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Har-Tru Sports Acquired by Tuckahoe Holdings

Har-Tru Sports was sold in mid-May to Richmond, Va.-based Tuckahoe Holdings. Har-Tru had been owned and operated by Luck Companies since 1998.

Tuckahoe Holdings is a private investment firm focused on building a portfolio of operating companies that it owns on a permanent basis, according to a statement on the sale. Har-Tru is the first tennis company in the Tuckahoe portfolio.

“Our team is extremely excited about this transition,” said Pat Hanssen, president of Har-Tru. “This has been a really positive experience. From the beginning, Charlie Luck has wanted to be certain he sold Har-Tru to the right kind of buyer. Tuckahoe has a buy-and-hold mentality and a strong consumer focus, and they’re excited to be in the tennis industry. They are going to bring great new energy and focus to the business, to our products and, most importantly, to our customers.”

Har-Tru started as Lee Tennis in 1965, providing clay tennis-court material and clay-court maintenance tools to the industry. Since then it has evolved into a global tennis company with a product line that includes natural and synthetic clay court surfaces as well as equipment, accessories and amenities for all court types. Along with Har-Tru, the company has developed a stable of well-known brands including ClayTech, HydroCourt, Courtmaster and Hoag. Company operations are based in Troy, Va. Luck Companies announced its intention to sell Har-Tru last November.

PlaySight to Equip All Courts at Lake Nona

All 102 tennis courts at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Fla., will have either PlaySight’s Smart Court or video technology. Thirty-two courts will be full Smart Courts, with analytics and multi-angle video analysis.

“The USTA National Campus will be this country’s model tennis facility, and with the addition of PlaySight, the USTA can bring technology generally reserved for top professionals to players of all ages and abilities,” says USTA Executive Director and COO Gordon Smith.

PlaySight provides an all-in-one video and analytics solution for sports, including video and live streaming, real-time statistics and analytics, instant replay, line calling, and a mobile and social on- and off-court experience.

The USTA broke ground at Lake Nona in April 2015, and the project is expected to be completed late this year. For more, visit playsight.com.

Tennis Leaders Gather At USTA Symposium

The USTA held its first USA Tennis Symposium in early May in Orlando, Fla., with representatives from the USTA and organizations including the ATA, ITA, NIRSA, PTR, TIA, USPTA and WTT. The symposium and discussions analyzing the state of the sport were led by USTA Chairman of the Board and President Katrina Adams.

The overall purpose of the symposium was to introduce U.S. tennis leaders to the USTA National Campus and discuss how the new Home of American Tennis can benefit each attending organization and the sport of tennis as a whole. Special emphasis was placed on programming and support for Youth Tennis and U.S. Player Development.

USTA Joins With NFHS For ‘Coaching Tennis’ Course

In partnership with the USTA, the National Federation of State High School Associations has launched the “Coaching Tennis” online course through the NFHS Learning Center at NFHSLearn.com. The course provides information on tennis coaching philosophy and techniques, as well as managing a team and its practices. “Coaching Tennis” expands upon the USTA’s teaching philosophy, and serves as a basis for coaches to develop their own individual styles and techniques.

“Providing educational opportunities is essential to enhance the skills of high school coaches,” says Glenn Arrington, director of USTA High School Tennis. “Our partnership with NFHS allows us to make a positive impact in our sport by ensuring high school coaches are provided valuable resources to help their players.”

“We are pleased to add tennis to our list of sport-specific courses since all of our states are involved in hosting championships in this popular sport,” says Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services.

Tennis becomes the 15th sport with an online course through the NFHS Learning Center.

USTA Names New Chief Marketing Officer

The USTA has hired retail marketing expert Amy Choyne as chief marketing officer. Choyne will oversee the USTA’s marketing efforts across all divisions, including community tennis and professional tennis.

Choyne joins the USTA from a multi-faceted retailer marketing career that included senior positions at Aeropostale, Kenneth Cole Productions, Anthropologie, Barneys New York, Limited Brands and Giorgio Armani. Her responsibilities have run through the entire marketing spectrum, from creative campaign development to strategic branding and brand imaging, as well as digital marketing development and database management.

Choyne fills the role held previously by Sue Hunt, who left the USTA last fall.

