Jon Muir Confirmed for 2nd Term as TIA President
Jon Muir will remain on as president of the Tennis Industry Association for a second term, following recommendations from the TIA board of directors and its executive committee, to help see through platforms and projects under way that help support growth for tennis and industry businesses.
“I’m happy to continue our collective, ongoing efforts supporting the three platforms we have been developing: increasing the number of frequent players, measuring and impacting more clearly the economic growth of the collective tennis industry, and developing our communication channels to distribute clear, consistent messaging about our industry and most importantly about tennis and the reasons to play,” Muir said.
Muir’s decision to remain as president took place during the TIA board of directors meeting held in New York City during the 2010 US Open and signifies a strong commitment by industry partner organizations to TIA goals and initiatives, according to Jolyn de Boer, the TIA executive director. Muir’s second term will continue through Dec. 31, 2012.
TIA also welcomed three new members to its board during the recent meeting in NYC:
- Gordon Boggis is the CEO of Prince Sports Inc., based in Bordentown, N.J.
- Greg Mason is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Head Penn Racquet Sports, based in Phoenix, Ariz.
- Meredith Poppler is the vice president of industry growth for IHRSA–International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, based in Boston.
Dunlop Introduces ‘Biomimetic’ Frames
Dunlop Racket Sports debuted five new “Biomimetic” racquets at a launch party in New York City just before the US Open that included John McEnroe, Nikolay Davydenko, Fernando Verdasco and other top Dunlop pros. Biomimetic means to “imitate life,” and Dunlop says the new frames draw their key design features from some of nature’s most evolved creatures.
The three technologies of the Biomimetic frames are:
- Aeroskin: Like the skin of a shark, Aeroskin features tiny “riblets” that reduce aerodynamic drag by up to 25 percent for increased racquet-head speed and power, says the company.
- HM6 Carbon: A newly designed carbon compound that mimics the hexagonal structure of a bee’s honeycomb, one of nature’s strongest and most efficient structures. The substance, says Dunlop, reduces vibration by up to 10 percent.
- Gecko-Tac: The name given to Dunlop’s new grip surface treatment, which provides up to 50 percent more grip and tack than previous grips, according to the company.
“The Biomimetic range gives Dunlop some tremendous momentum heading into 2011,” says Kai Nitsche, vice president and general manager of Dunlop. “Each racquet combines a tangible technological benefit with a sharp cosmetic. Our entire Tour Team is excited to switch to them for the 2011 season.”
The racquets that will feature the new technology are the Biomimetic 200 Plus, the Biomimetic 300, the Biomimetic 300 Tour, the Biomimetic 600 and the Biomimetic 600 Lite. For more information, visit dunlopsports.com or call 800-768-4727.
Sporting Goods Industry Honors Baugh
Jim Baugh will be inducted into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame on May 3, 2011, at Loews Ventana Canyon in Tucson, Ariz. Baugh, the former general manager and president of Wilson Sporting Goods, also was a former president of the Tennis Industry Association.
Baugh has been devoted to improving the health and fitness of American children, creating the PE4Life initiative. He also helped raise nearly $500 million in federal grants for schools through the Carol M. White Physical Education Program, known in the industry as the PEP Program.
Baugh worked at Converse and Prince before joining Wilson in 1987. While at Wilson, Baugh joined the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association board of directors, a position he still holds. It was through SGMA that PE4Life was founded, dedicated to rebuilding quality physical education programs in schools. After leaving Wilson, Baugh served as president of the TIA and as a board member of the USTA.
Wilson Debuts 2011 Apparel, Footwear
Wilson debuted its 2011 spring/summer apparel and footwear collections during the US Open. The new performance apparel lines use “nano-fiber” technology to aid in sun protection, moisture management and anti-microbial odor protection. Wilson’s knit apparel also uses bamboo fabrications, which are sustainable, manage moisture well, and have a soft feel. “Body mapping” offers “no-sew,” seamless technology. In addition to spring and summer collections for men and women, Wilson also offers “core” performance collections, along with boys’ and girls’ collections.
New Wilson tennis shoes for 2011 feature RG Technology, for “Reactive Gel” — which are inserts in the midsole for cushioning, energy return, stability and dynamic movement support, says the company. The men’s and women’s lines include the Tour Vision, Tour Spin II, Tour Fantom, Pro Staff Trigor, Pro Staff Victress and Pro Staff Court, in addition to junior models.
In related news, world No. 32 Philipp Kohlschreiber will be wearing Wilson’s new apparel and footwear starting in January. For more information, visit wilson.com.
