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Study: Participation Takes Upward Turn in 2012
Tennis participation in the U.S. grew 4% in 2012, topping 28 million players for the first time since 2009, according to the annual survey by the USTA and TIA. It’s the second highest total number of players recorded since the survey began in 1988.
Importantly, the number of “frequent” tennis players, those who play at least 21 times a year, grew from 4.8 million in 2011 to 5.3 million in 2012. “Frequent players represent more than 70 percent of all consumer spending across the tennis industry,” said TIA President Jon Muir. “It’s heartening to see the total number of frequent players increase by 10 percent after all of our collective efforts the past few years to drive this most immediate and impactful consumer segment.”
The age demographic that saw the greatest percentage increase in 2012 was young players aged 6 to 11, which increased 13% from 2011. “We are very gratified that our efforts geared to young players are paying off,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. For the past two years, the USTA has invested significantly in 10 and Under Tennis, along with long-term commitments from the tennis industry.
Several other key segments saw significant increases in 2012. The number of “rejoining” players, those who left the game then came back, increased 6 percent over the previous year to 7.3 million — the largest number in the last 10 years. Over the last six years, the number of rejoiners has increased by nearly 50 percent. “Continuing” players showed an 11 percent increase in 2012, to 14.7 million, halting two years of decline in this player segment.
“It’s encouraging that our collective efforts to drive awareness and advocacy for our sport are beginning to show more positive signs to strengthen the position of the tennis industry overall,” said Muir.
The USTA/TIA tennis participation survey, conducted by Taylor Research and Consulting, is one of the largest annual surveys in sports. It was conducted via telephone (both landline and cell phones) and includes observations from more than 7,500 individuals.
PHIT America’ Campaign to Launch in January
The new, year-round educational and advocacy campaign “PHIT America,” dedicated to creating “a movement for a fit and healthy America,” will launch to consumers in mid-January. The PHIT America alliance focuses on prevention as a way to reduce health issues and costs, and getting Americans active, fit and healthy.
Jim Baugh, a founder and key organizer for PHIT America, says that as of early December, there were 105 alliance sponsors, including the TIA, USTA and many tennis manufacturers.
According to the website phitamerica.org, “Our country needs to reduce health issues and costs before they happen. Prevention is a great way to control these costs and also the U.S. budget deficit. Getting active, fit and healthy is a real solution. PHIT America will help educate you on the issues and promote sport and fitness activities in local communities and schools. We will also ask for your help to support critical U.S. legislation that will create incentives for a more active, fit and healthy America.”
The heart of the PHIT America campaign is a social media strategy that involves raising awareness by pushing out “news flashes” to contacts regarding health issues. PHIT America is asking companies and individuals to get involved in one (or more) of three ways: donate, advocate, participate. Visit phitamerica.org for more information.
New Date For 2013 PTR Symposium
In 2013, the Professional Tennis Registry will hold its annual International Tennis Symposium from May 2 to 5 at the newly renovated Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island in South Carolina.
The Symposium attracts tennis teachers and coaches from more than 50 countries. Many of the industry’s notable speakers, including Dr. Jim Loehr, Pat Etcheberry, Butch Staples, Leo Alonso, Lorenzo Beltrame, Oivind Sorvald, Doug Cash and Dr. Mark Kovacs, will be among the more than 50 presenters who will conduct classroom and on-court presentations. Subjects range from 10 and Under Tennis to tennis business to teaching tactics and techniques. There is also a special high school coaches’ track sponsored by the USTA that will be held over the weekend to accommodate scholastic schedules.
Teaching pros can show off their playing skills at the PTR International Championships, held in conjunction with the Symposium. The tournament starts April 30. The Symposium also offers a Tennis Trade Show. Professional Development Courses will be held May 1, 6 and 7.
Visit ptrtennis.org for information or to register.
Nova Sports Gives Home Court Advantage for Fed, Davis Cups
The 100th Davis Cup final in November marked a special occasion in tennis history as the Czech Republic defeated Spain, 3-2, to capture its first title as an independent nation. The win came just two weeks after the Czech women defeated Serbia to claim the 2012 Fed Cup Championship. The same nation had not won both ITF championship matches since the U.S. defeated Australia and the U.S.S.R. in 1990.
But the matches marked an interesting situation for Nova Sports USA, based in Milford, MA, which manufactured the acrylic surface put down in Prague’s O2 Arena, where both the Fed Cup and Davis Cup finals were held.
