Your Serve: Why Do You Love This Game?
Our original “40 Under 40” from 14 years ago explain what they (still) find appealing about the tennis business.
D.A. Abrams, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, USTA: “Making a living doing something you love is incredible. I am charged with making tennis look like America. This is the ultimate give-back to the sport that has given so much to me.”
Jennifer (Kenas) Arianas, Executive Director–Tennis Industry Relations, Tennis Channel: “I’ve always had a passion for our sport. Our industry is a group of unusually passionate and interesting people.”
Steve Bellamy, Founder and former President, Tennis Channel: “The reason that I love tennis is really because of the benefits associated with the sport. It’s fitness for life. It’s gender neutral. It is so reasonably priced. Tennis is the best sport and an incredibly easy product to sell.”
Larry Dillon, Manager–10 and Under Tennis, USTA Eastern: “Tennis is like a lifestyle and not a job. I can positively impact the lives of others. I can work in a field that is inherently healthy physically, mentally and emotionally.”
Rodney Harmon, Head Coach, Women’s Tennis Team at Georgia Tech: “I love working with my team and seeing the players develop as people and as players.”
David Higdon, former Senior Editor at Tennis magazine and former VP–Corporate Communications at ATP: “Whether playing it or promoting it, tennis has helped define who I am as a professional, father, competitor, teacher … you name it.”
Liza Horan, Head of Brand Strategy & Engagement, Hop-a-Razzi: “People are working in tennis because they are passionate about it. Tennis is unique because it’s a global industry that feels local. It’s a small community with little churn … that affords us the institutional knowledge and earned trust necessary to work together to move the sport forward.”
Timothy Liptrap, formerly with USTA New England, USTA National and WTT: “Tennis has created lifelong friends. I have appreciated the health benefits, along with the sportsmanship and camaraderie which the game teaches.”
Todd Martin, CEO-Designate, International Tennis Hall of Fame: “To be able to work in the sport that I have loved since childhood is a true privilege. Helping kids with aspirations in tennis is gratifying.”
Drew Munster, CEO, Tennis Warehouse: “The most satisfying thing to me is that tennis is still fun to play and fun to watch.”
Tracy Nickerson Schaefer, formerly with the Georgia Tennis Association: “My family has moved several times and I am always delighted by how many people I meet who have a passion for the sport; it instantly connects us.”
Larry Scott, Commissioner, Pac-12 Conference: “[It was most satisfying] working with great people who are very passionate, creative and collaborative.”
Pat Shields, Owner & CEO, Fromuth Tennis: “I am lucky that my business helps coaches and clubs. The best part of being in tennis are the tournaments and conferences. I know it’s for work, but it sure feels like a party.”
Pam Shriver, Tennis Broadcaster, former pro: “Working in tennis means I try to promote the greatest lifetime family sport on the planet! I love the great workout and fun you can have on the court. At the end of my days, if I have given more back to tennis than I received, I will consider myself a better person.”
David Sparrow, former Deputy Editor, Tennis magazine: “Getting to watch and play tennis (two things I’d be doing anyway), and to call that my job, was a remarkable experience.”
Kathleen Stroia, Senior VP–Sport Sciences & Medicine and Transitions, WTA: “It has been inspirational to watch the world unite through common passion and love for the game, providing great entertainment, exciting competition, and creating lifelong friendships.”
Fred Viancos, Director of Professional Development, USPTA: “It’s a small community of people and companies, so you can establish long-term relationships. This means companies work as a group much better than in other industries. It seems we push in the same direction more often than not.”
Anne Worcester, Tournament Director, New Haven Open at Yale: “Tennis embodies so many great attributes — hard work, creativity, competitiveness, sportsmanship, kindness, friendship and loyalty — that I have seen impact my life. [Most satisfying is] the chance to make a difference in the lives of inner-city youth.”
We welcome your opinions. Please email comments to TI@racquetTECH.com.