Tennis Industry magazine

 

Industry News

3rd Annual T.O.M. Conference Attracts Top Experts & Leaders

The third annual Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference, presented by the Tennis Industry Association, will bring together top leaders from inside and outside the tennis industry. The event will be March 23-25 at the Downtown Miami Hilton, during the Miami Open pro tournament.

The conference will open with the State of the Tennis Industry Forum (see box). A major focus of the T.O.M. will be on innovation and new ideas to help tennis businesses position themselves for growth. The T.O.M. will include a Tennis Tech Fair & Resource Center, which will give owners, managers and their staff an opportunity to learn more about and try out the latest products that can engage members and players. There will also be an interactive “Idea Fair” workshop, along with problem-solving roundtables.

Among those who are planning to present at the T.O.M. Conference are Dr. Jack Groppel, co-founder of the Human Performance Institute and V.P. of Applied Science and Performance Training at Wellness & Prevention Inc., who will address the importance and business imperative of being a “tennis wellness center” along with how to implement key strategies to to help your member base. Also speaking is Dr. Gerry Faust, a world-renowned expert at strategic planning, executive coaching and business turn-arounds.

The T.O.M. will include expert speakers and panelists on programming, management, court construction and renovation, facility maintenance, sustainability, legal, and personnel issues. There will be a number of opportunities for networking, along with an opportunity to attend the Miami Open on Thursday evening.

A major component of the T.O.M. Conference will be how tennis will look in the future, and understanding what drives and motivates today’s consumers to get into tennis and stay in the game. Gary Stewart, head of racquet sports at Virgin Active Health and Racquet Clubs in the U.K., will present ideas about successful programming, and building and retaining members. Ken Lindner, the president of the U.S. POP Tennis Association, will speak about his success rebranding “paddle tennis” and how the sport is looking to adopt 36- and 60-foot tennis courts to help bring people of all ages into the sport.

USTA executives speaking at the T.O.M. will include Kurt Kamperman, Craig Morris and Scott Schultz. Also presenting will be PTR CEO Dan Santorum, USPTA CEO John Embree, TIA President and Tennis Media Company Managing Partner Jeff Williams, and Sports & Fitness Industry Association President/CEO Tom Cove. Additional speakers include Jim Baugh, Simon Gale, Jorge Capestany, Jeff Gocke, Craig Jones, Tom Sweitzer, Greg Lappin and Doug Cash, among other successful industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

Visit TheTomConference.com for more details and to register, or call the TIA at 843-686-3036.

State of the Industry Forum March 23 in Miami

Kicking off the third annual T.O.M. Conference in Miami will be the 2016 TIA State of the Industry Forum, which will be March 23 from 10 to 11:45 a.m. at the Downtown Miami Hilton. The Forum is free to attend, however, since space is limited, registration is required at TheTomConference.com.

The Forum will include industry executives presenting the latest news and data about the state of the tennis industry, including participation research, consumer and tech trends, an update on initiatives, and more. Prior to the start of the Forum, registered attendees are invited to the “Tennis Tech Fair & Resource Center,” which opens at 8:30 a.m.

Patterson Named USRSA E.D.; Office Moves to Birmingham

The U.S. Racquet Stringers Association is excited to announce that Bob Patterson of Birmingham, Ala., has been appointed the executive director. Patterson, a longtime USRSA member and Master Racquet Technician, has worked with the USRSA and Tennis Industry magazine for the last three years as special projects manager.

Patterson began his career in the tennis industry with a home-based stringing business that grew into a successful tennis specialty store. He also has done extensive racquet service for tour players and worked on several pro tournament stringing teams.

“Bob’s passion for equipment and racquet service, as well as his experience as a shop owner and tour stringer, make him the perfect fit for the executive director position,” says David Bone, president of the USRSA. Patterson started his new position on January 1.

“I’m honored to be in this new position and I’m looking forward to meeting the challenge of serving our members,” adds Patterson. “The USRSA just completed its 40th year and there have been a lot of changes in our industry and our organization during that time. Our goal has always been to help stringers provide their customers with the best professional service possible, and I will make sure we continue to do that. Our focus will be to continue to provide the very best training and information for our members. I am looking forward to working with our members to see how we can improve their experience with us so that we can meet their needs for the next 40 years and beyond.”