“A five-coat cushion system was installed on 3- by 3-foot panels with the color coating to be applied at the venue once the panels were set into place,” says Nova’s Jake Righter. “As the Fed Cup final approached, the Czech Tennis Federation decided on a category 3 color system (medium) looking to slow Serbian ‘power’ players such as Jelena Jankovic and Anna Ivanovic.”
Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova dominated on the court, defeating both Serbian players and helping the Czechs capture back-to-back Fed Cup titles. Shortly after their victory, the Czech men were drawn into play against defending champion Spain.
“As Spain’s David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal are almost unbeatable on clay, the Czech Federation was looking to make their home court’s pace as fast as possible,” Righter says. “So, with just two weeks between finals, Nova Sports’ non-textured Novacoat system was installed onto the panels.” The Spanish had difficulty using their finesse to slow the game and the Czech men became the nation’s first Davis Cup champion.
For more information on surfacing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Todd Martin Acquires TGA Youth Tennis Franchise
Former ATP World Tour pro Todd Martin has acquired a TGA Premier Youth Tennis franchise. TGA and Todd Martin Tennis will develop school-based tennis programs for youngsters in the Jacksonville, FL area.
TGA Premier Youth Tennis is a new initiative to grow the sport of tennis in partnership with the USTA. The organizations have developed the infrastructure and specialized curriculum to bring the sport to the masses in schools nationwide. It is the only national after-school tennis program in the country.
“TGA really appealed to me because in order for tennis to be a viable competitor in U.S. sports, it needs to be in the schools with other sports,” Martin says. “The comprehensive curriculum, developed with the USTA, is also very exciting and proven to be effective.”
TGA began awarding franchises for its new tennis business in partnership with the USTA earlier in 2012. “The innovative TGA model stands to help 10 and Under Tennis establish itself as the best pathway for children to get through the early stages of tennis development,” he adds.
“TGA has an outstanding national reputation for delivering tennis and enrichment to young children. The youth of Jacksonville are very fortunate to have this after-school opportunity available to them,” said Scott Schultz, USTA’s Managing Director, Youth Tennis.
Joshua Jacobs, founder and CEO of TGA Premier Youth Tennis, appreciates the prestige that Martin brings to the program. “To have someone of Todd’s stature and disposition within the tennis community recognize our unique school-based model as a way to grow youth tennis is very gratifying for us,” Jacobs says. For more information on TGA, visit playtga.com.
Ashaway Introduces 17-Gauge MonoGut ZX Pro
Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced MonoGut ZX Pro, a companion string to its popular Zyex monofilament tennis string. The 17-gauge (1.22 mm) MonoGut ZX Pro is a thinner, lighter string, designed to provide better elongation, snap-back and playability for players who do not require the added durability of its 16-gauge (1.27 mm) counterpart, says Ashaway.
MonoGut ZX comes in red or a natural gut-like tan color and is available in 40-foot sets, and in both 360- and 720-foot reels. Recommended stringing tension is up to 60 pounds. Visit ashawayusa.com.
Vitalsox Launches Tennis Line, Seeks Sales Reps
Vitalsox, the Italian technical sock manufacturer, announced that it is launching a tennis specialty line and tennis-only sales team.
The sales force, headed by industry veteran Don Crusius, will be made up of independent multi-line reps who will call on pro shops and tennis specialty stores with their made-for-tennis socks that feature the company’s patented SilverDryStat fiber. For more information, contact Crusius at 214-460-7681 or email@example.com.
ASBA Elects New Officers and Directors
The American Sports Builders Association, the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, has announced the election and installation of its officers and directors for 2013. The new slate took its place at the conclusion of the ASBA’s Technical Meeting, held in December in Florida.
- Professional Division President: Chris Sullivan (Verde Design, Inc., Santa Clara, CA)
- Track Division President: Don Smith, CTB (Don Smith, CTB, LLC, Denver, CO)
- Indoor Division President: Randy Niese (Robbins Sports Surfaces, Cincinnati, OH)
- Board of Directors members, Builder Division: Kristoff Eldridge, CTB (Cape & Island Tennis & Track, Pocasset, MA) and Linn Lower, CTCB (Lower Bros. Co. Inc., Birmingham, AL)
Officers continuing on the Board of Directors will be Chairman Mark Brogan (Pro-Sport Construction Inc., Devon, PA), Fields Division President Dan Wright, CFB (Sports Turf Company, Whitesburg, GA), Tennis Division President Pete Smith, CTCB (CourtSMITHs, Inc., Toledo, OH), Supplier Division President Robert Righter (Nova Sports USA, Milford, MA), and Secretary-Treasurer Jim Catella, CFB, CTB (Clark Companies, Delhi, NY). Randy Futty (SportCourt, Charlottesville, VA) will be the Secretary-Treasurer-Elect.
