Tennis Industry magazine


Our Serve: Rally Point for Tennis

To grow our sport locally, it’s time we breathed new life into National Tennis Month.

Do you remember National Tennis Month? Did you even know there is such a month?

Back in the early 2000s, the USTA actively promoted National Tennis Month—the month of May—encouraging providers to get people of all ages and abilities out on court by offering free or low-cost programs, clinics, round robins and other tennis events. But about seven or eight years ago, NTM just seemed to peter out—it became an afterthought, with little planning and no promotion.

It’s time we breathed new life into this month-long celebration and promotion of tennis. This sport and industry needs National Tennis Month—maybe now more than ever.

Think about what National Tennis Month can be: a specific time of year where all of us in this industry are focused on promoting and developing the growth of tennis, and creating new players. What could be better?

National Tennis Month can be a rallying point for tennis, a chance to promote all the good things this sport brings to a community. Since it’s at the local level where tennis will truly grow, NTM can be whatever we need or want it to be in our own communities.

Yet NTM also would have the strength of a huge national promotion behind it. It can be a catalyst for business for teaching pros, retailers and facilities. It can help strengthen the sport’s connection locally through awareness and advocacy.

There would be a few other important tie-ins at that time of year—May is also National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. Plus, a new national event designed to promote and encourage Americans to “get moving” was recently announced: PHIT America Month.

We know tennis is one of the healthiest sports to play, for both body and mind—and as an industry, we finally seem to understand that the health and fitness aspects of tennis are strong selling points. There are natural ways to connect National Tennis Month with both National Physical Fitness & Sports Month and with PHIT America Month.

As I’ve said before, we overcomplicate things in this industry. Despite the millions of dollars we’ve spent over the last 10 years, participation has remained relatively flat. Effectively growing this game at the grassroots level may well be a case of keeping things simple.

Regenerating a simple, promotional idea like National Tennis Month, which has a major national component yet drills down locally, can reap benefits for tennis and all its dedicated providers. •

Peter Francesconi
Editorial Director



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