Why You Need to Get in the Kids’ Game!
By now, you’re probably aware of the big push by the USTA and the industry for 10-and-under tennis (see Industry News item on page 8). In all the debate before the holidays — about mandating 10U guidelines for tournaments, whether it’s good for “the best” 9- and 10-year-olds, and on and on — we seemed to have lost sight of a key reason to support this: It will help your business.
If that’s not clear enough for you, how about this: You can make money with 10-and-under tennis.
Let’s focus on what’s important for you: your business, your profits, your bottom line. The simple fact is, with 10U tennis on shorter courts, with age-appropriate equipment, you put more kids on court at one time and can charge a lot more for that hour. You keep kids in the game, so you ensure future customers. You also sell them — and their parents — equipment, footwear, apparel, balls and accessories. And, in many cases, you can get their parents playing tennis again.
Is this so hard to understand? Is this so hard to support? Whether you are a teaching pro, facility manager or pro shop owner, you should be all over this initiative.
A lot of times, when initiatives in tennis are started, the focus is on all the (very valid) altruistic reasons: tennis is healthy, it helps fight obesity in kids and adults, it’s a lifetime sport, it develops body and mind, we all should support the game, etc., etc.
Yeah, that’s all great, but right now, with 10U tennis, let’s just focus on how it can immediately, and positively, affect your business. 10U tennis can bring in more money, keep your staff employed, help you pay your bills, help keep your facility or store open.
Oh, and yes, it’s great for the game.
And the good news … Back in the April, we first heard that Jaime Kaplan, a colleague and true tennis advocate from Macon, Ga., was diagnosed with leukemia. She kept everyone informed of her treatments through CaringBridge.org, and on Dec. 13, the word we all hoped we would hear came through, in all capitals, of course: REMISSION!! “Thanks for your love and prayers. We BEAT leukemia!” Jaime wrote in her brief, ecstatic blog post. Needless to say, we are all thrilled.
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See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.