Key Industry Conferences Set for Indian Wells, CA
Two key tennis industry conferences are set for March in Indian Wells, Calif., bringing together tennis industry executives, legends, pros, coaches and other sports and business personalities. The events are the 2015 TIA Tennis Summit March 17-18, followed by the Tennis Owners and Managers (T.O.M.) Conference March 18-19. Both will be at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa and will take place during the BNP Paribas Open.
The TIA Tennis Summit (TennisSummit.com) will examine the state of the tennis industry and the sport and discuss how tennis and the business of tennis will grow in the future. Top executives and personalities in tennis and the sports industry, along with business and management experts, will share their views and insights.
Speakers to date include Life Time Fitness Founder and CEO Bahram Akradi, Dr. Jim Loehr of the Human Performance Institute, coaching legend and tennis Hall-of-Famer Nick Bollettieri, coach and tennis management expert Peter Burwash, internationally known management consultant Dr. Gerald Faust, USTA President Katrina Adams, Tom Cove of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, media executives, tennis industry and organization leaders, and many more.
Immediately following the Summit will be the Tennis Owners and Managers (T.O.M.) Conference (TheTOMConference.com), for club and facility owners and managers. This second annual conference will bring together leading experts in facility management, programming and other vital areas to provide practical information to grow tennis businesses and bring in more tennis players. Key speakers from the Tennis Summit will also present at the TOM Conference, along with management and business consultants, facility/club operators, executives from the PTR, USPTA and USTA, sports facility legal experts, and many more.
Helping to assemble the T.O.M. Conference speakers and topics is an experienced tennis and sports industry advisory team made up of consultants Doug Cash, founder of CashFlow Tennis; Rod Heckelman, general manager of Mt. Tam Racquet Club; Greg Lappin, former national tennis director for Life Time Fitness; and Mark McMahon, tennis consultant and principal of McMahon & Associates.
For more information or to register for either conference, visit TennisSummit.com or TheTOMConference.com.
LSI Installs LED Lighting on Three Indoor Courts
The Fort Collins Country Club’s three new indoor tennis courts are lighted with the new SxS LED indirect lighting system from LSI. Average light levels as designed for this facility are over 100 foot-candles, with exceptional uniformity, says LSI.
The SxS LED system requires virtually no maintenance over its 60,000 to 100,000 hour life, and the company says the system will require 50 percent less energy cost than conventional HID lighting systems.
Fort Collins Country Club Director of Tennis Scott Langs says, “I’ve been a tennis pro for over 30 years and have been in many indoor clubs. The new LED lighting system LSI provided is the best I’ve seen.”
Benjamin to Retire from ITA
David A Benjamin, executive director and CEO of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), has announced his retirement effective in July.
Benjamin’s tenure at the ITA began in 1979, when he was elected president of the ITA while serving as the director of tennis and head men’s tennis coach at Princeton University (and also chairing the NCAA Tennis Committee). In his 26-year coaching career at Princeton, Benjamin guided seven Princeton teams to Eastern College Athletic Conference titles, and finished with an overall coaching record of 339-150, with an Ivy League record of 178-44.
In 2001 he received the Educational Merit Award from the USTA. In 2006 he was inducted into the USTA Middle States Tennis Hall of Fame alongside Billie Jean King, and in 2011, Benjamin was honored with the USTA’s President’s Award.
Host a ‘Tennis Play Event’ to Promote Programming
The USTA is looking to launch thousands of “Tennis Play Events” throughout the country in the month of March. For tennis providers — including teaching pros, facilities, parks and municipalities — hosting a Tennis Play Event is a great way to introduce tennis to kids, get new players into the game and provide a platform to register children for spring programs. As an added incentive, the first 2,000 providers to register to host an event will receive a $50 Amazon.com gift card.
Events can be for kids and families of all ages and skill levels, or providers can host a Play Day to introduce kids to competition. Registration ends on March 30 and events can be held at any time in the month. To register to host a Tennis Play Event, visit YouthTennis.com/host or call 800-990-8782.
March is the No. 1 time nationally when parents begin registering their children for spring programs. By hosting a Tennis Play Event, organizers can showcase their junior programs and attract new players. The push for Tennis Play Events in March also is in conjunction with World Tennis Day, which takes place on March 10.
