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Industry news

Prince Announces Management Changes

Prince Sports has appointed Gordon Boggis as chief executive officer. In addition, George Napier is retiring as chairman and CEO, but will stay connected to Prince as vice chairman. And Sam Cook joins Prince as general manager of its business in the U.S. and Canada.

Gordon Boggis

Boggis joined Prince in October 2009 as president and COO. Before Prince, he was CEO of PaceMaster Fitness, and prior to that was president of Dunlop Slazenger Group Americas. Boggis has held a range of management positions with multinational consumer companies.

Napier led the successful buy-out of Prince from Benetton and through many significant phases of the company’s recent history. “Now is the right time for Gordon and a new team take the company to the next level,” says Napier. “We have several exciting new products and growth initiatives, either in the pipeline or under way.”

Cook joins Prince from Tecnica USA, where he was president of the Tecnica/Blizzard Divisions. Previously, Cook grew the Völkl tennis brand in the U.S.

“Sam brings to Prince a track record of success in the tennis industry, broad general management experience and a dynamic style that will be a great advantage as we continue to reinvigorate Prince’s business,” says Boggis.

In addition, Prince named two new non-executive directors. Ron Coburn, chairman and CEO of Savage Sports, joins the Board, as does Robert Siegel, former CEO of Lacoste USA and a former executive at Stride Rite and Levi Strauss.

USPTA Announces World Conference Speakers

Nick Bollettieri, Rick Macci, John Yandell, Todd Ellenbecker, Allen Fox, Tom Gorman, Page Love, Martin Baroch and Mark Kovacs are among the speakers to be featured at the USPTA’s World Conference on Tennis Sept. 27 to Oct. 2 at La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, Calif. The conference will feature more than 40 seminars and courses, the USPTA’s International Tennis Championships, a tennis-only buying show, silent auction, nighttime parties, awards presentation and more.

The USPTA expects about 1,500 attendees, including tennis professionals, industry leaders and representatives, manufacturers, wholesalers and media. In addition to USPTA members, the conference is open to nonmember tennis-teaching professionals and tennis enthusiasts.

The International Championships will be held Sept. 27-30; the welcome party will be Sept. 29; awards breakfast, buying show and silent auction Sept. 30; National Cardio Tennis Feeding Shootout finals Oct. 1; and certification exams Oct. 1-2.

For more info, including a detailed agenda, visit usptaworldconference.com or call 800-877-8248.

President Obama Visits QST Event at White House

President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to a tennis clinic held at the White House on Aug. 3, where he spoke with (from left) Sam Querrey, Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan, and also addressed more than 100 kids from local NJTL chapters. The event, which featured the QuickStart Tennis play format, was part of the South Lawn Series, a summer-long series of events that brings local children, sports leagues and community programs together to the South Lawn in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative to combat childhood obesity.

Barry Soetoro

Industry Loses Warren Bosworth

Longtime racquet customizing specialist Warren M. Bosworth, 75, died July 9 in Boca Raton, Fla. Known as a “stringer to the stars,” Bosworth counted dozens of stars among his clients, including Ivan Lendl, Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi, Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, Venus Williams, and Pete Sampras.

New 30-Court Public Tennis Complex to Be Built in Maryland

Howard County, Md., recently approved one of the largest public tennis and sports complexes in the state in years. The Troy Hill Tennis and Sports Center, to be located in Elkridge, is expected to be ready to host the WTA’s Troy Park Women’s Tennis Championships in late July 2011.

Troy Park

The facility will include 30 indoor and outdoor courts, an indoor exhibition venue, and an 8,000 seat multi-use stadium. The center is expected to bring $18 million per year into the county’s economy.

“Generally, when the county puts up a park, they might include two, four or six courts,” says Art Tollick, president of the Howard County Tennis Patrons. “This is 30 courts with a stadium. We’re looking at this as a lot more than a tennis complex; it’s something that will be an economic engine for the area.”