Individuals continuing on the board in their current director positions include Ben Brooks (Patriot Court Systems, Inc., Houston, TX), Mike Edgerton, CTCB (Copeland Coatings, Nassau, NY), Bruce Haroldson (Connor Sports Flooring, Arlington Heights, IL), Ed Norton, RLA, ASLA (Holcombe Norton Partners Inc., Birmingham, AL), Chris Rossi (Premier Concepts Inc., Baltimore, MD), and John Schedler, CTB, CFB (FieldTurf Tarkett, Tualatin, OR).
ASBA will hold its next Technical Meeting Dec. 6-10, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, TX.
Annual GSS Stringers Symposium ‘Sharpens Skills’
The sixth annual GSS Symposium took place at the end of September at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, FL, providing presentations and hands-on workshops for racquet technicians. Plus, the courts at the resort came in handy for both fun and education.
“Everyone came to learn and sharpen their skills as racquet technicians,” says Tim Strawn, organizer and owner of the five-day event. “But they also want to play tennis, and being at Saddlebrook opened up several opportunities to use the courts.”
An interactive on-court racquet customization class gave participants a chance to hit with several racquets of the same model, but all customized differently so they could see the effect customizing has on a racquet. There was also a Q & A session on court with Craig Boynton, John Isner’s current coach and Academy Director at Saddlebrook Resort.
Ron Rocchi, leader of the Wilson Tour Services Stringing Team, brought back the popular pro tour simulation stringing room seminar. Participants had their own Wilson Baiardo stringing machine and Rocchi, who leads Wilson’s stringing teams at the US Open and Australian Open, tested their skills to see if they had what it takes to service racquets at the very highest level of the game.
Steve Crandall of Ashaway, the only company that actually manufactures strings in the U.S., led a discussion on polyester strings. “Having Steve there was quite a treat for us this year,” says Strawn. “I have the utmost respect for his tremendous knowledge. He really opened up some eyes with his presentation.”
USRSA certification testing, with USRSA Executive Director Dave Bone, was also offered at this year’s event and for the first time. Also, the ERSA Pro Tour Stringer exam was provided by MRT Richard Parnell of Spain.
Symposium sponsors were Adidas, Alpha, Ashaway, Babolat, Dunlop, Gamma, Prince, TIA, USRSA, Wilson, Yonex, Gosen and Xuron. Once again Adidas provided logoed shirts. Babolat, Dunlop, Gamma, Prince, Wilson and Yonex participated in a promotion that saw everyone in attendance walk away with a triple racquet thermal bag, 12 sets of premium string, and one premium racquet. Plus, there was an additional gift bag with items from a variety of sponsors. Alpha, Babolat, Gamma, Prince and Wilson provided stringing machines for the event.
For more information about the annual, international event, held the last week of September, visit gssalliance.com or contact Strawn at 540-632-1148.
Gamma Offers New FTX String
Gamma Sports offers the new Gamma FTX, a performance processed string for players wanting a balance of playability and durability, says the company.
FTX construction features a Dynalon monofilament inner core surrounded by Nylon 6 outer wraps and Gamma’s new cross-woven Foil Wrap that increases resiliency and durability, the company says. Gamma processes FTX with its patented Gamma Irradiation Process to increase the number of intermolecular bonds in the materials, making FTX more resilient than similar construction strings for faster string return on impact resulting in more court-penetrating shots and faster serves.
Gamma FTX comes in black and silver, in 16 and 17 gauge. It’s available in 40-foot sets ($6.25) and 660-foot reels ($103). Visit gammasports.com.
- Industry veteran Randy Futty has joined Connor Sport Court International as its new director of tennis. Futty, the former general manager of Har-Tru Sports, will be based in Crozet, VA. He also is the chairman of the USTA’s Technical Committee and the secretary-treasurer of the American Sports Builders Association.
- Novak Djokovic, who plays with a YouTek IG Speed MP, achieved year-end world No. 1 status in the South African Airways ATP World Tour Rankings for the second year in a row.
- Roger Federer is the new brand ambassador for Moët & Chandon champagne and will be featured in an advertising campaign starting in March.
- PTR Director of Communications Peggy Edwards is the winner of the USTA South Carolina Media Award, presented to those who make “an outstanding contribution to reporting or promoting tennis in South Carolina.”
- Bob and Mike Bryan have been named The Tennis News Persons of the Year in recognition of both their service to worthy tennis causes throughout the year and for their career-setting record of tennis performance, says Daily Tennis News Publisher Bob Larson. They will receive the award at the Indian Wells tournament in March by Steve Bellamy, founder of The Tennis Channel and the first winner of the award.