Lacoste Produces Limited Edition Wood-Graphite Frame
Lacoste has introduced the limited edition LT12 racquet, a hybrid that combines wood and graphite. The LT 12 is 70 percent wood and 30 percent high modulus graphite. The racquet uses three types of wood: walnut for rigidity inside the racquet, balsa at the core and lime tree wood for the inner part of the frame.
Lacoste says each handmade frame takes five hours to make by a French craftsman. Each frame is unique, due to the natural grain, hues and streaks of the wood. The LT12 will be limited to 650 numbered frames and available in April. Price is about $600.
Evolve9 Launches ‘Girls Tennis Network’
In January, evolve9 launched the Girls Tennis Network (GTN), designed to both recruit girls under age 12 to tennis and, importantly, to retain them in tennis. GTN looks to help and support coaches and facilities in retaining and developing more girls in their programs.
“Part of our mission,” according to the evolve9.com website, “is to encourage and develop respect for more female coaches, but also to help all coaches develop a greater understanding of working with young girls.”
For more information, visit evolve9.com or girlstennisnetwork.com.
Arthur Ashe Inducted Into PTR Hall of Fame
Arthur Ashe was inducted posthumously to the PTR Hall of Fame at the PTR Award Banquet on February 19. The tennis legend and humanitarian, who died in 1993, was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985 and posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993 from President Bill Clinton. In his playing career, Ashe won three Grand Slam singles titles.
Ashe spoke twice at the PTR Symposium and played a key role in PTR’s quest to increase diversity. In his honor, PTR has restarted the ACE Program in 2015, to help educate and develop the next generation of tennis coaches. Ashe joins Dennis Van der Meer, Jim Verdieck and Dr. Jim Loehr in the PTR Hall of Fame.
USTA Adds Same-Gender Doubles Events
The USTA is adding same-gender couples’ doubles tournaments to its 2015 adult competition tennis calendar. The groundbreaking move opens the door to new play opportunities for same-sex spouses, those in civil unions, domestic partners, and spousal equivalents, making the USTA’s popular adult competition more diverse and inclusive.
The Plaza Racquet Club in Palm Springs, Calif., will host the inaugural event, March 7-8. Other sanctioned same-gender events will be scheduled by the USTA throughout the 2015 calendar year.
The new divisions can be found in the “Family Divisions” categories on Tennislink.
“The USTA could not be more excited to offer the opportunity for same-gender couples to play in sanctioned tennis tournaments,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. “Tennis once again has stepped to the front to break down barriers.”
USTA Awards $86,000 in Wheelchair Tennis Grants
The USTA is awarding a record $86,000 in Wheelchair Tennis Grassroots Grants to 20 programs nationwide. Grants were awarded to local organizations that promote and develop the growth of wheelchair tennis and use the sport to build stronger, healthier communities.
Since the inaugural grants in 2008, the total pool of USTA wheelchair tennis grant money has increased each year. Grant amounts were based on each program’s existing budget and future programming needs. Recipients can use the award to meet the USTA’s grant initiatives including coaching, court time, equipment, recruitment and events.
“The USTA is delighted to award a record amount of wheelchair tennis grassroots grants to deserving wheelchair tennis organizations for their commitment in promoting and growing the sport,” said Dan James, USTA national manager of Wheelchair Tennis.
USRSA Adds New Tester
Larry Haugness, the manager of the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield, Mo., is the newest USRSA tester.
Haugness has been stringing racquets for 43 years and customizing frames for the last 21 years. He’s the first vice president of the USTA Missouri Valley Section, a National Tester and Clinician for the PTR, and a USA High Performance Coach. Haugness, who played college tennis at Boise State, also is a former WTT coach and WTT general manager, and a winner of the USTA/PTR Community Service Award.
Nishikori Makes Cover of Time
World No. 5 Kei Nishikori was featured on the January cover of Time Magazine Asia. The 25-year-old Japanese star was profiled by Hannah Beech, who talked to him about his early move to train in Florida and quotes Andre Agassi as saying, “Kei is one of the few players that I’d pay money to see play.” He’s the second Asian tennis player, after Li Na of China in 2014, to be on Time’s cover.