First ‘Fresh Courts’ Refurbished
Six full-size courts were refurbished and two 36-foot courts were added at McCarren Park in Brooklyn, N.Y., as part of the “Fresh Courts” renovation program by the USTA and American Express. The 2010 program targeted 17 tennis courts in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Hinding Tennis of West Haven, Conn., did the work on the McCarren Park courts. Another fresh courts project is at the Jackie Tatum/Harvard Tennis Center in L.A., where work was done by Zaino Tennis Courts of Orange, Calif.
New Rules for Kids’ Competition
The USTA approved a rule change in September requiring all 10-and-under tournaments to be played with slower-moving and lower-bouncing balls, on shorter courts and using shorter, lighter racquets. The change will take affect in January 2012 and apply to all USTA-sanctioned events for children 10-and-under.
“Scaling tennis down to the size of children will promote greater participation and ensure that young kids will be able to play much more quickly,” said Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis. “This rule change is critical to the long-term growth of our sport, and ultimately will help us develop new generations of talented players.”
For more information on the rule change, visit usta.com/rulechange.
Charleston is ‘Best Tennis Town’
Charleston, S.C., recently was voted America’s “Best Tennis Town” and received $100,000 for community tennis programming. The announcement was made during the US Open. Charleston beat out 81 other cities for the title. The first runner-up Atlanta will receive $50,000 and second runner-up Richmond, Va., will receive $25,000. In the inaugural competition in 2009, Midland, Mich., took home top honors.
H.S. Tennis Players, School Programs Increase
There’s good news on tennis participation from the National Federation of State High School Associations. According to the NFHS 2009-2010 High School Athletics Participation Summary, the number of boys and girls playing tennis in high schools rose more than 3 percent, from 334,758 students to 345,150.
The total number of boys participating in tennis rose from 157,165 to 162,755, while girls playing tennis rose from 177,593 to 182,395. Importantly, the number of schools offering tennis also increased. The 2008-2009 study showed 9,499 schools offering tennis for boys, while the most recent study has that number up to 9,916. For girls, the number of schools rose from 9,693 to 10,166.
‘Biggest Loser’ TV Show Features Cardio Tennis
Anna Kournikova surprised the 15 contestants on the hit TV show “The Biggest Loser,” then put them through a rigorous Cardio Tennis workout as a key part of the show’s weight-loss and fitness program. The episode aired on NBC on Oct. 5.
“Cardio Tennis is about getting a great workout, about burning tons of calories — about high, high energy,” said Kournikova, who had suggested Cardio to the show’s producers. The episode was filmed at the Edmund D. Edelman Tennis Center in Calabasas, Calif. Working with Kournikova were CT National Program Manager Michele Krause and Chris Ojakian and David Schwartz.
- The U.S. will host Italy in the 2010 Fed Cup final Nov. 6-7 in San Diego. The U.S. team will consist of Serena Williams, Melanie Oudin, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Liezel Huber. In related news, Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez has signed on for another two years.
- Nominated for the USTA Board of Directors for 2011-2012 are: Jon Vegosen for USTA president; David Haggerty, first vice president; Katrina Adams and Carol Welder, vice presidents; and Don Tisdel, secretary-treasurer; at-large directors Seth Abraham, Dale Caldwell, William Kellogg, John Korff, Delaine Mast and Andrew Valdez; elite athletes Patrick Galbraith, Chanda Rubin and Jeff Tarango; and immediate past president Lucy Garvin.
- Seven tennis facilities won 2010 Outstanding Facility Award Honors recently: Libbey Park Tennis Complex, Ojai, Calif.; Palm Coast Tennis Center, Palm Coast, Fla.; Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, Philadelphia; Lakes Tennis Academy, Frisco, Texas; Courtside Club, Los Gatos, Calif.; Gable Tennis Complex, Culver, Ind.; and Biszantz Family Tennis Center, Claremont, Calif.
- This year’s Babolat sales award winners are: Retailer of the Year — Michael Lynne’s Tennis Shop; Sales Rep of the Year — Rick Walsh; “Tennis Runs in Our Blood” award — Tennis Warehouse.
- Wilson Tennis has hit 100,000 likes/fans on Facebook at facebook.com/wilsontennis. “Facebook is the center of all social media. Our goal for Wilson’s page is to keep an open line of communication with the tennis community and have some fun in the process,” said Wilson Global Marketing Director Linda Glassel.
