Tennis Industry magazine

 

Industry News

Information to help you build your business.

Wilson Appoints New GM of Racquet Sports

Wilson Sporting Goods in early May announced that Hans-Martin Reh will replace Jon Muir as the general manager of Racquet Sports.

Reh is coming back to Wilson after 17 years. Most of that time, 14 years, was spent at Nike, where he was most recently general manager of tennis, basketball, indoor, swim and Brand Jordan for Europe, Middle East and Africa. His most recent position was as the chief commercial officer at Heinz Kettler GmbH & Co., a leading European manufacturer of home fitness equipment, leisure furniture, outdoor toys and bikes, where he had global responsibility for managing and growing a 200-person sales and marketing organization.

“Hans-Martin is a unique operational and growth genius, and his track record as a strategic and disruptive force in the sporting goods industry couldn’t be better suited to our plans to build on our leadership in Racquet Sports,” said Mike Dowse, president and CEO of Wilson. “We are at an exciting and critical inflection point in Wilson’s history, with our digital and smart product launches, new investments in re-launching our brand, and our recommitment to groundbreaking R&D.”

Muir, who was Tennis Industry magazine’s Person of the Year in 2010, leaves Wilson Racquet Sports after nearly eight years as GM. During his tenure at Wilson, Muir also served as the president of the Tennis Industry Association for four years and was a presidential appointee to the USTA’s Board of Directors. Muir says he is considering leaving the Chicago area to return to Southern California.

“I want to personally thank Jon for his unwavering commitment to Wilson for almost two decades, and for helping provide Wilson with a smooth transition,” Dowse said.

PTR & USPTA to Co-Host Midwest Symposium

The PTR and USPTA will co-host the PTR/USPTA Midwest Symposium on Aug. 9 at the DeWitt Tennis Center at Hope College in Holland, Mich. The event is open to all tennis teachers and coaches, including high school and college coaches, assistant coaches, and USTA team captains. Registrants can be members of either organization. Non-members are also welcome to participate.

Speakers will include Jorge Capestany, Emma Doyle, Julio Godreau, Dr. Neeru Jayanthi and Oliver Stephens. Registration is $47 and includes lunch.

A PTR 11 to 17 Certification Workshop will be held Aug. 10 for those who wish to get certified to teach this age group, including high school coaches. For information about the symposium and accommodations, or to register, visit Events at www.ptrtennis.org or call PTR at 843-785-7244.

HoF Breaks Ground on Improvements

The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum in Newport, R.I., broke ground in mid-May on the first phase of a multi-faceted $15.7 million capital campaign and improvement project.

The four focus areas of the project, which is funded by the Match Point Capital Campaign, are to add additional tennis courts and facilities; to strategically expand the Hall of Fame’s footprint in a manner that is in keeping with Newport’s historic aesthetic and enhances the community; to upgrade the museum with new technology and enhanced exhibitions; and to improve campus-wide amenities including upgrades to the tennis stadium.

Information and updates about the project are at tennisfame.com/MatchPointCampaign.

Facility Owner Buys Tennis Machines Business

Tennis Machines, the ball and stringing machine sales and service repair shop located in St Louis, Mo., was purchased recently by Terry Ward, a local tennis facility owner and longtime USPTA tennis pro.

The business, which has operated since 1975 and serves as the authorized location for all Prince products, carries ball machines and stringing machines from all major manufacturers. In addition, Tennis Machines has expanded its offerings to include racquet stringing and repair as well as sales and service for all things tennis — court accessories, supplies and consulting services.

Longtime associate JC Carpentier continues to lend his expertise to the business. Visit tennismachines.com.

ITA Inducts 7 to Hall of Fame

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Men’s Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame inducted seven in May during NCAA Division I Men’s & Women’s Tennis Championships held at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga. The Class of 2014 includes coaches Billy Chadwick (Mississippi), Timon Corwin (Kalamazoo), and James Wadley (Oklahoma State U); players Matt Anger (USC), Juan Farrow (Southern Ill U - Edwardsville) and Alex Kim (Stanford); and contributor, Doug Conant (Northwestern).

USTA Creates American Collegiate Invitational

The 2014 US Open will feature a college tennis competition for the first time ever in 2014, inviting top American college players to compete in the inaugural American Collegiate Invitational Sept. 4-6 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.

Eight men and eight women will be invited to play in a singles tournament during the second week of the Open, with the winners receiving a wild card into a future pro event. The Invitational is open only to American players, and each field will include six players who are still in college and two who have exhausted their college eligibility this year, according to specific criteria.