To allow the new executive director to take over all the day-to-day operations of the USRSA, the organization has moved its main office to Birmingham.

The new USRSA address is: 310 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North, Suite 400, Birmingham, AL 35203. The phone number remains 760-536-1177 and the fax remains 760-536-1171. Email for Bob Patterson is bob@racquettech.com or usrsa@racquettech.com. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time.

OKC Tennis Center Opens Year-Round Courts

As part of its $4.2 million expansion, the OKC Tennis Center in Oklahoma City recently completed a new 37,500-sq.-ft. tension fabric building housing six regulation courts. The largest tennis facility in the state, OKC now has a total of 36 courts. The final phase of the expansion project is planned for spring.

Designed and constructed by Legacy Building Solutions, the new structure is a rigid, solid-steel frame with ceiling-mounted LED lighting fixtures. The building is insulated and heating and air conditioning systems were installed to keep athletes comfortable in all seasons. Legacy offers fabric in a variety of colors, and can also custom print images and logos; OKC chose an exterior that features blue trim on the roof and walls, which coordinate with the color of the outdoor courts. Visit LegacyBuildingSolutions.com.

People Watch

Antigua Apparel Adds New Outerwear Pieces

Antigua apparel offers three new additions to its collection. The Rebel half-zip pullover is a long sleeve, jersey face fleece with bold color blocking, available in five color options. The Serenity half-zip pullover is a brushed two-color geometric jacquard knit long sleeve, available in three colors. And the Prime Jacket and Pant are 100 percent polyester double knit for warmth and freedom of movement, available in three color options. Each piece uses Antigua’s Desert Dry fabrics to keep players warm and dry in the elements.

Antigua also offers in-house embroidery, ideal for outfitting tournaments, officials and teams with logoed apparel. Visit antigua.com.

Short Sets

PTR Week, Symposium Set for Feb. 15-21

PTR Week will be Feb. 15-21 on Hilton Head Island, S.C., and will include Professional Development Courses (Feb. 15-21), the PTR Championships (Feb. 16-19), the International Tennis Symposium (Feb. 17-20), Awards Banquet (Feb. 17) and Tennis Trade Show (Feb. 18). The event, which attracts hundreds of tennis teachers and coaches from around the world, will be held at the Van der Meer Shipyard Racquet Club and Sonesta Resort.

More than 40 tennis industry experts will conduct classroom and on-court presentations, with subjects ranging from tennis business to teaching tactics and techniques. International Tennis Hall of Famer Billie Jean King will be inducted into the PTR Hall of Fame at the organization’s awards banquet on Feb. 17. Visit ptrtennis.org for more info and to register.

ITF Recognized Court Program Comes to U.S.

Stuart Miller, a senior executive director of the International Tennis Federation, spoke in December to the Tennis Division of the American Sports Builders Association about the ITF’s “Recognized Court” program.

The new program is designed to acknowledge that a tennis court meets the recommendations provided in the “ITF Guide to Test Methods for Tennis Court Surfaces.” In the U.S., the recognition program will be available for courts built by an ASBA Certified Tennis Court Builder.

The ITF offers two levels of recognition: for a One-Star ITF Recognized Court, the court is tested for quality of installation. Two-Star recognition involves determining if the average court pace rating of the court falls within 5 points of the ITF classified value. For more on the ITF Recognized Court program, visit itftennis.com.

List Programs, Events at RallyTheFamily.com

Looking to boost tennis activity at your facility or for your CTA? As a tennis provider, sign up now at RallyTheFamily.com to participate in the industry-wide “Rally the Family” campaign. Rally the Family focuses on tennis for all ages, using lower compression Red, Orange and Green tennis balls, shorter courts, shorter racquets and modified scoring.

All tennis providers are encouraged to sign-up to be part of the national campaign and list their programs and events for free at RallyTheFamily.com. The initiative, expected to launch to consumers this spring, is designed to drive adults and kids to your courts and programs. Registered providers will have access to free tools and resources to promote their business locally.

WTA Reports Audience Gains

The Women’s Tennis Association announced key metrics from an audience report by SMG Insight that show overall viewership of the 2015 WTA season rose 25 percent, with 395 million cumulative viewers in 2015 vs. 316 million in 2014 — an all-time high. For the second consecutive year the WTA registered a substantial increase in audience, as viewership in 2014 rose by 23 percent.