Ashaway Adds New ZyMax Fire Badminton Strings
Ashaway has introduced a new line of badminton strings that incorporates a new polymer as a raw material. The new ZyMax Fire line includes four strings, each designed to optimize the various characteristics of Ashaway’s proprietary BETA polymer fibers, and constructed using the company’s special ZyWeaVe string core technology. This allows players to select a string tailored to their games.
The company says ZyMax benefits include excellent elasticity and dynamic stiffness for feel and repulsion; optimum power and durability, including excellent knot and loop strength; and exceptional tension-holding ability for consistent, reliable performance.
Federer, Hewitt Launch New, Fast Format
FAST4 TENNIS, an innovative, new format for tennis developed by Tennis Australia, received a world-class global launch in January when Roger Federer challenged Lleyton Hewitt to a high-impact match at the iconic Sydney Opera House. Designed to offer a faster game, FAST4TENNIS has four rule variations from traditional tennis: no-ad scoring, no lets, a tiebreaker to be played at three games all, with the first player to win four games winning the set.
Nainkin, Diaz Join USTA
The USTA announced that David Nainkin has rejoined USTA Player Development full-time as National Coach, Men’s Tennis, and that Maureen Diaz has been hired as a full-time National Coach based out of the USTA Training Center–East in Flushing, N.Y.
Nainkin, who was part of the USTA coaching staff from 2004-2013, returns to the USTA after spending a year coaching Sam Querrey. He’ll be based out of the USTA Training Center–West in Carson, Calif. Several top pro players have achieved career-high rankings under Nainkin’s guidance, including Mardy Fish (No. 7), Sloane Stephens (No. 11) and Querrey (No. 17).
Diaz joins the USTA Training Center–East coaching staff after working as both a part-time coach and teaching pro at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center since early 2013.
USRSA Announces New MRTs, CS
Master Racquet Technicians
Rich Bender - Myrtle Beach, SC
Jiri Cechak - Greenwood, CO
Matthew Collura - Richmond Hill, ON CANADA
Will Coston - South Paramus, NJ
Patrick Lustado - Lakewood, CA
Igor Maas - Naples, FL
Mark MacDonald - Schaumburg, IL
Scott Macias - Plano, TX
Kyle Rogers - Kennesaw, GA
Andrew Rohlfs - Austin, TX
Scott Rutknowski - Paramus, NJ
Scott Russell - Plano, TX
Jeffrey Stanford - Palm Desert, CA
Scott Prakken - Matawan, NJ
Cardio Tennis Training In U.S. and Globally
As Cardio Tennis comes up on its 10th year in 2015, training courses continue to be added to the schedule both in the U.S. and around the world.
TIA Cardio Tennis Manager Michele Krause recently held training sessions in South Africa and Florida, and currently on the schedule are courses in Belgium and Poland on March 8 and Denmark on March 28-29. Also scheduled for March 28-29 is a training course in New York at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center that will include both Cardio Tennis and TRX Cardio Tennis training courses.
Other training courses are still being finalized for locations that include Colorado, California, and Florida. If you’d like to host a training session for tennis providers, contact Krause at Michele@CardioTennis.com. For more information and to register, visit CardioTennis.com.
Is Your CTA or NJTL Insured?
Leaders of local USTA Community Tennis Associations and NJTL Chapters and Programs, make sure to check out the insurance programs offered to eligible organizations through the USTA.
The Master Liability Insurance Program offers up to $2 million in coverage, and the Directors and Officers and Employment Practices Insurance Programs offers coverage through an “A”-rated carrier. Hundreds of CTAs and NJTLs across the country have enrolled in the programs.
For additional information on eligibility or further information on the insurance, contact the USTA’s insurance consultant, Eagle Risk Management, at 888-654-USTA (8782) or visit usta.com/cta.
Sign Up Now For ‘Try Tennis Free’
Don’t miss this chance to boost your business and bring more people into tennis with the industry-supported “Try Tennis Free” (TTF) campaign, which will run throughout the month of May.
“Tennis providers who participated in the inaugural TTF campaign last May reported that on average, facilities saw 30 new and returning players hitting their courts,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.
The free sessions can vary depending on the location, as each facility or certified tennis professional can choose the best introductory session or program they feel will encourage new and returning players to step onto the court. Free offers can include lessons, clinics, Cardio Tennis, Play Days, and more.
Providers can easily sign up at PlayTennis.com to participate in TTF and receive free customizable marketing material to download to promote the campaign locally.