- Serena Williams has been named the WTA’s Player of the Year after winning major titles at Wimbledon and the US Open, and claiming gold at the London Olympics. It is the fourth time Williams has won the award.
- Ivan Lendl recently was honored with the 2012 Davis Cup Award of Excellence, presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation.
- Prince Global Sports has renewed a partnership with Spanish player David Ferrer, who will continue to use Prince’s EXO3 Tour 100 racquet.
- Head Penn’s Paola Longoria, the world’s No. 1 ranked female racquetball player, continued her dominance on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) in winning her third United Healthcare US Open Racquetball Championship in October.
- Dunlop squash player Ramy Ashour won the Delaware Investments U.S. Open title in Philadelphia. He uses a Biomimetic Max squash racquet.
- Four Americans — Serena Williams, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan and Taylor Townsend — have been named 2012 ITF World Champions. For Williams, it is the third time she’s been named Women’s World Champion; the Bryans were named Men’s Doubles World Champions for the ninth time in 10 years; and Townsend is the first American girl since Gretchen Rush in 1982 to be named Junior World Champion. Current world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia was named the 2012 ITF Men’s World Champion.
- The Executive Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame has voted in November to indefinitely suspend South African tennis player Bob Hewitt from the Hall of Fame. Hewitt was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992. The suspension follows a comprehensive investigation into multiple allegations concerning sexual misconduct involving minor students that he coached.
- Adam Ford is the new head coach for the women’s tennis team at Hope College in Holland, Mich., succeeding Nate Price. Ford has served as the head pro of the college’s DeWitt Tennis Center since 2010, is certified by both the PTR and USPTA and is a USTA high performance coach.
- John Austin has joined Bolt racquets as its first Executive Board Member. He’ll also serve as the company’s professional-industry liaison, technical advisor/playtester and Bolt brand ambassador.
- Former top 12 player Patrick DuPré of Savannah, Ga., and USTA Southern Section Executive Director John Callen of Johns Creek, Ga., have been selected for the USTA Southern Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 12.
- Robin Anderson of UCLA and Sebastian Fanselow of Pepperdine were named the 2012 USTA/ITA Sportsmanship Award winners in November.
- Peter Wright, head coach at the University of California, Berkeley is the winner of the 2012 USTA/ITA National Campus & Community Outreach Award, while Johns Hopkins University head coach Chuck Willenborg is the 2012 USTA/ITA National Campus QuickStart Provider of the Year.
- Hans Hach of Abilene Christian and Chloe Murphy from the State College of Florida were named the 2012 James O’Hara Sargent Sportsmanship Award winners, presented by Rolex Watch, USA, at the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships in October.
- Three players took titles at the 2012 USTA/ITA National Collegiate Wheelchair Championships, held at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, AL, in October. Mackenzie Soldan of the University of Alabama took home the Tier I singles title and Kate Stuteville of the University of Arizona won the Tier II singles crown. Stuteville then teamed with Tier I singles runner-up Pedro Rocha to claim the doubles title.
- Six-time Grand Slam champion Margaret Osborne DuPont died on Oct. 24 in El Paso, Texas, at age 94. DuPont won the singles title at Wimbledon in 1947, the U.S. National Championship (now the US Open) singles title from 1948 to 1950 and the French singles title in 1946 and 1948. The tennis Hall-of-Famer also won 31 doubles and mixed doubles titles between 1941 and 1962.
- International insurer Nationale Suisse and Roger Federer have extended their six-year-long collaboration for a further four years.
- Adrians Zguns of Orlando, FL, and Ristine Olson of Austin, TX, won the open titles at the USPTA’s Hard Court Championships.
Tecnifibre Restructures Business Model for 2013
Tecnifibre is restructuring its business model for Tecnifibre USA for 2013, the company announced recently.
Since 2003, Fromuth Tennis has been the U.S. importer of Tecnifibre products, but beginning Jan. 1, 2013, both companies agreed to change the existing business relationship, says Tecnifibre President Thierry Maissant.
“Tecnifibre has been very appreciative of Fromuth Tennis as our partner in the U.S. for the past nine years,” Maissant says. “While both parties agreed to discontinue our prior agreement, we look forward to having Fromuth Tennis as a distributor of Tecnifibre USA with our new organization.”
