5 of 8 Indicators Available Reporting Growth

Every year since 1999, the USTA and TIA have carried out a major national survey of the number of tennis players in the U.S. While this has been an important measure of the health of tennis over the years, the industry felt that rather than risk being over-reliant on a single survey, more measures could be used to introduce a series of checks and balances sort of like creating our own Dow Jones Industrial Average for Tennis.

So last year, the TIA/USTA created the Tennis Health Index, which combines eight indicators to give an accurate measure of the state of tennis in the U.S. on a yearly basis. The components of this robust index include a number of participation surveys from various sources; ball shipment data; and facility, player and court activity monitors to give a broad and diversified view of the development of the industry. So far, five measures are in:

⇑ Tennis Participation — USTA/TIA Phone Survey: In 2007, tennis topped 25.1 million players, the first time since 1999 that the sport has broken the 25 million barrier. In addition, since 2003, frequent players (who play 21 times a year or more) have increased 15%.

⇑ Ball Shipments: The TIA has tracked tennis ball shipments for more than 20 years. Tennis ball units have historically been a good indicator of the level of play. Shipments have increased 15% since 2003.

⇑ Court Activity Monitor: For the first time in 2007, the TIA/USTA began an "audit" to measure activity at facilities. A panel of 628 facilities was surveyed online and by telephone. From this, a "total courts used" figure was calculated for 2007. A total of 137 million courts were booked/used last year.

⇑ Annual Facility Survey: As part of the TIA/USTA's Court Activity Monitor, a bi-annual survey of facilities is carried out. From the survey, 60% of facilities said new players had increased and 6% said new players had decreased. The "net" of 54% will be included in the Tennis Health Index.

⇑ Tennis Participation — NSGA Mail Panel Survey: The National Sporting Goods Association has been tracking participation in dozens of sports for nearly 30 years. Its 2007 survey, of participants 7 years old and older who play more than once a year, shows a nearly 20% increase in tennis participation.

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