Tennis Industry magazine

 

Industry News

PTR Symposium Set for February in Orlando

The PTR’s annual International Tennis Symposium will move to Orlando in 2012 — taking place at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando Feb. 24-27. The Symposium attracts nearly 1,000 tennis teachers and coaches from more than 50 countries.

Among the more than 35 presenter, who will conduct classroom and on-court presentations, will be Dave Miley, Dr. Jim Loehr, Pat Etcheberry, Kelly Jones, Butch Staples, Leo Alonso, Lorenzo Beltrame, Doug Cash and Dr. Mark Kovacs. Topics will range from 10 and Under Tennis to tennis business to teaching tactics and techniques. There is also a special high school coaches’ program that will be held over the weekend, Feb. 25-26, to accommodate scholastic schedules.

Teaching pros can compete at the PTR International Championships, held in conjunction with the Symposium. The Symposium also offers a Tennis Trade Show where more than 40 organizations and companies, such as, Gamma, Head/Penn and Playmate, exhibit their newest product lines, latest technologies and services.

For information and registration, visit ptrtennis.org/events/ptr-week.

3,000th Youth-Sized Court Dedicated in Atlanta

The USTA celebrated the refurbishment and creation of 3,000 tennis courts in the U.S., the most ever by the USTA in a calendar year. The achievement was celebrated at Grove Park in Atlanta on Nov. 30. Grove Park is emblematic of the 502 facilities that have been upgraded by the USTA in 283 markets throughout the country.

Through its facilities assistance group, the USTA has built or renovated 3,000 courts in 45 states in 2011. The courts were either constructed or refurbished by painting permanent 36-foot and 60-foot tennis lines on existing 78-foot courts, or by building stand-alone 36- and 60-foot courts. The courts were built in public parks, school yards, tennis facilities and at local community-based youth organizations.

“The USTA committed to impacting 3,000 courts in 2011, and we succeeded,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “By investing in local infrastructure, we can continue to grow the game at the grassroots level, energize players of all ages and help improve communities across the country.”

"I applaud the USTA for their dedication and commitment to encouraging young people to lead an active and healthy lifestyle," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

USTA CTDW to be Jan. 13-15 in New Orleans

Olympic gold medalist and best-selling author Greg Louganis will deliver the keynote address at the 2012 USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop, the largest annual gathering of CTA/NJTL and community tennis leaders in the country. The CTDW will be Jan. 13-15 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

The USTA expects more than 600 grassroots community tennis leaders to attend the CTDW. Programming includes sessions by experts in the non-profit sector and the tennis industry, with topics that cover areas such as Organizational Development/Fundraising, Volunteer Development, Marketing & Communications, Tennis Programming, and more.

Other features of the CTDW include optional pre-workshop sessions on Local Communications Strategy, Organizing Play on the Play Pathway, Strategic Planning, and a Recreational Coach Workshop. The CTDW also will include “IdeaNation,” an innovative participant-led discussion. The workshop also will commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King with a “day of service” on Jan. 15.

For more information, visit usta.com/ctdw.

Ashaway Offers ‘Soft Power’ Squash String

Ashaway Racket Strings says recent advances in Zyex material technology have allowed it to offer squash players a new performance characteristic for their string: "soft power." According to Ashaway’s Steve Crandall, soft power stems from the combination of new Zyex multifilament cores and the textured, high tenacity monofilament nylon jackets available in the company’s recently introduced UltraNick 17- and 18-gauge squash strings. For more information, visit ashawayusa.com.

Adidas Tennis Launches Barricade 7.0

For the first time, Adidas Tennis has launched two versions of its Barricade shoe. The men’s version of the Barricade 7.0 weighs an ounce less than its predecessor without sacrificing stability, durability and comfort, says the company, and the new women’s version features a subtle design and weighs 10.4 ounces.

The shoe is worn by tour players Andy Murray and Andrea Petkovic, and Adidas says it collaborated with elite players in the development of the shoe. “Over a period of more than 18 months we tested the shoe with more than 30 professional and semi-professional players. Our product testing department spent roughly 2,500 hours with athletes to make sure the shoe is the best Barricade ever,” says Graham Williamson, Adidas vice president of business unit tennis.

Adidas says the hallmark Barricade “claws” and a specially constructed chassis add stability, and SprintWeb and adiPrene+ technologies add flexibility, cushioning and comfort in the forefoot area. The women’s 7.0 has a more elegant design, a softer forefoot flex and reduced weight. The Barricade 7.0 will retail for $140 (men’s) and $130 (women’s).

Indoor Event Chooses Sunglasses

Maui Jim was the “official sunglass supplier” of the ATP World Tour Valencia Open 500 in Spain in November. All line judges for the indoor tournament wore Maui Jim sunglasses, which the company says cut glare from the indoor lights and enhanced depth perception and contrast on the court.