Maissant says Tecnifibre is “modifying” its current business model. “Our ambition is to rapidly accelerate the progression of the brand in the U.S. market, so the next logical step for our development of Tecnifibre USA is to establish a wholly owned corporation that will distribute Tecnifibre products exclusively,” he adds. For inquiries, contact (888) 838-3664 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farmers Classic Tourney at UCLA Is No More
The Farmers Classic men’s tennis tournament at UCLA, a part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, is gone. The ATP sanction for the event, whose roots go back to 1927, has been sold to a group in Bogota, Colombia. The Southern California Tennis Association announced the decision Nov. 20 after extensive attempts to find new sponsors.
The tournament, which began at the Los Angeles Tennis Club, struggled economically in recent years as sponsors came and went, and as the U.S. struggled to find men tennis stars, according to tournament director Bob Kramer. Most recently, its two principal sponsors, Farmers Insurance and Mercedes-Benz, both failed to renew their sponsorships. Former champions of the event included Rod Laver, Arthur Ashe, Pancho Gonzales, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. American Sam Querrey has won three of the past four tournaments.
USRSA Names Strawn as New Certification Tester
Tim Strawn, a 22-year veteran of the racquet sports industry, has been named a Certification Tester for the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association. Strawn started his career as a USPTA and PTR teaching pro, which led to the opening of his tennis business in Roanoke, Va.
From 2000 to 2010 he worked as a racquet technician at various ATP/WTA events including Wimbledon, the US Open, the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, and the Memphis Regions Morgan Keegan. In 2002 he introduced the website at grandslamstringers.com, which eventually led to the development and introduction of the GSS Alliance website. He is the owner and founder of the GSS Racquet Stringers Symposium.
Strawn is a USRSA Master Racquet Technician and an original member of the Wilson Tour Services stringing team. He was voted RSI’s Stringer of the Year in 2007.
FLY Headties Offer Stylish Headband Alternative
Tired of selling the same old bandanas and headbands? Try FLY Headties, a functional, stylish and customizable accessory designed to wick away moisture with its 92% poly/8% spandex fabric blend.
“Flyties” were developed by two recreational players in Denver, Barbara Askenazi and Vikki Goldberg, and manufactured locally. They come in four colors — black, white, blue and red — and can easily be customized with embroidered club logos, team names or other messages. Each dry-wicking, unisex tie is 36 inches long and 3 inches wide and fits anyone.
For more information, visit flyheadties.com or contact 303-875-7735 or email@example.com.
By the numbers
Tennis Racquet Performance
Specialty Stores, January - September, 2012 vs. 2011
|% change vs. ‘11||3%|
|% change vs. ‘11||1%|
|% change vs. ‘11||-2%|
Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-Sept. 2012
- Babolat Aero Pro Drive GT (MP)
- Babolat Pure Drive GT 2012 (MP)
- Wilson BLX Juice (MP)
- Babolat Pure Drive GT (MP)
- Babolat Pure Drive Lite 2012 (MP)
“Hot New Racquets”
(introduced in the past 12 months)
- Babolat Pure Drive GT 2012 (MP)
- Wilson BLX Juice (MP)
- Babolat Pure Drive Lite 2012 (MP)
- Babolat Pure Drive 107 2012 (OS)
- Wilson BLX Juice (OS)
Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-Sept. 2012
- Prince T22
- Adidas AdiPower Barricade 7
- Asics Gel Resolution 4
- Babolat Propulse 3
- Nike Zoom Breathe 2K11
Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores
By year-to-date units, Jan.-Sept. 2012
- Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
- Babolat RPM Blast
- Wilson NXT
- Wilson Sensation
- Luxilon Alu Power
- Chris Evert, Lindsay Davenport and Justin Gimelstob will guest star as themselves on an episode of the CBS drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” in January. The episode, about the death of a professional female tennis player, also stars actress Elizabeth Shue, who herself is an avid tennis player.
- The ATP and Head Penn announced a five-year extension of their partnership. Under the agreement, Head Penn will continue to be the official tennis ball of the ATP World Tour, as well as the official ball of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, through 2017. The agreement marks an extension to a partnership that started in 1994.
- The USTA donated goods and money to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts totaling more than $400,000. Clothing, bottled water and other beverages, and needed supplies such as shampoos and soap, were collected from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and the USTA’s White Plains corporate headquarters and loaded on 16 pallets for delivery to the hardest hit areas in Queens, NY.
- The U.S. Davis Cup team will meet Brazil in the World Group First Round on Feb. 1-3 at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL.
- Prince Global Sports has signed a multi-year deal to become the official racquet of the PowerShares Series. Formerly known as the Champions Series, the PowerShares Series will visit 12 U.S. cities during its seven-week 2012 season.