- More than 50 Spanish women players, including former champions Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Conchita Martinez, are supporting a boycott of Spain’s Fed Cup team. The player say the national federation doesn’t support women’s players. The boycott is scheduled to being in Spain’s World Group series against Estonia in February.
- The U.S. Davis Cup squad will travel to Chile March 4-6 for the first round of play.
- Pete Sampras will serve as the first spokesman for “Tennis Night In America,” a joint promotional effort between the USTA and StarGames Inc. The annual event includes youth registration events at facilities around the country and concludes with the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28.
- NetKnacks Tennis Awards has signed on as a PTR Corporate Member.
- Available from Evolve9 and developed by Mike Barrell is a new manual and CD-Rom with formats for running formal and informal QuickStart Tennis competitions. The CD also contains editable forms, off-court activity sheets and certificates. Visit evolve9.com for more.
- Looking to build or rehab a tennis court or facility? Check out the new website of the American Sports Builders Association at sportsbuilders.org, which can help you choose a Certified Tennis Court Builder.
- Tennis Canada announced a three-year partnership between the Tennis Professionals Association (TPA) and the PTR that will take effect in January. TPA was established for Canadian certified instructors, coaches and club professionals in 2004 and has grown to more than 2,300 members.
- The Golden State Warriors along with The Good Tidings Foundation unveiled a newly surfaced Novacrylic basketball court at San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley Middle School, part of NBC’s “Lend A Hand” program, which in addition to the new court, raised over $1.2 million in donated goods for kids. For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- BNP Paribas has agreed to continue its sponsorship of Davis Cup and Fed Cup for an additional five-years, from 2012 through 2016.
- The Family Circle Cup announced a partnership with the City of Charleston Department of Recreation’s Courting Kids inner-city youth tennis program, committing over $50,000 in financial, material, and promotional support. Dunlop Sports and Vapor Apparel, year-round sponsors of the Family Circle Cup, have contributed a significant amount of tennis equipment and clothing to the program.
- Bud Collins has released a second edition of his tennis encyclopedia and record book, “The Bud Collins History of Tennis.” The 816-page book is $35.95 from New Chapter Press.
TIA Forum Outlines Key Platforms for Industry Growth
The fourth annual TIA Tennis Forum was held during the 2010 US Open in New York City, detailing the latest news about the state of the tennis industry, including player data, equipment sales data, and grassroots initiatives. The Forum also highlighted the revamped and repositioned TennisIndustry.org website and featured Billie Jean King’s induction into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. (To see a video of the Forum, go to youtube.com/tennis-industry.)
TIA President Jon Muir outlined three key industry “platforms” — increasing the number of frequent players in the U.S., ways to better define and boost the economic growth and impact of the tennis industry, and effective ways to distribute clear, consistent messaging about tennis and the reasons to play it.
Tennis ball shipments year to date through the second quarter of 2010 were up 1.6% in units and 2.7% in dollars from the same period last year, according to TIA research.
Racquet shipments year to date through the second quarter of 2010 were down slightly in units, but there was a 7.4% increase in wholesale racquet dollars. In terms of sell-through, racquet sales at pro/special-ty stores were strong through May, but dropped back in June and July. Overall year to date through July, racquet sales were up 3.1% in units and 5.1% in dollars.
But, Muir cautioned, “When we try to summarize the broader state of the economy, one word keeps coming up, ‘uncertainty.’ We’ve had a big downsizing in the early part of 2010, it kicked up again, now it’s a bit back down again, and is trying to find the ‘new normal.’”
In terms of participation, “taking advantage of the momentum [from last year’s participation increase] is hugely important,” said Muir.
- Andre Agassi has been nominated for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in the Recent Player Category. Joining Agassi on the ballot in the Master Player Category are Thelma Coyne Long and Christine Truman Janes. Nominated in the Contributor Category are Mike Davies and Fern Lee “Peachy” Kellmeyer.
- South Carolina high school student Tony Ly, age 17, will play in a doubles match with Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf after winning Head’s Star Series competition. The match will take place in Las Vegas in November, with Tony bringing along his brother Brian, age 18, to play on his team. Ly won the competition, which highlights Head’s YouTek Star Series.
- The No. 1 player in Japan, Kei Nishikori, has signed a multi-year contract to continue with his longtime racquet sponsor, Wilson Racquet Sports. Nishikori has been a member of the Wilson Team since he was 10 years old. Currently ranked No. 56, he plays with a Wilson Tour BLX racquet.
