Tennis Industry magazine


Industry News

Information to help you run your business

T.O.M. Conference Slated for March 23-25 in Miami

Tennis club and facility owners and managers should reserve their spot for the Third Annual Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference, which will be March 23-25 at the Hilton Miami Downtown during the Miami Open pro tennis tournament. The conference will bring together leading experts in facility management, programming and other key areas to provide vital information to grow tennis businesses.

The T.O.M. Conference also will feature a Tennis Tech Fair & Resource Center, which will give owners and managers an opportunity to learn more about and try out the latest products that can engage members and players and help them manage and run their businesses more effectively. In addition, there will be an “Idea Fair” workshop that will include expert panelists, along with suggestions from the wealth of knowledge among T.O.M. Conference attendees.

Key speakers to date include Dr. Jack Groppel, Cliff Drysdale, Gigi Fernandez, Emilio Sanchez, Jim Baugh and Dr. Gerald Faust, among other management and business consultants. Tennis industry speakers include Craig Jones, Dan Santorum, John Embree, Randy Futty, Pat Hanssen, Lee Sponaugle, Virgil Christian and Scott Schultz.

Among facility owners and managers sharing their knowledge will be: Greg Lappin, Simon Gale, Mike Woody, Fernando Velasco, Jorge Capestany, Tom Sweitzer, and Doug Cash.

“The conference will be a very interactive, hands-on exchange of ideas, information and best practices that attendees will find very useful for their businesses,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. To register, go to

State of Industry Forum in Miami

Held in conjunction with the T.O.M. Conference will be the State of the Industry Forum, from 10 to 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, March 23 at the Hilton Miami Downtown. The Forum is free to attend (but space is limited, so register at and will present the latest news and data about the state of the tennis industry, including research, trends and more.

Tennis Channel Sold to Sinclair

In a $350 million deal, the Sinclair Broadcast Group of Baltimore has agreed to purchase the Tennis Channel. In a statement on the acquisition, Sinclair says it has already negotiated deals on Tennis Channel’s behalf that will increase distribution from 30 million subscribers to 50 million.

Tennis Channel comes with a net operating loss of more than $200 million, which Sinclair says it will carry forward to reduce future tax payments. Because of the net operating loss, Sinclair puts the current value of the Tennis Channel at approximately $65 million.

But Tennis Channel’s CEO, Ken Solomon, says the channel has been profitable for the last few years. Solomon says he’ll remain with Tennis Channel after the sale and the channel will remain based in Santa Monica, Calif. Launched in 2003, Tennis Channel is owned by five private equity firms. DirecTV and Dish Network also have small stakes in the channel.

Sinclair is the nation’s largest owner of local TV outlets with 164 stations and has been seeking ways to control more of the content it broadcasts. “In Sinclair we’ve found the perfect owner-partner to accelerate scaling the Tennis Channel brand and our sport’s expanding fan-base to the next level,” Solomon says.

Williams is New President of Tennis Industry Association

Jeff Williams, the managing partner of the Tennis Media Company, became president of the Tennis Industry Association Jan. 1, taking over from Greg Mason of Head USA Racquet Sports, who was TIA president from 2013.

“I’m excited to lead the TIA as we continue to promote this sport and work to increase tennis growth for all segments of this industry,” Williams says. “Greg and the TIA board, working with Executive Director Jolyn de Boer and the TIA staff, have done an amazing job with the many areas the TIA is involved in, and I look forward to continue their progress toward the goals of increasing the economic vitality of this industry.”

Williams, who has been on the TIA Board of Directors since 1990, became publisher of the Tennis Media Company (Tennis magazine, and Tennis Tuesday) in 2001, was promoted to group publisher in 2003, and was named managing partner in 2014. He’s a former chair of the USTA’s Strategic and Creative Planning Committee and president and board member of the USTA Eastern Section. In 1985, he took over as owner, publisher and editor of Tennis Industry magazine, titles he still holds. He is also on the board of directors for the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. He received the Industry Merit Award from the American Sports Builders Association in 1999.