"This is a first for any sunglasses manufacturer," said Linda Glassel, vice president of marketing for Maui Jim. "Our customers who play indoor tennis have known for a long time that wearing our HCL Bronze or Maui HT lenses for indoor play makes your vision more clear and improves definition." For more information, visit MauiJim.com.

Dunlop Adds Biomimetic 600 Tour

Dunlop has added the 600 Tour to its Biomimetic 600 Series. The Tour is heavier and stiffer than its two siblings (the 600 and 600 Lite) and features the three core Biomimetic technologies: HM6 Carbon, which enhances feel; Aeroskin, which reduces aerodynamic drag; and the Gecko-Tac grip, says the company.

"With Tommy Robredo playing the 600 and Dominika Cibulkova playing the 600 Lite, the 600 series has exceeded our expectations since its introduction last November. The one request we’ve had, though, is for a heavier version," says Hunter Hines, tennis product manager for Dunlop Sports Group Americas. "It is designed for players looking for tremendous power with added control and forgiveness."

The 600 Tour is 102 square inches and 11.11 ounces strung, with a 16 x 19 string pattern. Suggested retail is $210. Visit dunlopsport.com.

Clarification

The “Ask the Experts” column in RSI November/ December 2011 (page 37) listed the suggested retail price for Unique’s Tourna StringMeter rather than the wholesale price, which is $19.

USPTA Player Development Conference Set

The USPTA Competitive Player Development Conference will be Jan. 20-22 at Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Florida. The conference will allow attendees to learn the Spanish method for developing players. Featured speakers include Emilio Sanchez Vicario, Luis Mediero and Gabe Jaramillo.

Sanchez Vicario, who is a USPTA Master Professional, is the former captain of the 2008 championship Davis Cup team for Spain and a former tour player ranked No. 7 in singles and No. 1 in doubles.

Mediero is a USPTA Master Professional and the founder of Registro Profesional de Tenis (RPT) in Madrid, Spain. Mediero, who is also the president of the International Coaches Institute, has a lifetime of coaching experience that he has shared through courses, clinics and conferences in 80 countries. Jaramillo is a renowned international tennis coach. He was the director of the Bollettieri junior tennis program for 26 years and trained such tennis greats as Andre Agassi and Monica Seles. Jaramillo, who is a USPTA-certified P-1 member and an RPT International Master Pro, is now the tennis director for Club Med Academies.

Early registration, through Dec. 31, is $300 for USPTA members and includes all materials. Visit uspta.com, or contact florida@sanchez-casal.com or 239-641-0010.

Aussie One-Ups Other Majors in Prize Money

The 2012 Australian Open will have the richest purse in pro tennis, at $24.7 million (US) and the men’s and women’s singles champs will take home $2.3 million each. Singles champs at the 2011 US Open took home $1.8 million, at Wimbledon $1.7 million, and at the French, $1.6 million.

‘Cardio Tennis Authorized Providers’ Coming in 2012

CardioTennis.com has been revamped and improved, and with the new website comes a newly developed platform for tennis professionals and facilities that want to become “Cardio Tennis Authorized Providers.”

Coming in early 2012, Authorized Providers will have instant access to the new Cardio Tennis Invitation System, allowing them to easily create Cardio Tennis class information and post it for consumers on CardioTennis.com, or mark it as private to only invite players at your facility. The invitation system allows you to prioritize: Send to your primary group first and if you don’t fill your class, the system will automatically invite your secondary list, then a tertiary list, making it easy to fill all your classes. Another time-saving feature is the class administration tools: You can require payment as soon as customers sign up online, and they pay right through the system.

To become an Authorized Provider, complete the application at CardioTennis.com and sign up and pay online. For questions, contact the TIA at (843) 686-3036 x223 or email michele@cardiotennis.com.

Visit the New CardioTennis.com

CardioTennis.com now has more detailed information for both providers and consumers about the expanding Cardio Tennis program. The enhanced functionality and technology features of the new site are crucial components to growing the base of Cardio Tennis providers and players, says the TIA. For consumers, CardioTennis.com makes it easier to find providers, as well as learn more about the program. In early 2012, consumers will be able to not only search for a Cardio Tennis session online, but also will be able to sign up and pay for their session — a seamless transition from learning about Cardio Tennis to hitting the courts.

Peoplewatch

USTA Offers Funding for 10U Lines on Clay

Clay court lines for 10 and Under Tennis have recently been approved by the USTA for partial funding, similar to the current blended lines for hard courts. The new lines, developed by Har-Tru Sports, can be put down in minutes to mark 36- and 60-foot courts on clay. To apply for a 10 and Under Tennis line grant, fill out the Facility Assistance form at http://ct.usta.com/pfa/.

