise for people of all skill, age and fitness levels.

Tennis-health.com has various resources for each market/demographic that include video tips and articles on exercises, injury prevention and nutrition tips specific to tennis, links to DVDs and books, information on how to find local events and teaching professionals, etc. The interactive portion allows people to log in to a private area to record their personal statistics, track how often they play tennis/exercise each week and monitor their weight loss and health goals.

Tennis Universal Offers Court Resurfacing ‘Alternative’

Allan Gardner, president of Tennis Universal, says that during these economic times, court builders need to offer “positive” alternatives to court construction and renovation. “In RSI’s recent ‘Court Construction & Maintenance Guide,’ nowhere did I see any of the contributors mention a ‘positive solution’ for clubs or court owners with financial concerns to maintain their facilities,” he says.

As a “positive solution,” Gardner offers up Tennis Universal’s “Do-It-Yourself” Repair and Resurfacing program. “A potential customer can ‘cherry-pick’ from our DIY Repair & Resurfacing Guidelines Chart, choosing only the pages pertaining to their particular court problems,” Gardner says. Customers can then “use our ‘mix and match’ color chart” to determine the court colors.

“We believe the personalized service Tennis Universal offers assists our customers, their staff, volunteers, or friends and family to better understand how to repair and maintain their courts,” says Gardner, who’s offered the service since 1984. “Everyone needs to offer positive alternatives to court solutions during these difficult times.” For more information, visit tennisuniversal.com

Sampras to Face Safin in LA

Pete Sampras, 14-time Grand Slam champion who held the No. 1 ranking for a record 286 weeks, will return to the LA Tennis Center at UCLA July 27 for the “Millennium Challenge” as part of the 83rd annual LA Tennis Open. He’ll face Marat Safin, who beat Sampras in the 2000 US Open final.

Peoplewatch

Industry Recognizes Top 50 TWCs

The “Top 50 Tennis Welcome Centers of 2008” have been recognized by the TIA, USTA and RSI as leading the charge in the growth of the sport by providing well-rounded programs to new and current players of all ages and abilities. The tennis facilities honored all exhibited excellent participation figures involving new and returning players, support of industry programs and community tennis development, and were active with Tennis Welcome Center facility requirements, among other criteria. For information on becoming a TWC, visit partners.tenniswelcomecenter.com or growingtennis.com.

The Top 50 TWCs of 2008, in alphabetical order, are:

Annapolis Area Tennis School, Annapolis, MD

Arlington Tennis Center, Arlington, TX

Bay Tennis and Fitness, Harbor Springs, MI

Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club, Hendersonville, TN

Cary Tennis Park, Cary, NC

Center Court Youth Tennis Association, Arnaudville, LA

Circle C Tennis Club, Austin, TX

Columbia Basin Racquet Club, Richland, WA

Cooper Creek Tennis Center, Columbus, GA

Cooper Tennis Complex, Springfield, MO

Copamarina Tennis, Guanica, Puerto Rico

CTA of East Williston, Wheatley, & Carle Place, Williston Park, NY

Delaware Tennis Center, Wilmington, DE

Dunnigan Family YMCA, Evansville, IN

Family Circle Tennis Center, Charleston, SC

Greenville Country Club, Greenville, MS

Hamilton Family YMCA Tennis Center, Chattanooga, TN

Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort & Club, Tucson, AZ

Homewood-Flossmoor Racquet & Fitness Club, Homewood, IL

Kiwanis Recreation Center, Tempe, AZ

Laguna Creek Racquet Club, Elk Grove, CA

Lake Charles Country Club, Lake Charles, LA

Lexington County Tennis Complex, Lexington, SC

Los Gatos Tennis Academy, Los Gatos, CA

Mandarin Middle School Community Tennis, Jacksonville, FL

Meadow Creek Tennis and Fitness Club, Lakewood, CO

Memorial Park Tennis Center, Colorado Springs, CO

Midland Community Tennis Center, Midland, MI

Midtown Athletic Club Weston, Weston, FL

Midtown Tennis Club, Overland Park, KS

Millbrook Exchange Tennis Center, Raleigh, NC

Miller Tennis Center, Williamsville, NY

Oconomowoc Community Tennis Center, Oconomowoc, WI

Paseo Racquet Center, Glendale, AZ

Raleigh Racquet Club, Raleigh, NC

Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center, Minneapolis, MN

Reynolds Plantation Lake Club Tennis Center, Greensboro, GA

Rudgear Park, Walnut Creek, CA

Sarver Tennis Club, Bluefield, WV

Shaw Park Tennis Welcome Center, Clayton, MO

South Towns Tennis Club, Orchard Park, NY

Springfield Racquet Club, Springfield, OH

Sprinker Tennis Center, Tacoma, WA

Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex, Surprise, AZ

Tennis Center of Coral Springs, Coral Springs, FL

Todd Morsilli Clay Court Tennis Center, Providence, RI

Towpath Tennis Center, Akron, OH

Upper Main Line YMCA, Berwyn, PA

Village Glen Tennis Club, Williamsville, NY

YMCA Greendale, Worcester, MA

 

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