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Haggerty to be inducted into HoF

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — David Haggerty’s decades of experience in sports have brought him in contact with nearly all segments of the tennis industry — recreational play, college tennis, tennis teaching professional, retail, national and international governing bodies, and professional tennis.

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“I’ve been fortunate to have seen tennis from just about every vantage point,” says Haggerty, who is the current president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), tennis’s world governing body. As the past chairman and president of the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), Haggerty also presided over the largest tournament in the world, the US Open, which this year starts on Monday, Aug. 28, in New York.

Also on Aug. 28, at a morning ceremony in midtown Manhattan, Haggerty will become the 13th member of the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame. The induction will take place during the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) Tennis Forum, which will be held at the Intercontinental Barclay Hotel. (Visit TennisIndustry.org for more information or to register for the Forum, which is free to attend.) Haggerty will be in good company, joining past inductees including Howard Head, Dennis Van der Meer, Alan Schwartz, Billie Jean King, Nick Bollettieri, Jim Baugh, Peter Burwash, Eve Kraft and Gene Scott.

Haggerty played tennis internationally as a junior, then received a tennis scholarship to play for George Washington University. He competed as a professional player before transitioning to the business side of the sport, where he worked for tennis equipment manufacturers, dealing closely with retailers, teaching pros and facilities. Throughout it all, he volunteered ceaselessly at the grassroots, sectional and national levels.

In 2010, Haggerty retired from business to devote himself full time to tennis as a volunteer, serving as vice president on the USTA Board of Directors before becoming USTA chairman and president in 2013. The two-year position allowed him to develop relationships with the pro tours, Grand Slams and players. In September 2015, he was elected president of the ITF, a four-year term.

“Dave continues to build on a successful leadership career in tennis, and continues to bring positive change to this sport,” says TIA President Jeff Williams. “We are thrilled to induct Dave into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame this year.”

“What I find most gratifying is leading change and taking on big challenges — they energize and excite me,” Haggerty says. He joined Prince Sports Group in 1980, eventually becoming general manager and an owner of the company. Haggerty became president of Dunlop Sports in 1994, then in 1998 joined Head/Penn, where he became chairman, CEO and president. He also was the TIA president from 2006 to 2008.

“Dave has been a leader in every aspect of this industry and is widely respected,” says current USTA Chairman, CEO and President Katrina Adams. “I proudly served as his first vice president in the USTA, and during that time, I learned how to navigate the business of communication and identifying areas of weakness to build a consensus. He’s a great listener, motivator, innovator and leader, and he strives to provide the very best opportunities our sport has to offer.”

“When I hired Dave at Prince in 1980, I knew he ‘had it.’ All he needed was the opportunity,” says Jim Baugh, a former sports manufacturing executive who now consults in sports and is the founder of PHIT America. “He’s been amazing in his career and has been successful in managing both major businesses as well as leading major governing bodies in the sport of tennis.”

“Dave is a calm and steady force in the industry and has been instrumental in the Tennis Industry Association’s direction and development,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to work directly with him when he was president, and admire his ongoing engagement and accessibility. He has the vision and passion to move this sport forward.”

Haggerty has a number of goals he continues to work toward. He is leading the ITF board to ensure significant increases in development spending to grow tennis around the world, along with making changes to improve the Davis Cup and Fed Cup formats. And he wants organizations in tennis to work together more frequently.

“Too often, I see ‘tennis’ act unilaterally, doing what each body thinks is best for them without thinking about what is best for the sport, the fans and the industries that support tennis,” he says. “When there is crisis, we all seem to come together for the greater good, but we don’t operate as cohesively as we should. I believe in collaboration — partnerships and communication can go a long way to helping tennis have a sustainable future.”

About the TIA

The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of the business of tennis by working closely with its industry partners and in support of the USTA in their development of initiatives to increase tennis participation. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 U.S. and global research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, managing the largest relational database, along with hosting annual TIA Tennis Forum, Leadership meetings and the T.O.M. Conference at major tournaments and events. Visit TennisIndustry.org or call 866-686-3036.

 

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