TIA Forum Aug. 29 in NYC

The ninth Annual TIA Tennis Forum will be Monday morning, Aug. 29, at the Grand Hyatt New York City. In addition, this year the TIA will present a Tennis & Technology fair that will highlight many innovative products on the market that are impacting sports and fitness activities. The Forum is free to attend, but space is limited, so registration is required at tennisindustry.org/forum.

Guinness Record-Holders For Longest Volley Rally

Twin brothers Ettore Rossetti (left) and Angelo Rossetti (right) recently received the certificate recognizing their Official Guinness World Record for the longest tennis volley rally. The twin brothers hit 30,576 consecutive volleys on Aug. 8, 2015, at Weston Racquet Club in Weston, Conn. The effort raised over $112,000 for Save the Children.

Head Debuts Next Gen Speed Limited Edition

Head has introduced the 2016 Speed Limited Edition racquet, with its “matte-metallic look” to capture the “fast game of the next ‘Speed’ generation,” according to the company. The frame, created with the help of up-and-coming pro Alexander Zverev, is based on the Graphene XT Speed and designed for a versatile game mixing power and control. It has a 16/19 string pattern. Visit Head.com for more details.

Book Chronicles Senior Player’s Tennis Quest

Late to the Ball: Age. Learn. Fight. Love. Play Tennis. Win. is a new book by former New York Times Magazine editor Gerry Marzorati that recounts his quest to learn tennis in his late 50s and become a competitive player on the national senior circuit. Amid the setbacks and successes, Marzorati, an award-winning author, attains a deeper appreciation for the wonders of tennis, and learns that it’s never too late in life to rediscover the joys of being a student. The hardcover book ($26, published by Scribner) went on sale in mid-May.

Tecnifibre Continues ‘Young Guns’ Contest

As part of the “On The Road to the ATP World Tour” program, Tecnifibre created the first “Young Guns Contest” in 2015. For 2016, the four-month contest will follow four rookies on the pro circuit competing for a cash prize of $50,000. The inaugural contest was won by American Denis Kudla.

This year’s four Young Guns are Gregoire Barrere of France (22 years old, No. 242), Mitchell Krueger of the U.S. (22 years old, No. 267), Omar Jasika of Australia (19 years old, No. 220) and Daniil Medvedev of Russia (20 years old, No. 240). They’ll be evaluated on their results on the court and their ability to share their life on the pro circuit.

The winner’s check will be presented by the presidents of Tecnifibre and the ATP at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.

USTA, Discovery Team For ‘Careers Beyond Court’

The USTA and Discovery Education, a leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, have launched a new educational initiative, Careers Beyond the Court.

Available at no cost, the program provides high school students, educators and families with resources that explore the many career opportunities available in the tennis industry. Careers Beyond the Court, the USTA’s first partnership with a global education company, includes videos, career profiles, industry guides and a list of colleges with specific degrees to consider.

“To develop the next generation of leaders in our sport, it is essential to provide professional development programs and education,” says Scott Schultz, managing director of USTA University (USTAU). “We are extremely proud to team up with Discovery Education to provide high school students the resources and skills necessary to achieve success in the tennis industry.”

Visit careersbeyondthecourt.com for additional information.

Ashaway Badminton Strings Gain Worldwide Appeal

Since its introduction last year, Ashaway’s ZyMax Fire family of badminton strings has been racking up impressive sales figures around the world. The four strings are ZyMax 62 Fire, ZyMax 66 Fire, ZyMax 66 Fire Power and ZyMax 69 Fire. ZyMax 62 Fire is a 0.62-mm micro-gauge string designed for maximum repulsion and shuttle response. Both ZyMax 66 Fire and ZyMax 66 Fire Power are 0.66-mm strings designed for high performance players. ZyMax 69 Fire is the heavyweight of the group and is geared to provide durability and string life. Visit ashawayusa.com for more information.

Fila, Hall of Fame Launch Junior Tennis Program

The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Fila have launched a new partnership focused on junior tennis development. It features multiple junior invitational tournaments hosted at the historic Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., a new junior ambassador program and an ongoing involvement with the Hall of Fame Tennis Club’s junior tennis program.

“This new partnership provides an important opportunity to bring junior players to the place where tennis history is celebrated and to educate them about the successes of those who have come before them in the sport,” says Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin. “We are very excited by this new partnership and the future opportunities it will offer.”