- Former New York City mayor and current USTA board member David Dinkins was honored during the US Open with the USTA’s 2010 President’s Award for extraordinary service to the sport. Dinkins has served six consecutive two-year terms as a USTA Director at Large and leaves the board after this year.
- Dan Santorum, CEO of the Professional Tennis Registry, received the International Tennis Federation’s Service to the Game Award at the ITF’s meeting in Washington, D.C., in August. Santorum was nominated by the USTA and received the recognition for his outstanding contribution to tennis teaching, both nationally and internationally.
- John Embree is taking on the consulting role of director of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Endowment Fund Campaign. Embree most recently was the president of the Americas for Prince Sports, leaving that company in June.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum has elected 11 new members to the board of directors: John P. Arnhold, Mark D. Ein, Renae A.R. Evangelista, James L. Farley, Philip H. Geier Jr., Madam Sun Jinfang, Katherine Burton Jones, Geoff Pollard, Will Prest, Michelle Sicard, and Ken Solomon.
New MRTs and CSs
Patrick Thompson, Reston, Virginia
Chabil Dassoruth, Victoria, BC, Canada
James Gober, Birmingham, Alabama
Dimitar Yazadzhiev, Santa Barbara, California
Edward Visaya, Honolulu, HI
Alfonso Lafont Pedraza, Santander, Colombia
Eric Dillon, Westlake, Ohio
Brenton James, Peachtree, Georgia
Ron Woods Named USPTA Pro of the Year
Ron Woods of Corpus Christi, Texas, who has been involved in tennis for more than 45 years and has been a USPTA member for 44 years, received the USPTA’s Alex Gordon Award for Professional of the Year. Woods was recognized during the USPTA’s annual World Conference on Tennis, Sept. 27 to Oct. 2 at La Quinta Resort and Club in La Quinta, Calif.
The professional of the year is judged in seven areas, including: contributions to USPTA and USTA; as a teaching professional, player and coach; education, research and publications; organizational affiliations; and contributions to the community.
Woods, who also was honored for achieving Master Professional status and received the individual award for Tennis Across America, is a past president of the USPTA and serves on the USPTA Executive Committee. He is a past president of USPTA’s Texas Division and has served as chairman of various USPTA committees. In addition, he has also been highly involved with the USTA Texas section and has served as chair of both the adult league and adult senior competition committees. At the USTA national level, he has served on the Davis Cup, adult league and innovations committees.
Four Earn USPTA Master Pro Status
Four members of the USPTA were recognized for achieving Master Professional status, the organization’s highest professional rating:
- Rosie Bareis of Tracy, Calif., director of tennis at The Club at the Claremont Hotel, Club and Spa in Berkeley, Calif.
- Randy Mattingley of Kingwood, Texas, director of tennis at the Clubs of Kingwood
- Brett Schwartz of Mandeville, La., director of tennis at the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club
- Ron Woods of Corpus Christi, Texas, retired director of tennis at the Corpus Christi Country Club
The four join an elite group as only about 1 percent of USPTA’s more than 15,000 members worldwide have achieved the Master Professional designation. Members must hold USPTA’s highest certification rating (Professional 1) for more than 10 years before becoming eligible for Master Pro status.
Cutler Receives Top USPTA Ed Credits
Alan Cutler from Whittier, Calif., was the top credit earner in the USPTA’s 2009 Career Development Program, earning 132 education credits. Cutler, a USPTA Master Professional, is a specialist in Competitive Player Development and Computer Technology and has completed levels I and II of the USTA sport science certification. He is the founder of Playtennisforlife.info and has more than 25 years of teaching experience.
Randy Snow Inducted Into USPTA Hall of Fame
During the USPTA’s World Conference, Randy Snow was posthumously inducted into the USPTA Hall of Fame. Snow, who was from Terrell, Texas, was a USPTA Pro 1 for 17 years and joins only 10 others as grand inductees in the Hall of Fame.
Snow, who was paralyzed from the waist down after a farming accident when he was 16, became the first Paralympic athlete inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004. He was a silver medalist in the 1,500-meter wheelchair race held at the 1984 Summer Olympics. He won gold medals in both singles and doubles with Brad Parks at the 1992 Summer Paralympics in Barcelona. He was the only athlete to win medals at the Paralympic Games in three different sports — tennis, basketball, and track and field. He also won the U.S. Open Wheelchair singles titles 10 times and doubles six times.
Snow also excelled in the corporate world, devoting 20 years to a highly successful medical supply company and also worked as a recreational therapist. In 1999 he started his own company, called No XQs (No Excuses), and traveled extensively as a motivational speaker.
