Tennis Industry magazine


Marketing Tennis: How to Move the Needle

A three-pronged approach — initiatives, marketing and sales — will help bring more people to your courts.

By Casey Conrad

How do we get more people to play tennis? It’s not a new question. We all work at trying to engage more people in the game. Why, then, has it proven so hard to move the needle in the right direction?

Jay Abraham, one of the most brilliant marketers of all time, believes that if you want to increase your business by 10 percent, you should find the most successful operators in your industry and emulate them. If you want to increase your business by 100 percent, however, you need go outside your industry, find what’s working and then bring those concepts into your industry.

If tennis is going to experience a revival and grow, the industry needs to emulate what other industries have done. That means a multi-faceted approach that includes initiatives, marketing and sales. Without all three elements, success is unlikely.

• Initiatives are any type of program or PR campaign that drives awareness, goodwill and, ultimately, interest. Most businesses or organizations fail when their initiatives are too direct, meaning that they promote the product or service instead of a specific outcome of using the product. The average consumer is not sitting at home saying, “Gee, I think it would be fun to learn how to play tennis.” More likely, he or she wants to lose weight, maintain independence, keep their kids healthy with fun activities, etc. Initiatives don’t need to directly correlate to tennis, but should focus on solving a problem as a result of playing tennis.

• Marketing is the second component. The goal of every initiative, activity, outreach or advertisement should be to build a list of prospects who have expressed an interest in playing tennis. To move an individual to action requires education and understanding, which happens with quality communication. Emails, newsletters, audios, videos and live events are all ways to keep prospects engaged. Weave a call to action into these materials, but remember that the primary goal is education about how your product — tennis — will solve their issues.

• Sales is the final component. The reality is, sales is nothing more than education plus motivation. Most people need some support to start a new behavior, and this is where professional sales skills are important. Keep in mind, sales skills are learned, not something that comes naturally to most people. Prospects need to be encouraged to buy and staff needs to be comfortable asking.

By balancing initiatives, marketing and sales, your prospect pipeline can be filled — and so, too, will your courts!

International sales and marketing consultant Casey Conrad has been in the fitness industry for 27 years. She’s been a featured presenter worldwide and has written books and articles about sales and marketing. Her website is



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