The number of households reached by WTA TV programming hit 954.4 million in 2015, a 38 percent increase over 2014. Digital viewership was up 44 percent, with 44.6 million viewers watching women’s tennis through online channels, compared to 31 million in 2014.

The top five most-viewed tournaments in 2015 were: 1) China Open, Beijing (34.64 million); 2) WTA Finals Singapore (32.49 million); 3) Rogers Cup, Toronto (29.70 million); 4) Miami Open (29.37 million); 5) BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells (26.81 million).

In 2015, the number of unique users and visits to the wtatennis.com website were up 14 percent and 15 percent, respectively. The number of fans following official WTA and player social media pages was up 16 percent and reached 120 million cumulatively, while video views across official WTA website and social pages hit 48 million.

PlaySight Installations Continue to Increase

Since signing a key deal with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in November, sport video and analytics technology platform PlaySight Interactive reports that it’s planning for a number of new installations in the new year. PlaySight offers clubs, facilities, colleges, and academies an all-in-one solution — from live streaming to real-time analytics to after-action video review capabilities to professional coaching tools.

Recent PlaySight installations include courts at the Tennis Club of Albuquerque, University of California, Duke University, Midtown Tennis-Rochester, Northwestern University, and Scarborough East Tennis & Fitness Club in Columbus, Ohio. For more information, visit playsight.com.

ASBA Elects New Officers and Directors

The American Sports Builders Association, the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, has elected officers and directors for 2016-2017. Pete Smith (above, right), a Certified Tennis Court Builder (CTCB) with The CourtSmiths of Toledo, Ohio, is the new chairman of ASBA. Smith, who previously served as president of the Tennis Division, has been active in the association on many levels, including serving on committees, speaking at meetings, reviewing technical articles and working on Association projects.

The new Tennis Division president is Mike Edgerton, CTCB, of Copeland Coatings in Nassau, N.Y. The new Field Division president is Jim Catella of Clark Companies in Delhi, N.Y.; and the new Supplier Division president is Chris Rossi of California Sports Surfaces of Andover, Mass. New board members include Paul Nagle of Nagle Athletic Surfaces of Syracuse, N.Y., and Bob Cohen of Robert Cohen Co., of Albuquerque, N.M.

Others continuing on the board are: Chris Sullivan, Verde Design, Folsom, Calif.; Troy Rudolph, Sunland Sports, Phoenix; Joe Covington Jr., Covington Flooring, Birmingham, Ala.; Linn Lower, Lower Bros. Co., Birmingham, Ala.; Ed Norton, Holcombe Norton Partners, Birmingham, Ala.; Ben Brooks, Patriot Court Systems, Houston; Megan Buczynski, Activitas Inc., Dedham, Mass.; Randy Futty, California Sports Surfaces, Andover, Mass.; Mark Heinlein, Turf Reclamation Solutions, Cincinnati; David Moxley, Sportsfield Specialties, Delhi, N.Y.; and Matt Strom, Leslie Coatings, Indianapolis. Dan Wright (at left in photo) of Sports Turf Co., Whitesburg, Ga., remains on the board in the position of past chairman.

Ashaway Crossfire a ‘Cult Favorite’ for Hybrids

Ashaway’s Crossfire hybrid family includes six different material and string gauge combinations to suit “even the most discerning player’s taste,” says the company. Earlier Crossfire models, such as Crossfire II, 17 and 18, utilized aramid (Kevlar) mains and synthetic gut crosses. The most recent additions to the Crossfire hybrid line incorporate Ashaway’s 100 percent Zyex monofilament strings. These include Crossfire ZX and Crossfire XZ Tour.

Ashaway’s Crossfire hiybrid strings have been used for over 25 years. The first hybrid used on the pro tour was of Ashaway’s signature aramid main string, in combination with natural gut. “Players of all stripes are using polyesters or aramids for stiffness and durability, but mixing them with a softer string for playability,” says Ashaway’s Steve Crandall. Ashaway’s Crossfire, though, has become a “cult favorite” among hybrid fans. For more information, visit ashawayusa.com.

Vegosen Named ITA Chairman

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Board of Directors has unanimously appointed Jon Vegosen as chairman of the board. He succeeds David Benjamin, who announced his retirement after having served as chairman for nearly four decades.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to again serve collegiate varsity tennis, especially as part of the ITA,” said Vegosen. “I am eager to work with the ITA’s accomplished board members, dedicated college coaches, valued partners, and talented staff led by CEO Tim Russell and COO Erica Perkins Jasper.”