- Adidas recently honored its top sales reps. Bethany Atkinson, who covers Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, was named 2012 Tennis Specialty Rep of the Year. She also received the All In Adizero Award. The Golden Barricade Award was presented to Paul Shlien (New England) and Todd Granius (California, Arizona, Nevada). In addition, Bradley Glen has been promoted to tennis specialty sales manager.
- Nick Matthew has been named the squash touring professional and ambassador for Sea Island resort on the coast of Georgia. The resort will host its inaugural Sea Island Fantasy Squash Camp, currently scheduled for March 28-31.
- More than 100 high school student-athletes from across USTA Eastern showed off their talent and learned about a wide range of opportunities to play collegiate tennis on November 11 at USTA Eastern’s 26th Annual College Showcase Day. The event, which was held at Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco, NY, featured more than 60 college tennis coaches.
- Asics America Group announced that first half 2012 net income was up 17.9 percent over the same half in 2011. The first half saw double-digit growth in all categories, which includes footwear, apparel and accessories, said the company.
- ATP player and Connecticut resident James Blake helped raise money to benefit those affected by Hurricane Sandy by auctioning off three of his match jerseys featuring his autograph along with those of top American tennis stars Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey. All proceeds went to the Red Cross.
- Tennis Australia has a new partnership to promote tennis with the Australian Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Sport. Minister Kate Lundy is launching a five-year, $250,000 pilot program funded jointly by the government and Tennis Australia that will begin on Australia Day (Jan. 26), which falls during the 2013 Australian Open. The program has the theme, “Do Something Australian on Australia Day — Play Tennis.”
- French sportswear company Lacoste has been purchased by Swiss firm Maus Frères. The move comes following a family feud that will end an 80-year French history of the brand, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Lacoste family shareholders agreed recently to sell their 30.3 percent stake in the firm to Maus, which already owned 35 percent of the apparel company through its licensing business.
- Björn Borg AB, based in Stockholm, Sweden, reported sales increased 4 percent in the third quarter ended Sept 30. Excluding currency effects, sales increased by 2 percent.
- The 20th anniversary edition of Mylan WTT Smash Hits raised a record $1 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, with a portion of those proceeds benefitting the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. The event is hosted annually by Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King.
- Maui Jim again provided eyewear for use by line judges at November’s Valencia 500 Open 2012 tennis tournament in Spain.
- Under Armour will open a new specialty retail store in a prominent Baltimore, MD location. The Under Armour Specialty Store at Harbor East is expected to open in February and will occupy about 8,000 total square feet.
- SRO Sports has released two Wimbledon DVDs — “2012 Wimbledon: The Men’s and Women’s Finals” and “2012 Wimbledon Official Film” — and a US Open DVD — “2012 US Open Men’s Final: Murray vs. Djokovic.” Each costs $24.99. Visit kultur.com.
- A new $500,000 WTA International Series tournament will take place in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in January 2013.
ASBA Announces New Certified Tennis Court Builders
The American Sports Builders Association has recognized two builders as Certified Tennis Court Builders: Todd Rudolph of Sunland Sports of Phoenix, and George Stahlin of Evergreen Tennis Courts Inc. of Loveland, CO. There are more than 60 CTCBs in the U.S.
The ASBA’s certification program was developed to help raise professional standards and improve the practice of sports facility construction. Certification is offered in three different disciplines; an individual may choose to pursue the Certified Tennis Court Builder (CTCB) designation, Certified Track Builder (CTB), or Certified Field Builder (CFB) designation.
To become a certified builder, an individual must meet specific criteria set forth by ASBA; he or she must complete an application that shows proof of a set amount of experience in the chosen type of sports facility, and then pass a comprehensive exam on construction and maintenance. In order to maintain the designation, an individual must recertify every three years. A full list of currently certified builders is at the ASBA website, sportsbuilders.org.
Naoufal Houmairy, Westwood, MA
Paul Boslet, Akron, OH
Danny Tran, Houston, TX
John Woo Ra, Colorado Springs, CO
Jason Wood, San Diego, CA
Michael Lau, Scarborough, ON CANADA
JVyron (Byron) Sacharidis, Washington, DC
Will Carter, Lewisham, NSW AUSTRALIA
PTR to Host New 10 & Under Tennis Conference in Feb.
The Professional Tennis Registry will hold its inaugural 10 & Under Tennis Conference Feb. 15-17 on Hilton Head Island, SC. The event will provide skills and knowledge for tennis professionals and coaches who work with children, as well as offer strategies to increase lesson income and overall business.
