TIA Tennis Forum Debuts to Enthusiastic Audience

The first TIA Tennis Forum, presented by Tennis magazine, drew a capacity crowd on Monday, Aug. 27, as part of the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference held in NYC during the US Open. The hour-long forum "shared the good news in tennis," said TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. "Many of the attendees weren't aware of all that has been happening in this industry, and it was a great opportunity to come together and present the facts and our unified mission of tennis growth."

TIA President Dave Haggerty pointed out increases in both racquet and ball sales and talked about growth in the youth market, which is up nearly 49 percent in junior racquet sales over the last three years. He also discussed new research tools such as the Court Activity Monitor and the Tennis Health Index to help the industry measure future growth.

The Tennis Welcome Center program also has been important for industry growth, said Haggerty, adding that last year, the average TWC saw 39 new players and 34 returning players, and 82 percent had an increase in tennis lesson revenue as a result of the program. Moving forward, said Haggerty, pro player James Blake will help to promote TWCs and Cardio Tennis.

Kurt Kamperman, the USTA's chief executive of Community Tennis, told the crowd that the USTA League and Junior Team Tennis programs have both been growing each year for the last three years. Currently, a total of more than 700,000 players are involved in the programs, and last year saw more than 15 percent growth. "This year to date, we're 30 percent ahead of 2006," Kamperman added.

He also pointed out other key initiatives, such as the revamped schools program and Tennis in the Parks, and the newest initiative, QuickStart Tennis (which had gone by the working title "36-60").

"With QuickStart Tennis, kids enter on a team, learn on a team and play on a team," using age-appropriate equipment such as transition balls, shorter racquets, and shorter courts, said Kamperman.

"The USTA partnership with the Tennis Industry Association is absolutely vital," said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Jane Brown Grimes. The TIA plans to hold the second annual Tennis Forum during the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference in 2008.

Did you know?

The complete Tennis Forum presentation can be downloaded at GrowingTennis.com by clicking on the "News You Can Use" tab. For more information, visit TennisIndustry.org, email info@tennisindustry.org or call toll-free 1-866-686-3036.

SportMaster

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