Baltimore-based Gaudreau Inc. will be the lead architecture/planning/engineering firm, and Riparius Construction of Baltimore County will be the general contractor.

— Mary Helen Sprecher

Bryans Claim Record 62nd Doubles Title

Bob and Mike Bryan established an all-time record by claiming their 62nd career title at the Farmers Classic on Aug. 1. The win moves them past the Australian team of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, who won 61 and were inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in July. The final day of the Farmers Classic was a good one for the Prince Tour Team, as Sam Querrey upset top seed Andy Murray to win the title. It was the first time in the 84-year history of the event that both the singles and doubles champions repeated their titles.

AmEx, USTA Present ‘Fresh Courts’ Renovation Program

Long-time USTA partner American Express will present the inaugural “Fresh Courts” program, a philanthropic effort to invest in developing communities through the renovation of tennis facilities. The 2010 program targets 17 tennis courts in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York.

Work on the courts will be performed or supervised by the USTA’s Facility Assistance department. Work is scheduled to begin in September, with the goal of having all three sites completed by early fall. Annually, the USTA refurbishes nearly 700 courts in approximately 200 communities.

“American Express’ Fresh Courts program will impact thousands of tennis fans and is a tremendous example of our partners giving back to communities that support tennis,” says Lucy S. Garvin, USTA President and Chairman of the Board. “With their support, we can bring our new QuickStart play format to more kids than ever before.”

“Our goal with Fresh Courts is to inspire and grow the local passion for tennis, while reinvesting valuable resources to strengthen the community through sport,” says Jessica Igoe, director of Global Sponsorship Marketing for American Express.

In Los Angeles, the Fresh Courts program targets eight full-sized courts at the Jackie Tatum Harvard Tennis Courts. Four of the 78-foot courts will feature blended lines for the QuickStart play format. ‪In Washington, two courts in Columbia Heights will be refurbished, and will be lined to accommodate QST courts. In New York, six full-size courts will be refurbished and two 36-foot courts added at McCarren Park in Brooklyn.

Linda Glassel Joins Wilson

Industry veteran Linda Glassel has joined Wilson Racquet Sports as the global marketing director. She was formerly the VP of marketing and branding at Prince.

“In this new worldwide role, Linda will lead our newly integrated consumer and grassroots marketing team,” Wilson General Manager Jon Muir said. “Linda will now serve as the lead role for all our U.S. marketing, advertising and grassroots elements as well as leading our global initiatives in these areas — working with all of our local marketing heads around the world.”

In another move, Cory Springer, the global business director for performance racquets, will now “take on the day-to-day management of our recreational rackets category and now serve as our (consolidated) global Business Director for Tennis Rackets,” Muir said.

Short Sets

PTR Development Weekend Oct. 7-10 in Orlando

The PTR’s Professional Development Weekend will be Oct. 7-10 (Thursday to Sunday) at the Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Fla., and will feature more than 20 presentations and specialty courses for tennis teachers. Speakers will include Pat Etcheberry, Rodney Harmon, Jorge Andrew, Anne Pankhurst, Daniel Spatz, Doug Cash, Michele Krause, Lance Andersen, Mike Barrell and others.

On court and classroom topics include Fundamentals of Movement Training, Integrate Technique, Tactics and Strategy into Your Teaching, Top 20 Drills and Games, Embracing Social Media and Technology as a Tennis Pro, The Power of Food, Marketing Cardio Tennis Kids, Growing Your Tennis Business, Life Cycle of a Tennis Court and more.

The event is open to everyone and costs $379. PTR room rates start at $129 a night. Visit ptrtennis.org for a list of speakers, topics, event schedule and more, and to register, or call 800-421-6289.

There also will be a shuttle to the Justine Henin Academy on Sunday and Monday where Etcheberry will conduct his Etcheberry Certification. And also on Sunday, the Grand Slam Stringers Symposium begins in Orlando.

