Tennis Industry magazine

 

Our Serve: Try It, You’ll Like It …

By Peter Francesconi

I never thought I’d be reciting in this magazine that old Alka-Seltzer commercial tagline that was used, and overused, so much in the early 1970s. (For those of you who weren’t around back then, search for “try it, you’ll like it” and watch that classic TV commercial.)

But you know, the simple concept expressed in that simple phrase applies well to tennis, and to getting more people to play this sport. When you create the right environment for people to try the sport, there’s a very good chance they’ll like tennis and want to continue playing.

That’s the impetus behind the industry-wide Try Tennis Free campaign, which will run throughout the month of May, but of course doesn’t have to be limited to just that month. Any tennis facility or provider can offer this at any time of year, or better yet, offer it year-round.

The Try Tennis Free campaign started in May 2014 then ran again in September and is designed to bring in new players and get returning players back into the sport. The TIA, which is coordinating this campaign, said tennis facilities and providers who offered a Try Tennis Free program reported that, on average, they saw 30 new and returning players come to their courts to try the sport.

Think of that — with just some local promotion of their free tennis offer, 30 potential new members and customers simply came to their courts to play. After that, of course, these facilities needed to close the deal with these new and returning players, but the hardest part — getting them through the door to begin with — is pretty much done for you.

But that’s not the only attraction. Unlike other programs or campaigns with strict rules and mandates, tennis facilities and providers can offer any kind of free program or programs they want, whenever they want — it’s completely up to you. Do what you think appeals to your community and potential clientele and what works best for your facility or programming. Have a lot of kids looking for something to do after school? Offer a free session for them. Want to attract adults looking for healthy exercise? Publicize a free Cardio Tennis clinic for new or returning players. You make the rules.

And you’ll have help to promote your Try Tennis Free offer. The TIA offers free advertising and promotional materials that you can customize. The only thing the TIA would like to see is for providers and facilities to register — for free — for the Try Tennis Free campaign on PlayTennis.com. It’s a simple sign-up that you can do right now, and it will ensure that your listing will pop up when consumers search for a free program, or any tennis program. Go to PlayTennis.com, then the “Try Tennis for Free” dropdown, then “For Facilities and Teaching Pros.”

So, the message to consumers in your area? Try tennis (for free). You’ll like tennis.

Peter Francesconi, Editorial Director

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About the Author

Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.

 

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