Permanent lines are made from Har-Tru’s “herringbone” tape and are colored green. Designed for courts that are regularly used for both 60-foot and 78-foot play, the green color helps them blend into the court. The 1½-inch-wide lines are nailed into the court surface, similar to standard court lines. Har-Tru sells permanent lines in boxes of 180 feet of tape, enough for one 60-foot court or one 36-foot court.

Har-Tru also makes temporary lines for both 36- and 60-foot courts. The 36-foot lines come in red, to match the red ball used on that size court, and the 60-foot lines are in orange, to match the orange ball used in 60-foot tennis. The temporary lines, which can be installed by one person in five to seven minutes, come with 10 nails to secure them to the court (the 36-foot lines also have Velcro connections).

For more information on the Har-Tru lines, visit http://hartru.com/court-products/product-catalog/.

Nike Tops Forbes’ Valuable Brand List

Nike ranked first in Forbes list of the most valuable sports business brands. Following Nike in the top 5 are ESPN, Adidas, Sky Sports and Gatorade. Reebok and Under Armour also made the top 10 list.

The rankings are part of the Forbes annual Fab 40, which uses a proprietary database and methodology to value the top 10 names in sports in four categories — athletes, businesses, events and teams. Forbes put Nike’s value at $15 billion, up 40 percent from its last Fab 40.

The top 10 Forbes sports business brands are: 1. Nike - $15 billion; 2. ESPN - $11 billion; 3. Adidas - $5 billion; 4. Sky Sports - $3 billion; 5. Gatorade - $2.5 billion; 6. Reebok - $1.5 billion; 7. Under Armour - $1.0 billion; 8. EA Sports - $625 million; 9. YES Network - $600 million; 10. MSG - $500 million

The top 10 sports athlete brands: 1. Tiger Woods - $55 million; 2. Roger Federer - $26 million; 3. Phil Mickelson - $24 million; 4. David Beckham - $20 million; 5. LeBron James - $20 million; 6. Kobe Bryant - $14 million; 7. Maria Sharapova - $9 million; 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $9 million; 9. Cristiano Ronaldo - $8 million; 10. Shaun White - $7 million

New Nomination Procedures to Aid Eve Kraft, CTA Awards Process

Now, it’s easier and more convenient to nominate for the prestigious Eve Kraft and CTA of the Year national awards. The online nomination forms for both awards will be available year-round and accepted at any time throughout the year. The new nomination procedures also make it easier for USTA sections to pass along their sectional CTA and volunteer winners as their national nominees.

To access the nomination forms, go to usta.com, click on “About USTA” then go to “USTA Awards.” All nominations received by May 1 will be considered for the 2012 awards, which will be presented at the USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop in early 2013. Nominations received after May 1, 2012, will be considered for the next year’s awards cycle.

Member classifieds

FOR SALE — Silent Partner “The Jazz” stringing machine. Includes “The Jazz” adjustable stand. List price new $669, asking $350. Will also sell string, hand tools and instructional CD’s. Email to ciskowskicpa@yahoo.com or call Susan @ 817-326-2799.

Short Sets

Bob Larson Launches Tiered Tennis Jobs Service

Bob Larson, owner of Bob Larson Tennis, is expanding his tennis employment coverage with a three-tiered tennis jobs news service. The expanded service will be called “Bob Larson’s Tennis Jobs” and consist of a “good, better, best” approach to viewing available employment in the tennis industry.

Tier 1 will list every known job available in the U.S., at all levels, published five days a week for $17/month or $177/year. Tier 2, published weekly, is designed for people in the tennis industry looking for a better job and excludes entry-level positions; cost is $10/month or $100/year. Tier 3 will be jobs that are six-figures and will be emailed to subscribers when announced; price is $100/month or $1,000/year. Contact jobs@tennisnews.com.

TIA Court Activity Monitor Shows Gains

In all four categories — New Players, Total Courts Used/Booked, League Play and Tournament Play — more tennis facilities noted an increase than a decrease during the late season of 2011 (July to end of September), according to the 2011 TIA Court Activity Monitor, which surveys 500 facilities across the country.

Some 54% of facilities reported New Players increased, vs. 9% noting a decrease. In Total Courts Used/Booked, 51% of facilities reported an increase vs. an 11% decrease. League Play showed 43% of facilities reporting an increase vs. 14% reporting a decrease, and 22% reported Tournament Play increased vs. a 19% decrease.

Schedule Changes Coming to US Open?

The USTA apparently is considering moving the US Open men’s championship final to Monday, following the fourth year in a row rain pushed the Open to a 15th day — and caused players to complain about scheduling. The potential move is one “option” the USTA board of directors is exploring, says a spokesman.