Jean Larson Dies

Jean Larson, the wife of Daily Tennis publisher Bob Larson, died Aug 6. She was 75. Bob Larson said his wife had suffered from ALS since 2009, and while her condition had weakened recently, her sudden decline was unexpected. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Cort, and daughter, Cara Terwilliger.

Kansas City Wins WTT Title

The Kansas City Explorers captured its first World TeamTennis title with a 21-18 win over the New York Sportimes at the WTT Finals on July 25 in Kansas City, Mo. The Explorers’ Jarka Groth and Kveta Peschke clinched the title with a 5-3 win over the Sportimes’ Ashley Harkleroad and Abigail Spears in the final set to give Kansas City its first Championship win in the team’s 18-year history. Groth, who was named WTT Finals MVP, dominated throughout the evening as she won all three of her sets.

In other WTT news, Lindsay Davenport of the St. Louis Aces and the Springfield Lasers’ Martin Damm were named the 2010 Female and Male MVPs of the 35th season of the World TeamTennis Pro League.

Also, Bobby Reynolds of the Washington Kastles and Courtney Nagle of the Philadelphia Freedoms picked up WTT Rookie of the Year honors and Springfield Lasers coach John-Laffnie “J.L.” de Jager was named the WTT Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.

Free Replacement Bobbin for 2086

Wise USA is making available a free replacement bobbin for its 2086 Professional Tension Head, Series 11. For stringers who received a Diablo with their unit or who ordered a Diablo as an independent upgrade, contact Wise to receive a new, non-slip version of the bobbin, which mounts on the unit quickly and easily.

There is no charge for the replacement bobbin or for postage, and the old bobbin does not have to be returned. Contact Wise at sales@tennishead.com or 888-836-7466.

3 Finalists Named for ‘Best Tennis Town’

Atlanta, Charleston, and Richmond, Va., have been selected as the three finalists in the USTA’s second annual search to determine the winner of the “Best Tennis Town” contest, as determined by nationwide voting. The ultimate winner will be announced during the 2010 US Open.

In addition to the title, the 2010 contest winner will receive a $100,000 grant from the USTA to be used for community-wide tennis programming and facility enhancements. The second- and third-prize winners will receive $50,000 and $25,000, respectively.

The search for the 2010 “Best Tennis Town” is the USTA’s second nationwide search to identify the local area — from small, rural towns to large, urban metro areas — that best exemplifies the passion, excitement, spirit and impact that tennis brings. The inaugural contest winner last year was Midland, Mich.

Peoplewatch

7 Inducted Into Hall of Fame

The International Tennis Hall of Fame’s newest members: Natasha Zvereva, Gigi Fernandez, Brad Parks, Mark Woodforde, Todd Woodbridge and Owen Davidson. The Class of 2010 also includes Derek Hardwick, who was inducted posthumously. The induction ceremony, held in July, is available for viewing on tennisfame.com.

Seminars Announced for 2010 GSS Symposium

In response to attendee feedback, two new sessions have been added to the Fourth Annual Grand Slam Stringers Symposium, which will be held in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 9-13.

“What we’ve found is that attendees really want to spend more time with seminar leaders, working on various stringing machines, as opposed to additional time in the classroom,” say symposium director Tim Strawn. The 2010 symposium will add open stringing sessions that run all day, so attendees have the option of attending classroom instruction or spending time on a machine with peers and industry reps.

The second new session is an advanced “patterns and techniques” class offered by Ron Rocchi of Wilson Sports and former tour stringer Grant Morgan. The class, designed to expose each person to new and more advanced stringing techniques, will have a 3-to-1 student-teacher ratio. Each participant will be working on a Wilson Baiardo machine.

The GSS Symposium kicks off with a meet & greet, followed by three days of seminars. It will conclude with USRSA certification testing. For more information and a list of seminars go to gssalliance.com or you call 540-772-4418.

