Our Serve: My Wish List
For our last issue of the year, we asked last year’s Champions of Tennis winners what they’d like to see in 2015, particularly in the areas in which they were honored. Their answers cover a lot of territory, and it got me thinking of what I’d like to see, too. So here are some of my wishes for this industry.
- I want PlayTennis.com to explode in usage, interest and support. Think of it, one unbranded site where anyone can find people to play with, courts, equipment, lessons — anything about tennis, for free. What other sport has something as unique as this? PlayTennis.com has no other agenda save growing this sport and sharing its benefits.
- I wish industry organizations will stop duplicating efforts and “re-inventing the wheel.” We need to use and partner with groups that already have viable, workable solutions. We waste way too much time, effort and money because something is “not invented here.” Let’s stop overcomplicating everything.
- Related to this: Enough with the politics. Enough said.
- I’d like to see the USTA take a cue from Tennis Australia and the LTA and start using Cardio Tennis as part of a strategy to grow tennis. The irony is Cardio Tennis was created in the U.S., yet other countries’ NGBs are faster to recognize how the program can grow participation, get their citizens healthy and boost businesses.
- Related, I wish our industry overall would better address how to use health and fitness as a key selling point to grow this sport. We all know tennis is healthy on many levels, but we’ve never been able to capture how to use this to sell this sport to consumers and give them something truly tangible and lasting.
- I want National Tennis Month back. The USTA used to push May as NTM, but then it disappeared. It’s a much-needed, natural platform for tennis (and May is also National Physical Fitness and Sports Month — what a perfect tie-in). This May, the TIA, with industry support, is again making a big push for Try Tennis Free. Let’s link that into a revitalized National Tennis Month!
- I want more younger people in the tennis workforce — in all segments of this industry. We should constantly encourage new blood and new ideas.
- Advocacy, advocacy, advocacy. We all need to be advocates for tennis, at every level. Sadly, the USTA disbanded its advocacy staff last year and there’s talk of ending the national Advocacy Committee. That’s a mistake. We need to revamp our strategies for tennis advocacy. If there’s one thing that crosses all lines in this industry, it’s advocacy.
I’m incredibly optimistic about the future of this industry and feel we’re on the right track in many respects. We have so many terrific opportunities at hand. 2015 really can be our year!
Peter Francesconi, Editorial Director
P.S.: We’d like to hear from you, too. Please feel free to email me and we’ll try to put your wishes out there, also.
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.
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