“College tennis plays such a significant role in the vitality of American tennis, and it’s important that we are able to highlight some of America’s best college players on a worldwide stage at the US Open,” said USTA Chairman, CEO and President Dave Haggerty.

TGA Adds Franchise in Calif.

TGA Premier Youth Tennis has awarded a new tennis franchise in California to Mike Lipsey, a former Silicon Valley semiconductor executive. Lipsey’s franchise, located in the San Jose and lower San Francisco peninsula area, is the sixth in the state and 25th nationwide.

TGA’s program (playtga.com) introduces tennis in schools and supports the USTA’s “10-and-Under Tennis” initiative before transitioning youngsters to USTA programs, tennis facilities and USPTA Professionals nationwide.

“I am very excited to have this opportunity to bring tennis to schools and impact local youth through the character development themes that TGA emphasizes,” says Lipsey, who spent 25 years as an executive in the semiconductor industry overseeing global supply chains.

New YTex String Offered

The newest string from YTex is the Square-X, a unique squared co-poly that the company says combines power with control and feel. The carbon co-poly + polyolefin is available in 16L gauge/1.25 mm. USRSA members automatically qualify to receive wholesale pricing on all sets and reels.

YTex also is looking for U.S. sales reps and an international distributor. For more information, contact ivor@ytexstrings.com or 843-816-1440, or visit ytexstrings.com.

Ektelon, Viking Join IART Symposium

Ektelon and Viking have this year joined Babolat, Bolt, Dunlop, Gamma, Prince, Wilson and Yonex as sponsors of the 2014 IART Symposium, which will be Sept. 20-24 at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Fla. The eighth annual stringer’s symposium includes a diverse format of seminars that cover all aspects of business management for shop owners and pro shop personnel, plus hand’s-on training for racquet technicians.

“We continue to offer new classes and new instructors each year in an effort to keep it fresh, stimulating and certainly worth the time for people to attend,” says IART founder Tim Strawn.

The conference will conclude with USRSA certification testing and an intense six-hour racquet customization class. Visit gssalliance.com.

UC Berkeley Wins TOC Title

The UC Berkeley team from USTA Northern California earned its third Tennis On Campus national title in five years, completing an undefeated run at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex in Surprise, Ariz., by beating the University of Florida, 27-13. The 15th annual TOC championships saw 64 teams participating. Next year, the tournament moves back to the East Coast and will be start April 9 at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C.

Also, Cooper Anderson of Western Washington University has been named USTA Tennis On Campus National Leader of the Year for the 2013-2014 season, and Ferris State University’s (FSU) club tennis team is the 2013-14 Tennis On Campus National Club of the Year.

Pfaender Retires from Wilson

Bob Pfaender of Lake Mary, Fla., who was Tennis Industry magazine’s Sales Rep of the Year in 2002, retired at the end of May after more than 27 years with Wilson Racquet Sports. Pfaender, who also serves as president of the USTA Florida Section, told TI magazine he plans to remain involved in the sport. His last hours for Wilson on May 31 were spent at the annual Florida USPTA state convention and USTA Florida semi-annual board meeting.

TRO Names Top 100 Resorts, Camps

Tennis Resorts Online recently released its annual rankings of the Top 100 Tennis Resorts and Camps worldwide, as determined by evaluations submitted by tennis vacationers.

The Top 5 Resorts are: 1. Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, FL; 2. Kiawah Island Golf Resort, SC; 3. Rancho Valencia, CA; 4. Wild Dunes, SC; 5. La Quinta Resort & Club, CA.

The Top 5 Camps are: 1. Roy Emerson Tennis Weeks at Gstaad Palace, Switzerland; 2. Cliff Drysdale Tennis at Omni Amelia Island Plantation, FL; 3. New England Tennis Holidays at Sugarbush, VT; 4. Saddlebrook Tennis (Hopman), FL; 5. John Newcombe Tennis Ranch, TX.

The complete list is at TennisResortsOnline.com.

Oncourt Offcourt Celebrates 20 Years

PTR and USPTA Master Pro Joe Dinoffer announced the 20th Anniversary of Oncourt Offcourt. Based in Dallas, Oncourt Offcourt was founded by Dinoffer in 1994 with just one tennis training aid. The company has now created over 200 proprietary tennis devices, ranging from innovative training aids to user-friendly ways to pick up and store tennis balls.