Tennis sales

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores, January-June, 2010 vs. 2009

Units 2010 320,274
2009 302,462
% chg vs. ‘09 6%
Dollars 2010 45,248,000
2009 41,718,000
% chg vs. ‘09 8%
Price 2010 $141.28
2009 $137.93
% chg vs. ‘09 2%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-June 2010

(average selling price)

Best-Sellers

  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive GT (MP)
  3. Wilson BLX Six.One 95 16 x 18 (MS)
  4. Prince EXO3 Black (MP)
  5. Babolat Aero Pro Drive+ GT (MP)

“Hot New Racquets”

(Introduced in the past 12 months)

  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT (MP)
  2. Wilson BLX Six.One 95 16 x 18 (MS)
  3. Prince EXO3 Black (MP)
  4. Babolat Aero Pro Drive+ GT (MP)
  5. Wilson BLX Six.One Tour (MS)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-June 2010

(average selling price)

  1. Adidas Barricade V
  2. Prince T22
  3. Nike Court Ballistec 2.3
  4. Nike Air Breathe Free II
  5. Adidas Barricade II

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January-June 2010

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

(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)

New Court Construction Book Now Available

The sixth edition of “Tennis Courts: A Construction and Maintenance Manual” has just been released and is available for anyone interested in building, maintaining or learning more about all types of tennis courts. The manual is a cooperative venture between the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) and the USTA.

The book includes user-friendly technical information on all aspects of tennis courts, including design, budgeting and planning, site requirements, drainage, surface selection, construction, maintenance, repair, amenities and accessories, indoor tennis and more. New this year is information on 36-foot and 60-foot tennis courts.

Copies of the new edition are available for $44.95 each and can be ordered by contacting 866-501-ASBA (2722) or visiting sportsbuilders.org.

— Mary Helen Sprecher

‘Community Surface’ TV Show To Document Court Renovation

Tennis Channel will chronicle the renovation of Centennial Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn., on its new program, “Community Surface,” which will air Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The half-hour “Community Surface built by SportMaster” will take viewers behind the scenes as Tennis Channel, court-resurfacing company and presenting sponsor SportMaster, and the USTA renovate the public tennis facility that was badly damaged in Nashville’s May floods.

During the storms, 36 inches of rain destroyed many of the 19 courts at Centennial Tennis Center which, due to insufficient repair funds, has left them unplayable and closed so far this summer. Following a week of repairs in August, members of the Nashville tennis community will be able to enjoy these courts again for the first time since the spring catastrophe. Upon its completion the Centennial Tennis Center will feature eight new 36-foot tennis courts in addition to the 13 existing regulation courts.

“The floods caused so much damage throughout the area that we had no idea how we were ever going to get these courts back into playing condition,” said Blain Smith, manager of the tennis center.

TIA Forms Facility, Retailer Panels

The TIA has created a Facility Panel and a Retailer Panel, to help identify current needs, issues and concerns of both the tennis facility and tennis retail businesses. “Both panels will help keep us better in touch with what facilities and retailers need to grow their businesses,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.

The Facility Panel will be made up of tennis facility owners/operators or directors of tennis. At this time the Facility Panel consists of Mike Mahoney, Mike Woody and Rod Heckelman, with more to be added at a later date. The Retailer Panel will have owners/operators or managers of tennis retail businesses. Currently, Bruce Levine, Brad Blume, David Schwartz and Todd Goldman have been named. Both panels are expected to advise on how best to keep facilities or retailers more engaged with industry initiatives and the resources offered through the TIA. Also, both will help the TIA formulate effective messaging that reaches facility managers/directors and tennis retailers.

Congratulations To the Following for Achieving MRT & CS Status

New MRTs

Brandon Luu, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Martin Picard, Northbay, ON,, Canada

Hanh Nguyen, Sunnyvale, CA

Philip Xiao, Chino Hills, CA

Stephen Brandi, Rye Brook, NY

Greg Stoffer, Rye Brook, NY

New CSs

Troy Rayder, San Diego, CA

Robert Thomas, Winter Springs, FL

Erica Ling, San Diego, CA

Jason Duran, San Diego, CA

Julio Flores, San Diego, CA

 

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