A Redefined and Renewed TIA
RSI magazine, as many of you know, works closely with the Tennis Industry Association on a number of levels. After all, we have a similar goal — to grow your tennis business — so it only makes sense we work together for the good of the industry.
What concerns me, though, is that many people have the perception that the TIA is an “arm” of the USTA. They’re unclear of exactly what the role of the TIA is, and the difference between the TIA and the role the USTA plays.
The USTA’s mission is to “promote and develop the growth of tennis,” in short, to get as many people playing tennis as possible. The TIA’s mission is to “promote the growth and economic vitality of the tennis industry,” that is, to make this sport profitable for stakeholders. Granted, the more consumers who play the game, the more profitable it will be for everyone. So in many respects, the goals of the two organizations are similar — and complementary.
This important synergy was reinforced recently at a meeting of both the TIA and USTA leadership, which helped to define, and in some cases redefine, some of the roles both groups play in this industry. For its part, the TIA is making some important changes. Its board of directors, for instance, will both be streamlined, yet will broaden in expertise, in some instances looking outside the traditional tennis industry lines to bring in new and fresh ideas.
The TIA also will play an important role in 10 and Under Tennis. The USTA wants to get as many kids as possible in the game as effortlessly as possible; the TIA’s task is to develop ways for stakeholders, including tennis retailers, to help make that happen for the good of the industry. Specifically, the TIA will manage the 10 and Under Tennis retail initiative, including developing timelines, registering retailers and making sure retailers know the importance of providing the full line of different 10 and Under Tennis products.
Also important to both the USTA and TIA leadership is the PlayTennis.com portal, which will be rolled out in 2012. The TIA created PlayTennis.com two years ago as a single portal to tie together all parts of this sport and create a pathway for new players to become frequent players. Now, the cooperation between the USTA and TIA will take PlayTennis.com to the next level.
What is the message here? While the TIA has always worked with and supported the USTA, there is now a new, and renewed, TIA and a better understanding between the two organizations. It’s all about finding ways to help businesses grow. And it’s all about TENNIS.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.