Vegosen is a long-time volunteer, leader, advocate, fundraiser and connector for tennis at all levels. He served as the 2011-2012 chairman of the board, president, and CEO of the USTA and spent four years on the Grand Slam Committee. In September, he completed a four-year term on the ITF board of directors. He also has served two years as chairman of the USTA Collegiate Committee following two years as the Committee’s Vice Chairman. Vegosen co-developed PACT (Preserving American College Tennis) and became a leading advocate for varsity college tennis.

Mateflex Offers Modular Court Surface

Mateflex says its interlocking modular tennis surface combines the comfort and resiliency of a soft court and the durability and low maintenance of a hard court. The company, which recently displayed its products at the ASBA exhibitor show, says its 12- by 12-inch injection-molded tiles connect with an easy to use interlocking system. The narrow gauge ribs not only allow for fast, flow-through drainage for quick drying and safe footing, but also help the ball bite the surface.

The manufacturer also says minor sub-base faults won’t adversely affect play or appearance of a Mateflex court, so the surface can be used to convert older hard courts to a softer surface or solve ongoing sub-base problems. For more information, call 800-926-3539 or visit mateflex.com.

Bollettieri Teams with Pivot Wearable Tech

TuringSense, a Silicon Valley pioneer of wearable sports technology, and International Tennis Hall of Fame coach Nick Bollettieri have partnered to bring to market Pivot, a biomechanics-based wearable that incorporates Bollettieri’s coaching knowledge.

Integrated within Pivot, says the company, is access to Bollettieri’s training techniques and instructions, which can be customized for individuals, to help them become better players. Pivot also allows other users or coaches to integrate their own training techniques.

Pivot is a multi-sensor, high-speed motion-capture and analysis system designed to improve playing and training and to prevent injuries. Unlike other products that attach a single sensor to a tennis racquet, Pivot uses a pack of wearable sensors that attach to different parts of the body or clothing.

“I’ve dedicated my life to helping players enjoy and improve in the sport of tennis,” Bollettieri says. “Through Pivot, I’m excited to be able to share my tennis know-how and techniques with a much larger swath of tennis players spanning all ages and abilities. Now I can share my techniques with everyone, wherever they are in the world.” Visit turingsense.com.

Longtime Tennis Journalist Writes ‘Safe Tennis’ Book

Longtime tennis journalist Jim Martz has authored a new book, “Safe Tennis: How to Train and Play to Avoid Injury and Stay Healthy” (Skyhorse Publishing) that teaches readers how to avoid injuries and how to properly prepare for practice and matches with detailed warm-up plans and exercises that specifically strengthen players for tennis.

The book, with a foreword written by International Tennis Hall of Famer Nick Bollettieri, includes stretching exercises designed by sports medicine physical therapists, proper cool-down techniques, and many other methods to help avoid injury. Martz, founder and publisher of Florida Tennis magazine, covered tennis for the Miami Herald for 21 years. The book is available through Amazon.com, or email Martz at fltennis@aol.com.

Dave Miley Leaves ITF After 24 Years

After 24 years, Executive Director of Tennis Development Dave Miley has left the International Tennis Federation for personal reasons, effective at the end of 2015. Miley had visited over 140 countries worldwide and played a key role in the development of tennis globally. He initiated many successful projects including Tennis10s, which grew out of the ITF’s Play and Stay program.

In 1993, Miley established the ITF Coach Education Program and was author of both the Level One manual and co-author of the Advanced Coaches manual that is now available in over 20 languages worldwide. The Junior Touring Team program proved very successful with many top-ranked players coming out of the teams, including Grand Slam Champion Victoria Azarenka.

With Miley’s departure, the ITF has promoted both Kris Dent and Stuart Miller to senior executive directors, with expanded duties that include the activities of the former Development Department. Miller will head up Integrity and Development, adding Development, Rules of Tennis, Governance and some legal activities to his present responsibilities for Anti-Doping, Anti-Corruption, Science and Technical. Dent will head up ITF Circuits and Professional Tennis Events that will include all ITF Circuits (Pro Circuit, Juniors, Seniors, Wheelchair and Beach Tennis), Live Scoring, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, Olympic Tennis and Hopman Cup.

