Youth Tennis Facility Developer of the Year: Signature Tennis Inc.
For Signature Tennis of Woodstock, Ga., installing Youth Tennis lines isn’t just a job; it’s a commitment to the future of the sport.
“There’s no question about it,” says Mike Imbornone, president and founder of the 11-year-old company. “All the feedback that I get from tennis directors at country clubs, health clubs and so on is telling me it makes a tremendous difference in the way kids learn the sport.”
Imbornone describes his company’s role in Youth Tennis as being akin to that of a pioneer, and the USTA’s Maiysha Warren agrees. “Signature was the contractor that completed the courts for two key USTA initiatives: our Court 3K celebration at Grove Park in Atlanta in 2011 and Atlanta’s 2012 American Express Fresh Courts site at Burdett Tennis Center,” she says. “They also have done other cool conversion projects. They are actively promoting 36- and 60-foot tennis to their clients.”
Imbornone, along with Signature VP Bill Osterhold (and the company’s newest employee, Imbornone’s son, Matt), keep the crews busy year-round. The private and club market they serve tends to be heavily invested in the sport. “They realize it’s not just a tennis court — they want to make sure it’s extremely appealing to their players,” says Imbornone. “They look at the long term.”
— Mary Helen Sprecher
Tips for success
- When taking on a new job, forget how much you sold it for. “If you base your decisions on cost not being a factor, you will always make the right decision for the client,” Imbornone says.
- Build your reputation based on making sure the final job is right.
- Commit to building 36- and 60-foot courts, to grow the future of the sport.
See all articles by Mary Helen Sprecher
About the Author
Mary Helen Sprecher is the managing editor of Sports Destinations Management Magazine, a niche business-to-business publication for planners of sports travel events, in addition to being an RSI Contributing Editor. She is the technical writer for the American Sports Builders Association and works as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore City.
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