Considerations include shortening the first two rounds of the men’s competition from three to two days, moving the men’s semifinals from Saturday to Friday, or keeping the semis on Saturday and moving the final to Monday. The Open is the only Grand Slam that does not have an off-day between the semifinals and finals, for both men and women. That’s drawn criticism from players, but has been favored by CBS, which has televised the Open since 1968 and has the contract through 2014.

The Australian Open and Wimbledon both have retractable roofs over their main stadiums and are able to avoid the rain-delay problems the US Open has experienced. “Without the roof, I just don’t think Saturday-Sunday is feasible any longer,” said five-time US Open champ Roger Federer. "Might as well just make it a Monday final, right?

Penn Launches New Pro Penn Marathon Ball

Penn recently introduced its new Pro Penn Marathon tennis ball, which the company says offers greater longevity, durability and visibility for all tennis players. Pro Penn Marathon has Encore Technology for a 22% longer lasting core and high-tenacity “LongPlay” felt for extended play, according to Penn.

The company also says the “Smart Optik” treatment in the felt keeps the balls cleaner on the court, picking up less dirt particles and making the felt highly visible for longer periods of time.

“Our ultimate goal is to offer all tennis players, regardless of their playing style, a ball that will help them play their best tennis,” says Jeff Ratkovich, Senior Business Manager for Penn Tennis Balls. Pro Penn has been the official ball of the USPTA for over 37 years — the longest running endorsement in tennis history. The Pro Penn Marathon will be offered in Extra-Duty (for hard courts), Regular-Duty (for soft courts) and Extra-Duty High Altitude.

By the numbers

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores: January - September, 2011 vs. 2010

Units 2011 558,662
2010 561,825
% change v. ‘10 -1%
Dollars 2011 $79,563,000
2010 $79,573,000
% change v. ‘10 0%
Price 2011 $142.42
2010 $141.63
% change v. ‘10 1%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January – September, 2011

Best Sellers

  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive GT (MP)
  3. Babolat Aero Pro Team GT (MP)
  4. Babolat Aero Pro Drive+ GT (MP)
  5. Babolat Pure Drive Lite GT (MP)

‘Hot New Racquets’

(introduced in the past 12 months)

  1. Wilson BLX Blade (MP)
  2. Prince EXO3 Red (2011) (OS)
  3. Head YouTek IG Speed 18x20 (MP)
  4. Prince EXO3 Blue (2011) (OS)
  5. Head YouTek IG Speed 16x19 (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, January – September, 2011

  1. Prince T22
  2. Adidas Barricade 6.0
  3. Nike Air Breathe 2K10
  4. Babolat Propulse 3
  5. Nike Court Ballistec 3.3

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date units, January - September, 2011

  1. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
  2. Babolat RPM Blast
  3. Wilson NXT
  4. Wilson Sensation
  5. Prince Lightning XX

Sanchez Honored with Davis Cup Award

Spain’s Emilio Sanchez received the 2011 Davis Cup Award of Excellence, presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the ITF. ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti and 1984 Hall of Famer Manolo Santana, a previous recipient of the Davis Cup Award of Excellence, presented the award to Sanchez in Seville, Spain, during the 2011 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group Final, in which Spain defeated Argentina — a re-match reminiscent of 2008, when Sanchez captained the Spanish team to victory.

"Emilio Sanchez was a great contributor to the Davis Cup for nearly two decades, as a player, captain, and dedicated supporter of the event," said Ricci Bitti. "In recognition of his achievements and in appreciation for his contributions to the sport and to Davis Cup, we are proud to present him with the Davis Cup Award of Excellence."

USPTA and ThanksUSA Join Forces to Thank the Troops

As part of “Tennis Thanks the Troops,” the USPTA and ThanksUSA have teamed up to encourage USPTA professionals to fund scholarships for the families of military men and women.

How will USPTA members be able to help? By donating a portion of their lessons or clinic fees taught during Memorial Day Weekend 2012 (or any other weekend/date). USPTA Professionals can provide the opportunity for their students and club members to donate $5 for the cause; or they can run a simple round robin or other event with all or a portion of the proceeds being donated to ThanksUSA. For more information visit uspta.com or ThanksUSA.org.

“We encourage our teaching pros to give to important causes through tennis and Lessons for Life and I can’t think of a better way to show the troops how much we appreciate their sacrifice than providing them with the gift of education for their families,” says USPTA CEO Tim Heckler.

Congratulations To the Following For Achieving MRT and CS Status

New MRTs

Allison Wood, Prescott, AZ

Brendon Travis, Elicott City, MD

Edward Visaya, Honolulu, HI

Jose Miletti, New Market, MD

Nicholas Bergman, New Canaan, CT

Philippe Azar, Davie, FL

Xunlong Zhang, Queens, NY

New CSs

Matt McDonald, Rock Hill, SC

Jacob Kobzi, San Diego, CA

Tom Paris, San Diego, CA

Tamara Zubatiy, San Diego, CA

 

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