The complete TIA board is as follows:

David Malinowski, adidas

Fred Stringfellow, ASBA

Linda Clark, ATP World Tour

Eric Babolat, Babolat

Kai Nitsche, Dunlop Sports

John Suchenski, ESPN

Greg Mason, Head/Penn Racquet Sports

Meredith Poppler, IHRSA

Todd Martin, Int’l. Tennis Hall of Fame

Kevin Callanan, IMG

Dr. Stuart Miller, ITF

Mike Ballardie, Prince Global Sports

Dan Santorum, PTR

David Egdes, Tennis Channel

John Embree, USPTA

David Bone, USRSA

Kurt Kamperman, USTA

Hans-Martin Reh, Wilson Sporting Goods

Tom Cove, SFIA

Ilana Kloss, WTT

Steve Simon, WTA Tour

TIA Retail Representative: Jim Fromuth

TIA Facility Representative: Greg Lappin

TIA Global Council: Eric Babolat (chair), Ottmar Barbian, Hans-Martin Reh, Mike Ballardie, Jeff Williams

People Watch

Short Sets

Marc Stingley Joins The Staff at PTR Headquarters

Marc Stingley has joined the PTR staff as Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator. Prior to his move to Hilton Head Island, Stingley spent 12 years at Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center in St. Paul, Minn., developing many of the USTA Northern’s most successful juniors, including six NCAA DI players, two DII players, five DIII players, and two All Americans. During his tenure as Director of Tennis, the Fred Wells center received the PTR Public Facility of the Year Award.

USTA Northern has recognized Stingley with two prestigious awards: Junior Development Coach of the Year and Junior Team Tennis Organizer of the Year. In addition, Stingley was named PTR Member of the Year for Minnesota, and his family received the USTA National Family of the Year award. Stingley began teaching the game at 15 and by 21, was PTR certified. He is now a PTR Clinician, and was in the first class to earn PTR’s highest certification of Master of Tennis–Performance.

Playmate Introduces iSmash

Playmate introduces the new iSmash, which is the next generation of Smash ball machine. iSmash combines the same rugged design with a more user-friendly interface that is intelligent, interchangeable and intuitive, says Playmate.

The intelligent design allows a player or coach to select where the balls will be fed by just pressing on a picture of a tennis court. Or, a player can just choose from three simple patterns: all balls straight ahead, feeding balls left and right narrow, or feeding balls left and right wide. It remains upgradeable and interchangeable with all previous Smash, Deuce and Genie Playmate ball machines.

The iSmash is upgradeable to iPlaymate Tennis to create drills on an iPhone or iPad, track workouts, and to allow players to compare results with others. Visit or contact 800-776-6770.

PTR Celebrates 40th Anniversary in 2016

PTR is celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2016. The organization was founded in 1976 by Dennis Van der Meer with support from colleagues, including 2016 PTR Hall of Fame inductee Billie Jean King. PTR has more than 15,000 members in 127 countries.

PTR has grown from one general certification in the early years to five distinct education pathways today (10 & Under, 11 to 17, Performance, Adult Development and Senior Development). PTR also offers Level 3 and Masters of Tennis degree programs.

PlaySight Partners With Tennis Media Co.

PlaysSight Interactive, with its all-in-one video analytics SmartCourt technology, has partnered with the Tennis Media Co., owner of Tennis magazine, and Tennis Tuesday. PlaySight also has added new investors, which now includes Novak Djokovic, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Pete Sampras, Paul Annacone, Mark Ein, Gordon Uehling III, Dr. Jim Loehr and others.

In a statement, PlaySight and Tennis Media Co. said its common vision is threefold:

To shift kids from video games to tennis: PlaySight is focused on helping juniors transition from screens to courts using their interactive technology to enhance engagement, socialize the sport, and improve performance and enjoyment.

To reduce cheating in the sport — particularly at the junior level — through the PlaySight PlayFair initiative. These tournaments offer a challenge system utilizing video replay review, as well as line calling, analytics, and live streaming capabilities.

To build a coalition of tennis associations, private investors and corporate sponsors to boost the profile of college tennis along with Futures and Challengers tournaments. Books 10 Millionth Court recently processed its 10 millionth online tennis reservation on behalf of its client facilities. The online system is designed to simplify and streamline front-desk operations, improve customer service, and save time and money for tennis facilities. With this recent landmark, the system has now been used to reserve the equivalent of over 1,400 years of court-time. features online court and teaching pro scheduling, online payments, online bookings for court time, event registrations, membership list management, “club news” web pages, and more. The system is used by all types of venues, including commercial clubs, universities, tennis associations, country clubs, resorts and community organizations. TennisBookings is highly configurable to accommodate each facility’s specific configurations and policies.