- Steve Wilkinson, longtime men’s tennis coach at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and founder of Tennis and Life Camps, passed away Jan. 21 at the age of 73 after a seven-year battle with cancer. Wilkinson spent 39 years (1971-2009) at the helm of the Gustavus men’s tennis program. His teams compiled 929 wins overall, the most victories in the history of collegiate men’s tennis.
- Novak Djokovic, playing with a Head Graphene XT Speed racquet, beat fellow Head player Andy Murray (Head Graphene Radical) to win the title at the Australian Open in January.
- Former ATP player and current WTA coach and Davis Cup captain Mauricio Hadad has joined Gamma and will represent the brand on court and at ATP/WTA Tour events. Currently, Hadad is the coach of British tennis player Laura Robson, who is playing with a Gamma RZR Advanced Aerodynamics racquet.
- Rafael Nadal is now playing with the new Babolat Play Aeropro Drive connected racquet.
- Tecnifibre has signed pro players Donald Young to a three-year contract and Jeremy Chardy to a four-year term. Young plays with the Tecnifibre TFight 315 racquet and Chardy plays with the TFight 305.
- The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum has named Stu Upson to the new position of Chief Operating Officer. He comes to the HoF with more than 20 years of experience in managing sports and entertainment properties, most recently as executive director of the U.S. Bowling Congress, the national governing body of bowling. He will report to Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin.
- Pros who recently obtained PTR Masters of Tennis certification include Ogidi Obi of San Jose (Performance), Jason Jospeh of Buffalo, N.Y. (Junior Development), Bo Gard of Laurel, Miss., (Performance), Ben Hestley of Atlanta (Performance), and Noah Sussman of Boulder, Colo. (Junior Development).
- World renowned dermatologist Dr. Ashfaq A. Marghoob joins Drs. Mark Kovacs, Jeff Chandler, Ben Kibler and Jim Loehr, and nutritionist Page Love Bombac on the PTR’s Sport Science Committee. The director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s regional skin cancer clinic in Long Island, N.Y., Dr. Marghoob is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in treatment of cancers of the skin.
- Ashaway Racket Strings has signed Cliff Swain protégé and rising racquetball star Maria Jose Vargas of Bolivia to its roster of sponsored players. Vargas was named Rookie of the Year by the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) in 2013, and finished the 2013-14 season ranked No. 3 in the world. She uses Ashaway’s PowerKill 17 string.
- American Timmy Brownell won the U.S. Junior Open Squash Championships held at Yale University’ Brady Squash Center in Connecticut.
- William Genesen (17, Tulsa, Okla.) and Kelly Chen (15, Cerritos, Calif.) won the USTA Winter National Championships Boys’ and Girls’ 18s singles titles in January in Scottsdale, Ariz., each earning wild card entries into future USTA Pro Circuit events.
- Andrew Walker, formerly chief marketing officer of the WTA, is the new ITF commercial director, replacing Kenny MacLeod, who left the organization.
- Sea Colony Tennis Director Thomas Johnston, USPTA, PTR, MS is the USTA Delaware District Pro of the Year.
- SFIA’s National Health Through Fitness Day (NHTF Day) will be March 3-4 in Washington, D.C. About 150 leaders from the sports, fitness, and PE industries will lobby Congress to pass key legislation to help the U.S. overcome a major epidemic, obesity and sedentary lifestyles. Visit sfia.org/nhtf.
- The Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Md., has announced a three-year partnership with Wilson to be the JTCC’s official ball and racquet sponsor. As part of the agreement, Wilson also will test new equipment at JTCC.
- Poland won its first Hopman Cup title in January, beating the U.S. 2-1.
- Memphis-based ServiceMaster signed on as presenting sponsor of the Memphis Open through 2017. The 2015 tournament was played Feb. 7-15 at The Racquet Club of Memphis.
‘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.
Cool Roofs: Did you know that standard or dark colored roofs can reach up to 150 degrees F. in the hot summer sun? Roofs painted with a white, highly reflective coating deflect UV rays and heat, thus making it 50 degrees cooler. This will extend the life of the roof and reduce your usage of air conditioning, resulting in 10 percent to 30 percent savings. This roof painting project provides a unique community service opportunity; contact local organizations to gauge interest in making positive change in both your facility and the environment. — Ashley Guelian
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