Participants will learn from and interact with experts in the field, including Mike Barrell, Simon Gale, Rita Gladstone, Laramie Gavin, Anne Pankhurst and Butch Staples. In addition to teaching the physical skills, emotional and psychological issues pertaining to young children will be addressed. Working with parents, programming, competition and increasing bottom-line income opportunities are among the topics that will be covered. The conference will also feature vendor displays.
“PTR has been at the forefront of the 10 and Under Tennis movement,” said Dan Santorum, CEO of PTR. “We put a tremendous amount of resources into the development of our Junior Development pathways to certification, and PTR is uniquely qualified to offer an event that focuses on working with children 10 and under.” To register, call 843-785-7244.
PTR Holds Inaugural Directors of Tennis Conference
Professional Tennis Registry hosted its inaugural Directors of Tennis Conference in October on Hilton Head Island, SC. The three-day event brought together 50 attendees and 14 presenters and addressed the needs of tennis directors, including such topics as pricing, budgeting, hiring and compensation, software solutions, programming and management. Participants enjoyed morning Cardio Tennis and the new Cardio TRX workouts.
Yonkers Kids Play 10U in Madison Square Garden
The Yonkers Tennis Center outside of New York City showcased its 10 and Under Tennis program in Madison Square Garden during the Nov. 5 PowerShares Series event, which featured Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Patrick Rafter and Peter Sampras. Fifteen YTC players and their coaches put on a 45-minute on-court demonstration while fans poured into the arena and cheered them on.
2013 Cardio Tennis Training Schedule
TIA Cardio Tennis Manager Michele Krause has announced a robust schedule for Cardio Tennis and TRX Cardio Tennis Training Courses. The following are confirmed training courses (more are in the process of being firmed up for 2013). Most courses are offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit cardiotennis.com/ courses for more information and for the most updated schedule.
- Jan. 9, Intensity Club, Norwalk, CT
- Jan. 12, The Club at Carlton Woods, Houston, TX
- Jan. 25, Dorado Beach Resort, San Juan, PR
- Jan. 26, Dorado Beach Resort, San Juan, PR (TRX Cardio Tennis)
- Jan. 27, Life Time Fitness–Fridley, Fridley, MN
- Feb. 18, Brookhaven Country Club, Dallas, TX
- Feb. 24, Wyndike CC, Memphis, TN
- April 13, Orlando Tennis Center, Orlando, FL
- April 18, Wee Burn CC, Darien, CT
- May 11, Forest Crest Athletic Club, Mill Creek WA
- May 17, Valley CC, Aurora, CO
- June 15, Tennis Center at College Park, College Park, MD
- June 16, Tennis Center at College Park, College Park, MD (TRX Cardio Tennis)
- Sept. 29, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL
- Sept. 30, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL (TRX Cardio Tennis)
Mason Named TIA President; TIA Board Set for 2013-2014
Greg Mason, the vice president of sales and marketing for Head Penn, will be the president of the TIA for 2013-2014. He succeeds Wilson Racquet Sports’ Jon Muir, who was president for the last four years.
“I’m excited to assume this role and continue to build on the momentum this industry and the TIA has built over the past few years,” says Mason. “Our focus will remain on growing the base of frequent players and improving the economic vitality of this industry.”
Mason has spent over 25 years in the sporting goods industry in a variety of senior management roles, including the last 12 years at Head Penn Racquet Sports, where he is responsible for all marketing and promotions for the Head and Penn brands in the U.S. and directs the U.S. sales force and sales management team. His prior experience includes management roles in the outdoor industry while a vice president at Eastpak backpacks. He has also held sales management roles at both Reebok USA and Puma North America.
“We’ve had a great TIA President in Jon Muir over the past four years,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer, “and I’m looking forward to working alongside Greg as we continue to focus our efforts as the trade association for the sport to grow the economic vitality of the industry and the game of tennis.”
In addition to Mason, the following have been named to the 2013-2014 TIA Board of Directors:
David Malinowski - Adidas
Fred Stringfellow - ASBA
Linda Clark - ATP World Tour
Eric Babolat - Babolat
Kai Nitsche - Dunlop
Meredith Poppler - IHRSA
Kevin Callanan - IMG
Dave Miley - ITF
Mark Stenning - Int’l. Tennis Hall of Fame
Chris Circo - Prince Americas
Dan Santorum - PTR
Tom Cove - SFIA (formerly SGMA)
David Egdes - Tennis Channel
Jeff Williams - Tennis Magazine
John Embree - USPTA
Dave Bone - USRSA
Kurt Kamperman - USTA
Jon Muir - Wilson Sporting Goods
Ilana Kloss - World TeamTennis
Stacey Allaster - WTA Tour
TIA Launches New and Improved Website
TennisIndustry.org, the central information source for the tennis trade, has recently been redeveloped and relaunched by the Tennis Industry Association. The new website not only focuses on providing specified content for the various segments of the industry, but it also consolidates much of the information that previously resided on ancillary sites hosted by the TIA — making TennisIndustry.org a true “one-stop shop” for industry information.