The partnership kicked off at the first Fila Junior Tennis Indoor Invitational at the Hall of Fame Tennis Club in April. The two-day tournament drew 18 junior players from around New England. The next tournament will take place in July, in conjunction with the ATP Hall of Fame Tennis Championship.

ITA Partners With FloSports

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association announced a five-year deal with FloSports to provide live streaming coverage of all ITA National Championships and a total of 15 ITA events per year, beginning in the fall. All content and programming will be streamed live on FloTennis.com.

In addition, FloSports, a direct-to-consumer, subscription-based sports media company in Austin, Texas, will produce a series of original documentaries that will focus on highlighting college tennis’ programs and personalities, along with a weekly college tennis show.

Daglis to head PTM Program at Berry College

Tom Daglis has been appointed executive director of the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College and will also serve as the director of the Professional Tennis Management Program at Berry College in Rome, Ga. Kevin Brundle has been selected to serve as director of tennis at the Rome Tennis Center and assistant director of the PTM program. Daglis will oversee the strategy, operations, staff, finances and culture of Rome Tennis Center at Berry College and Downtown Tennis Center. With the PTM program, one of five currently sponsored by the USTA nationally, Daglis will oversee the four-year academic and experiential/work program.

A career tennis professional, Daglis is a certified USPTA Master Professional who served as USPTA national president. He is also a former director of the PTM programs at Methodist University in North Carolina and Ferris State in Michigan. The Rome Tennis Center at Berry College is scheduled to officially open in July.

PBI Resorts Receive Honors

Peter Burwash International recently received recognition from Real Estate Scorecard, Bloomberg and TennisResortsOnline.

Real Estate Scorecard’s Tennis Community of the Year is Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Ga., a program managed by PBI since 2004 and under the direction of PBI tennis director Dave Neuhart. The award also recognized the tennis center for its extensive programming, activities and calendar of tennis events.

Four of the eight resorts on Bloomberg.com’s World’s Most Luxurious Tennis Resorts are PBI-directed tennis programs: Four Seasons Resort Nevis, JW Marriott Desert Springs, Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt in Austria and Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai. And Tennis Resorts Online’s annual rankings honored six PBI-operated programs in its Top 25, with 12 in the Top 50 in the world.

USRSA Announces New MRTs

Morrison Carlson — Johns Creek, Ga.

Peyton Daniel — Sandy Springs, Ga.

Keith Hardie — Fayetteville, N.C.

Jonathan Nation — Roswell, Ga.

Barry Roach — Johns Creek, Ga.

Peter Haberberger — Victoria, Australia

Braeden Beller — British Columbia, Canada

Jimmy Costmagna — B.C., Canada

People Watch

The numbers

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

January-March, 2016 vs. 2015

Units 2016 113,696
2015 120,046
% change vs. ’15 -5%
Dollars 2016 $17,163,000
2015 $17,845,000
% change vs. ’15 -4%
Price 2016 $150.95
2015 $148.66
% change vs. ’15 2%

Top-Selling Racquets at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars

Jan.-March. 2016

Best Sellers

  1. Babolat Pure Aero (100) 2016 (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Drive 2015 (MP)
  3. Wilson Pro Staff 97 (MP)
  4. Babolat Pure Aero Team 2016 (MP)
  5. Babolat Pure Aero Lite 2016 (MP)

“Hot New Racquets”

(introduced in the past 12 months)

  1. Babolat Pure Aero (100) 2016 (MP)
  2. Babolat Pure Aero Team 2016 (MP)
  3. Babolat Pure Aero Lite 2016 (MP)
  4. Head XT Radical MP (MP)
  5. Wilson Ultra 100 2016 (MP)

Top-Selling Tennis Shoes at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date dollars, Jan.-March. 2016

  1. Asics Gel Resolution 6
  2. Prince T22
  3. Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour 2015
  4. Nike Zoom Cage 2
  5. Asics Gel Solution Speed 3

Top-Selling Strings at Specialty Stores

By year-to-date units, Jan.-March. 2015

  1. Babolat RPM Blast
  2. Prince Synthetic Gut Duraflex
  3. Wilson NXT
  4. Wilson Sensation
  5. Luxilon Alu Power

(Source: TIA)

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