Pulling Together

The tennis industry has never before seen such a unified, multifaceted effort to grow the game as is happening now. Over the last few years, we've seen growth in participation, equipment sales, pro tournament attendance, and much more — all thanks to the willingness of people, companies and organizations within this industry to pull together to support key industry initiatives.

The Tennis Industry Association stands as a driving force behind many of these cooperative initiatives. "Thanks to key support from the USTA, manufacturers, and others, we're able to implement programs and initiatives that have an impact on all aspects of the tennis business," says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.

"Our job at the TIA is to build consensus, and, along with the USTA, to move programs and initiatives forward," adds TIA President Dave Haggerty. "We're involved in the planning, development, marketing and research for both the tennis trade and the consumer."

Tennis Welcome Centers

The centerpiece for programs and initiatives helping to increase tennis participation are Tennis Welcome Centers. Currently, there are more than 2,060 TWCs throughout the U.S., with about half of those located in public parks. And more facilities are becoming TWCs every month.

Tennis facilities meeting certain basic requirements can become TWCs and receive free national, regional and local marketing support to attract new players to tennis. Popular pro players James Blake and Maria Sharapova serve as TWC spokespersons and appear in advertising and marketing materials, which you will be able to use in your local market. TWCs are listed for free on key consumer websites such as USTA.com, Tennis.com, TennisWeek.com and TennisChannel. com — so anyone searching for a place to get into the game can easily find you.

TWCs receive free banners, posters and fliers, along with opportunities to participate in racquet and ball discount programs. And you'll be eligible for co-op dollars up to $2,500 to market and advertise your programs. And each year, the TIA picks the Top 50 Tennis Welcome Centers for special recognition, including a plaque and public relations exposure.

Cardio Tennis

Officially launched two and half years ago, Cardio Tennis is becoming more and more popular throughout the country — and internationally. There are now more than 1,600 sites in the U.S. that offer Cardio Tennis, and that number continues to grow monthly. Cardio Tennis also is offered in Ireland, Germany and Turkey, and recently, it was showcased in both Britain and Japan.

Cardio Tennis features group drills to give players of all abilities a high-energy workout that helps anyone — whether a veteran player or beginner — get in shape and stay in shape, and have fun doing it. Taught by a teaching pro, CT participants consistently elevate their heart rates into their aerobic training zone and can burn more calories than in either singles or doubles tennis. The focus is on getting a great workout, but players also improve their tennis skills in the process.

Cardio Tennis sites (which must also be Tennis Welcome Centers) are listed on national consumer tennis websites for free. Official sites also have access to free drills and marketing and advertising materials, which include ads they can run in their local area featuring fitness guru and Cardio Tennis spokesmodel Denise Austin. In addition, a top-notch Cardio Tennis Speakers Team, led by TIA Cardio Tennis Manager Michele Krause, travels the country conducting workshops and more.

"Surveys show that facilities are realizing increases in lesson revenue, program fees, pro shop sales, court bookings, memberships and participation because of Cardio Tennis," says Krause. "And importantly, players are really having fun and getting in shape."

QuickStart Tennis

This year, a new play format designed to help get more children ages 10 and under into tennis officially launched. The QuickStart Tennis format (referred to as Project 36-60 during development) uses equipment, court dimensions and scoring tailored to the age and size of kids, and it stresses the importance of play and team competition.

Many organizations and manufacturers, including the USTA, TIA, USPTA, PTR, and NRPA, have contributed to the new QST format and are committed to making it successful. In fact, both teaching groups are incorporating the format into their tennis programming for children: USPTA Little Tennis and PTR Kids Tennis. For teaching pros and facilities, QuickStart Tennis gets more kids on court at one time, so facilities and pros can generate more revenue. But importantly, kids start having fun right away and want to stay with the game. QST will be incorporated into USTA Jr. Team Tennis, sanctioned tournaments, and the USTA Schools Program.


TWC and CT Fast Facts

To find out more about the programs here, visit Partners.TennisWelcomeCenter.com, Partners.CardioTennis.com, Partners.QuickStartTennis.com, and GrowingTennis.com.

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