In addition to a complete overhaul in website design, functionality, and user interface, the TIA also has integrated logins for both TIA members and for the GrowingTennis System directly into the new TennisIndustry.org.
“By integrating logins into one central location, we’ve eliminated the need to go to multiple sites and reduced the amount of clicks it takes to update tennis provider information in the industry’s largest database of facilities, retailers, courts, and programs,” says the TIA’s IT Manager, Matt Allen.
“Streamlining the process of obtaining and updating information played an important role in this redesign,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “We focused on how to make it more intuitive for tennis providers to find the information, resources, and research pertinent to their segment of the industry.”
For instance, facility owners/managers/directors, retailers, manufacturers, and media can visit TennisIndustry.org and click on the appropriate link to get instant access to resources, tools, services, member benefits, and research available to help their businesses.
The new site also makes it easier for visitors to keep current on the latest developments in the industry, get involved with initiatives, and stay up-to-date on some of the key research trends the TIA monitors on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis through the “Industry Dashboard.” In addition to the Dashboard, there are a variety of top-line research reports available for free download in the research section.
“The TIA continues to work to grow the game and the economic vitality of the tennis industry, and the new TennisIndustry.org furthers that mission by ensuring important and pertinent information is easily accessible to help tennis businesses grow,” de Boer adds. Visit TennisIndustry.org to see the new website. For comments and feedback, email the TIA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITF, StarGames Announce ‘World Tennis Day’
The International Tennis Federation has entered into an agreement with StarGames to launch World Tennis Day to help promote tennis participation around the world. The inaugural World Tennis Day will be on Monday, March 4, as part of the ITF’s Centenary activities.
World Tennis Day will be centered around a series of high profile exhibition events around the world, including the BNP Paribas Showdown in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Each of the events, organized by the promoter StarGames, will feature current and former professionals together with demonstrations of the ITF’s Tennis10s program (called “10 and Under Tennis” in the U.S.) aimed at increasing participation among young players around the world.
“We look forward to World Tennis Day as a way to put a spotlight on tennis participation,” says ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “The very successful Tennis Night in America, staged by the USTA in association with StarGames, is an example of how special events and participation activities can be combined successfully.” The ITF will be encouraging its 210 national associations to support World Tennis Day with their own grassroots and club activities to attract new participants.
The USTA has already established Tennis Night in America in conjunction with the BNP Paribas Showdown in which clubs are asked to open their doors as part of a month-long drive to get children playing the sport. Over 2,200 clubs in the U.S. took part in 2012. “To be able to expand this to World Tennis Day in partnership with the ITF and its 210 member nations is a unique opportunity,” says Jerry Solomon, president and CEO of StarGames.
Several other National Associations have already pledged their support to join the USTA in World Tennis Day activities in 2013, including Davis Cup finalists Czech Republic and Spain, plus Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, and South Africa.
Babolat Launches New Aeropro Frame, Propulse 4 Shoes
Ten years ago Babolat launched the Aeropro Drive racquet and now introduces the fifth generation of the frame. The latest Aeropro Drive uses Coretex Active Technology, which Babolat says give players more feel.
The racquet also features “Aero Modular Technology,” which the company says is an aerodynamic shape and modular frame to help the racquet move through the air; “Woofer,” a system that allows the frame and strings to interact for better feel and accuracy; and “GT Technology,” a graphite and tungsten composition that reduces torque on impact, according to Babolat.
Each racquet in the line is 100 square inches and includes:
- Aeropro Drive/Aeropro Drive + (suggested retail $199), designed for baseliners looking for power and spin.
- Aeropro Team ($195) for baseliners who like power and want more maneuverability.
- Aeropro Lite ($189), for women and high-level juniors looking for a lightweight racquet with spin.
The new Propulse 4 All Court shoe was developed in collaboration with Andy Roddick and features “Side 2 Side,” to improve lateral movements. It also has a new Michelin OCS2 outsole for all court surfaces and abrasion resistance. The new Lateral Stability System (LSS) combines support and stability, says Babolat. Available in men’s and women’s (suggested retail $119) and junior ($64) versions.
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