Williams, Djokovic Named ITF World Champions

Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic have been named the 2015 ITF World Champions. Williams is named Women’s World Champion for the sixth time, while this is the fifth occasion that Djokovic has received the honor.

Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza are the Women’s Doubles World Champions, while Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau are Men’s Doubles World Champions. Dalma Galfi and the U.S.’s Taylor Fritz were named ITF Junior World Champions, while the ITF Wheelchair World Champions are Jiske Griffioen and Shingo Kunieda. All will receive their awards at the 2016 ITF World Champions Dinner on May 31 in Paris, during Roland Garros.

PTR and OrangeCoach Form Partnership

The PTR has entered into a three-year partnership with OrangeCoach, an online job and career platform that provides recruitment services for tennis employers and coaches, in which PTR members will receive a free OrangeCoach Gold membership, valued at $150.

With its do-it-yourself or personal services, OrangeCoach connects tennis employers, such as managers, tennis parents, resorts, academies and clubs, with coaches who match their candidate requirements. It was founded by WTA coach Sven Groeneveld. For more information, visit www.OrangeCoach.com.

ASBA Announces Blog On Sports Facility Issues

The American Sports Builders Association is producing a weekly blog on areas of interest to the sports facility industry, including tennis court construction. The blog, which is sent to ASBA members each week, also is posted on the ASBA’s website, www.sportsbuilders.org, and will cover issues pertaining to sports facilities in active use, as well as those under construction, and more. In addition, the blog will cover association interests, members’ activities and more.

Arnhold Elected Chairman of Tennis Hall of Fame

The International Tennis Hall of Fame has announced that John Arnhold has been elected chairman of its Board of Governors and Michael Goss has been elected as vice chairman, effective January 1, 2016. Arnhold and Goss, both financial services executives, are avid tennis players and devoted supporters of the sport.

As members of the Hall of Fame’s Executive Committee for the past four years, both Arnold and Goss have taken an active leadership role in long-term planning, fundraising, and strategic efforts to grow the organization’s work to preserve and promote the history of tennis and to honor its great champions. Arnhold succeeds Chairman Christopher Clouser, who concluded his term after eight years as chairman.

Women Pros Dominate Forbes’ Top 10 $$$ List

Tennis players dominated Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s highest paid female athletes, with seven of the top 10 spots. The list takes into account prize money, appearances, licensing and endorsements between June 2014 and June 2015. No. 1 on the list is Maria Sharapova with $29.7 million in total earnings, and of that total, $6.7 million came from tournament prize money.

Serena Williams is the second highest paid female athlete, with $24.6 million total ($11.6 million in prize money), and No. 3 on the list is Caroline Wozniacki with $14.6 million in total earnings ($3.6 million in prize money).

Also in the Forbes top 10 are Ana Ivanovic at No. 5, with $8.3 in total earnings ($1.8 million prize money). No. 6 is Petra Kvitova at $7.7 million ($5.9 million). No. 7 is Simona Halep at $6.8 million ($5.3 million). And No. 10 on the Forbes list is Agnieszka Radwansak at $6 million ($2 million).

Wealth-X Says Federer Has Highest Net Worth

A Wealth-X list of the top 10 wealthiest tennis players shows Roger Federer is way ahead of his peers, with a net worth of $330 million. No. 2 on the list is Maria Sharapova, with a net worth of $160 million. Rounding out the Top 10, according to Wealth-X, are: Serena Williams, $130 million; Novak Djokovic, $110 million; Rafael Nadal, $80 million; Venus Williams, $70 million; Andy Murray, $70 million; Victoria Azarenka, $30 million; Caroline Wozniacki, $30 million; and Ana Ivanovic, $25 million.

Is Your Cardio Tennis Business License Current?

Are you registered as a Cardio Tennis Authorized Provider? To help ensure quality Cardio Tennis for consumers, you should be licensed to deliver CT sessions and have access to valuable benefits and services to help run the program. Since Cardio Tennis began in 2005, more than 3,500 U.S. coaches have taken formal Cardio Tennis education. Make sure your 2016 Cardio Tennis Authorized Provider license is up to date. Visit CardioTennis.com/for-providers/.

USRSA Announces New MRT

Drew Violette - Amelia, OH

 

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