For more information, visit

Prepare Your Juniors for College Tennis

Looking to prepare your high school players for college tennis? Check out Coach Ed Krass’s 28th Annual College Tennis Exposure Camps.

Founded in 1989, the camps are designed for players ages 15 to 18. The camp staff consists of current head men’s and women’s college tennis coaches and is committed to helping students make the transition from junior tennis to college tennis. Instructional drills and match-play competitions are conducted in the same style and intensity as a collegiate practice session. Players will have the opportunity to sample various coaching styles and to receive on-court coaching during match-play competitions. Upcoming camps are:

University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla., June 15-17

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., July 8-10

Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., July 17-21 & July 23-27

Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., July 30 & 31

For more information, visit or call 813-684-9031.

Har-Tru Introduces CourtPac Electric Roller

The CourtPac Electric is the latest addition to Har-Tru’s line of tennis court rollers, and is available now from the company.

“Customers have indicated they want a roller that doesn’t make noise, doesn’t make a mess, and is easy to use and effective,” says Terry Aasland, Har-Tru’s design engineer. “That’s why we designed the CourtPac Electric.”

The unit has zero emissions, and can be operated indoors or in covered areas. Its single AC motor is powered by four 12-volt deep-cycle batteries, and the CourtPac Electric Roller is easy to maintain — simply plug in the smart charger (included) once the rolling is complete.

For more information visit or call 877-4HARTRU.

USTA Foundation Offers World Tennis Day Packages

The USTA Foundation, the official charity of the BNP Paribas Showdown, is offering exclusive packages and sponsorship opportunities at World Tennis Day that includes the World Tennis Day Awards Celebration on March 7 and the BNP Paribas Showdown on March 8. The events will feature Showdown players Serena Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Stan Wawrinka and Gael Monfils.

The World Tennis Day Awards Celebration, held Monday, March 7, at the Essex House in New York City, will feature the four pro players and benefit children in need. The BNP Paribas Showdown, on March 8, will be held at Madison Square Garden.

A wide range of sponsorship packages are available — all including tickets to both the Awards Celebration and the BNP Paribas Showdown, and many with chances to meet the pros, attend VIP receptions, and even participate in clinics and lessons with the pros. All levels of sponsorship can be further customized. Visit or contact or 914-696-7223.

Ashaway Expands Superkill Racquetball String Family

Since racquetball’s first surge of popularity in the 1970s, Ashaway SuperKill strings have been a popular choice for players at all levels. And as the game has evolved, so have SuperKill strings.

Today, the SuperKill family of strings — SuperKill II, SuperKill 17, and SuperKill XL — offers an array of playing characteristics optimized to meet the needs of both recreational and competitive players.

All three SuperKill racquetball strings feature a nylon core with a high-tenacity nylon wear surface, and offer a range of design and construction features.

For more information visit

McEnroe to Play with Head Racquets

Head and tennis legend John McEnroe have announced a multi-year partnership in which the former World No 1. will play with Head tennis racquets while competing in the senior events on the ATP Champions Tour.

During his career, McEnroe, who was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999, set several long-standing records, won seven Grand Slam singles titles, and a record eight year-end championships. He achieved the No. 1 ranking in the world for four years.

After his retirement from the ATP Tour, McEnroe joined the ATP Champions Tour in 1998.

PowerShares Series Announces Players, Dates

The PowerShares Series, the tennis circuit for champion players over the age of 30, announced its slate of player fields for its 12-city circuit that begins April 8 in Chicago. Competing players in 2016 are Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, Jim Courier, Mark Philippoussis, James Blake and Mardy Fish.

Each PowerShares Series event features two one-set semifinal matches and a one-set championship match. Ticket and VIP experiences information are at The full schedule:

April 8, Chicago

April 9, Charleston, S.C.

April 14, St. Louis

April 22, Memphis

April 23, Tulsa

July 17, Newport, R.I.

Aug. 21, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Aug. 25, 26, New Haven, Conn.

Nov. 4, Portland, Ore.

Nov. 5, Denver

Dec. 1, Orlando, Fla.

Dec. 3, New York

USRSA Announces New MRT

Michael Qium - Berwick, Victoria, Australia



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