Visit OncourtOffcourt.com or contact the company for a free 96-page 20th Anniversary catalog at 888-366-4711.

By the numbers

Tennis Racquet Performance

Specialty Stores

January-March, 2014 vs. 2013

Units 2014 118,022
2013 119,590
% change vs. ‘13 -1%
Dollars 2014 $17,504,000
2013 $17,702,000
% change vs. ‘13 -1%
Price 2014 $148.31
2013 $148.02
% change vs. ‘13 0%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-Mar. 2014

Best Sellers

  1. Babolat Aero Pro Drive 2013 (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive GT 2012 (MP)
  3. Wilson BLX Juice (MP)
  4. Head Graphene Radical MP (MP)
  5. Babolat Pure Drive Lite 2012 (MP)

“Hot New Racquets”

(introduced in the past 12 months)

  1. Head Graphene Radical MP (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive Play (MP)
  3. Babolat Pure Strike 100 (MP)
  4. Wilson Juice 100 S (MP)
  5. Head Graphene Radical Pro (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-Mar. 2014

  1. Prince T22
  2. Asics Gel Resolution 5
  3. Nike Air Max Cage 2013
  4. Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour
  5. Adidas Barricade 8

Top-Selling Tennis Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date units, Jan.-Mar. 2014

  1. Babolat RPM Blast
  2. Wilson NXT
  3. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
  4. Wilson Sensation
  5. Luxilon Alu Power

(Source: TIA/Sports Marketing Surveys)

USRSA Announces New MRTs

Master Racquet Technicians

William Brown - Bucyrus, MO

Michael Jones - Williamsburg, VA

Samantha Munze - Fayetteville, NC

‘Green’ Solutions Can Save You Money

The Tennis Legacy Fund is a non-profit committed to increasing the awareness of sustainability within the tennis industry and community. To help tennis providers operate a more profitable and sustainable business, TI magazine will run occasional tips by the Tennis Legacy Fund in partnership with Greenlight Solutions and a sustainability initiative by students at Arizona State University.

Minimize Your Water Use: A low-flow aerator is an inexpensive and easy way to lower your bills and reduce water use. This simple technology attaches to almost every faucet and only costs $1-$5 each. Aerators can reduce water flow from 2.5 gallons to 0.5 gallons per minute — a 75 percent water savings. According to the Federal Energy Management Program, this installation can save an average of $130 annually with a payback period of less than a month. — Kathleen Bauer

Business Drive

STRING Tennis Shop in Dana Point, Calif., has a unique rolling billboard in the form of a Smart car advertising its tennis business. Owner Lars Krogius says the wrap on the car cost $1,500 and the $99 a month lease makes it a very affordable way to market his business and service his customers.

PlaySight Completes $3.5M Investment for ‘SmartCourt’

PlaySight Interactive, creators of the “SmartCourt” tennis analytic system, has completed a $3.5 million investment round that includes high-profile investors such as Novak Djokovic, Billie Jean King, Dr. Jim Loehr, Mark Ein, Ray Benton, Gordon A. Uehling III and Bill Ackman. The money will fun a global roll-out of the SmartCourt technology for recreational and elite tennis, as well as research and development on applications in other sports.

“We are proud to have such a powerful group of investors who share our vision of bringing elite player technology to the grassroots and club level,” said Chen Shachar, PlaySight CEO. “When we developed this technology we saw an opportunity to create an affordable, easy-to-install, cloud-based system for athletes of all levels to improve their game. We are certain that SmartCourts will make tennis more engaging and fun.”

Based on concepts originally designed to train fighter pilots, PlaySight combines advanced player analytics technology (PAT) with video-replay and social media. It is approved by the ITF for use in amateur tournaments and has so far been installed in 35 courts, including 19 in the U.S.

Peoplewatch

Shortsets

CLASSIFIEDS

YONEX ES5 Pro Stringing Machine, with extras ($3000) - Custom stainless steel diablo, Custom tower knob covers, Tilt mechanism, 2 sets of clamps — 5-tine and 3-tine

BABOLAT RDC (blue case) with ($3000) - New motherboard, New display, Stand (usually an optional extra)

FLEX-FOUR mechanical analysis device ($300)

PACIFIC grommet shaper ($200)

GROMMET KITS (about 600 + extra pieces), catalogued & sorted into bins ($1500)

Contact information is: Vince Chiarelli, 727-656-6587, email: topstringer@gmail.com. All prices are PLUS shipping via FedEx Ground.

 

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