He was considered a pioneer and an innovator in the wheelchair industry and helped improve the designs for athletes and improve the lives of many disabled people. He devoted his time to giving back and sharing the game of tennis. He died last fall in El Salvador, where he was volunteering at a wheelchair tennis camp.
USPTA Honors Leaders in Tennis
The USPTA recognized those who stand out in all aspects of the tennis industry during its annual national awards breakfast in September.
- USTA/USPTA Community Service Award: Paul Garron of Auburn, Calif., director of tennis at Rollingwood Racquet Club in Fair Oaks, Calif.
- USPTA Industry Excellence Award: Emily Schaefer of Houston, director of tennis for Houston Parks and Recreation.
- Lessons for Life Individual Award: Ken Sumrow of Plano, Texas.
- Facility Manager of the Year Award: Rod Heckelman of San Rafael, Calif., general manager at Mount Tam Racquet Club in Larkspur, Calif.
- Touring Coach of the Year: Dave Licker, Frisco, Texas
- College Coach of the Year: Kendell Hale, Kansas City, Mo.
- High School Coach of the Year: Vance VanPelt II, Hutchinson, Kan.
- George Bacso Tester of the Year: David T. Porter, Ed.D., Laie, Hawaii.
New TennisIndustry.org to Serve As Central Portal for Industry
The TIA has launched its newly redesigned website, TennisIndustry.org, as a “one-stop portal” for all things relative to the tennis industry. The new website offers a fresh look that provides visitors with significant improvements to navigation and easier accessibility to additional tennis industry programs, marketplace news, research and initiatives.
At TennisIndustry.org visitors can subscribe to the industry newsletter and newsfeed, access industry research reports, learn more about the tools and resources to help grow tennis businesses and attract more players and consumers, and learn how to get involved by staying up to date and engaged with key programs and services that benefit all sectors of the tennis industry.
“Our goal for the new website is to provide a central hub for the industry to help everyone stay informed and engaged with what is happening in the industry,” says Jolyn de Boer, TIA executive director. “It connects those in the industry to all facets of the tennis business and the game.”
PBI Presents Awards
Peter Burwash International’s recent annual meeting at the Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt in Tirol, Austria, brought 90 PBI pros together from around the world. Seminar and conference topics focused on personal and professional development, ranging from coaching tour players and innovative teaching techniques to communication and program marketing.
In addition, the following awards were presented:
- Professional of the Year: Kevin Connolly, tennis director, Rancho Las Palmas Resort, Rancho Mirage, Calif.
- Most Improved Professional: Fran Bonmati, head pro, The American Club Hong Kong
- Rookie of the Year: Scott Teller, tennis director, Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, Puerto Rico
- Site of the Year: Naples Grande Beach Resort, Naples, Fla.
TennisConnect Goes Mobile
Now you can promote your tennis business and service your most tech-savvy customers by publishing “mobile-specific” web pages that are simple to create through TennisConnect and easy to view on smartphones. With TennisConnect’s “MobileBuilder” component, tennis facilities and retailers can quickly generate mobile web pages with key information about programs, news, directions, calendar of events and more — information that is critical to your business — and all scaled to be viewed on smaller mobile devices, such as an iPhone, Android or any other smartphone.
MobileBuilder also can automatically create several “system-generated” pages, such as maps, weather, email and more. With the “contact us” feature, for instance, each function (email, phone) is automatically integrated with the smartphone. Uswers also can integrate social media sites into their mobile page.
MobileBuilder, which is part of TennisConnect Components, is $8/month ($96/year) or $75/year with annual pre-payment. There is a one-time set up fee of $50 to establish your MobileBuilder database. Visit TennisConnect.com or contact Marty Mohar at 843-686-3036 ext. 227 or email@example.com.
N.J. Club Offers ‘Teddy Tennis Academy’
Courtside Racquet Club in Lebanon, N.J., is the first “Teddy Tennis Academy” in the U.S. Teddy Tennis, developed in Britain, is for kids ages 3-1/2 to 5-1/2 and encourages them to play tennis by combining music, pictures and teddy bear stories. The program can be used as a “feeder system” to QuickStart Tennis. Visit teddytennis.com for more info.
Ashaway Introduces UltraKill 18 R-Ball String
Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced UltraKill 18, the latest in its new line of Zyex-based racquetball strings. Built on a new multifilament core, UltraKill 18 is designed to provide players at all levels with a thinner, more playable string that provides both power and control.