Moving into the New Year
The tennis industry continues to face similar challenges as other industries, due to the challenging economic environment. 2010 started with a short-term business rebound and the positive news regarding 2009 total participation reaching a level not seen in decades and with tennis once again ranked as the fastest growing traditional sport.
However, after this short-term rebound in the first part of 2010, economic growth has slowed and consumers are still delaying or avoiding new product purchase considerations. Through the third quarter of 2010, shipments of racquets, balls and strings have all shown declines in units and dollars vs. 2009.
But our sport is also positioned as one of the few that is growing, and as reported in the Wall Street Journal, tennis is perceived as cool and hip, with a growing media attention base. In addition, our recent TIA Court Activity Monitor survey continues to show increases in new players, leagues and court usage.
A few months ago, the sport¹s governing bodies (the ITF and USTA) passed the landmark rule change regarding 10-and-under tennis that, going forward, will also directly support a much stronger participation effort targeted at youth players. With a primary goal to get 10-and-under new players on the proper pathway to becoming frequent and lifetime players in our sport.
On the following pages, you will find some highlights from the TIA. With the challenging economic environment, we certainly recognize we need to move faster and more directly to support and build our industry from an economic standpoint. During 2010 we focused on more clearly establishing our key platforms that we feel will provide a stronger base of focus to support our industry as we go forward. These platforms are: Frequent Player Growth, Economic Measurements and Growth areas, and stronger Communication & Positioning for our sport and industry.
Moving forward, the TIA is dedicated to promoting the growth and economic vitality of tennis and helping out all sectors of the industry to the overall benefit of our common brand—TENNIS.
Below are just a few of the key efforts:
- Technology tools to build businesses and their ability to connect to players and increase tennis activity.
- A focus on services and programs to help retailers grow & profit.
- 10-and-under tennis initiative at retail with USTA-based promotion.
- Enhanced research to further define the marketplace and guide growth.
- Ensuring clearer pathways for new players & infrequent players to evolve into frequent players & consumers.
- Mainstream promotion of the health & fitness benefits of tennis.
- Delivering free tools and resources through the GrowingTennis System and at TennisIndustry.org.
- Industry- and consumer-wide awareness campaign to combat counterfeit racquets.
- The PlayTennis widget, which allows consumers to search for places to play, lessons and programs, retailers, teaching professionals, & more, is released and embedded in over 200 websites and blogs.
- The TIA fully launches its online career development tool and job board, CareersInTennis.com.
- The 2009 USTA/TIA Participation study shows that “new player” participation rates were up nearly 20% from 2008 to 7.1 million players.
- The Facility Manager’s Manual, a resource designed to help facility managers run and operate their businesses more effectively, is updated and released by the TIA.
- The TIA introduces a new e-newsletter format and media alerts to keep the industry better informed and connected.
- Cardio Tennis Kids makes its debut and the Cardio Tennis Kids “Playbook” is made available.
- The effect of the recession was seen in wholesale ball and racquet shipments — down 2.3% in balls and 11.1% in racquet units at year-end.
- The Tennis Marketplace is released, highlighting research across all sectors of the tennis industry.
- Improved communications efforts go into TennisIndustry.org to keep industry participants abreast of news and trends.
- TIA is a part of the delegation at the 10th Annual SGMA National Health Through Fitness Day on Capitol Hill.
- TIA holds board meeting during the BNP Paribas Showdown and focuses on key platforms: Economic Growth, Frequent Player Growth and Communications/Positioning.
- The 2010 Cost of Doing Business: Tennis Facilities is published, highlighting an 18% increase in revenue per court and a 65% retention rate of introductory tennis programs.
- Physical Activity Council releases research indicating tennis is the fastest growing traditional sport in the U.S., up 43% since 2000.
- The GrowingTennis System statistics show that the system is receiving more than 2 million consumer queries every month.
- TennisConnect, the TIA’s premier software business tool, launches TennisConnect Components, allowing businesses online tools that work with any existing website.
- The TIA and its Board of Directors set a goal of increasing frequent players from 5.4 million to 10 million by 2020.
- TIA announces a new partnership with the American Sports Builders Association.
- The Wall Street Journal highlights the industry’s success in bringing youth into tennis.
- The Retail Manager’s Manual, a guide to opening and running a tennis retail shop, is released by the TIA.
- The health section of the New York Times runs a story on Cardio Tennis titled “Recess with a Racket,” and Cardio Tennis launches a “Fan of the Week” contest on social media platforms.
- Funding is made available by the USTA to assist facilities in lining courts for 10-and-under tennis.
- According to the Court Activity Monitor, 58% of facilities felt there was an increase in new players.
- The TIA establishes new Facility and Retail Panels in an effort to stay better connected with the needs, issues and concerns of tennis facilities and retailers.
- More than 216,000 tennis players are registered on PlayTennis.com.
- TIA stats show there are 2,753 Tennis Welcome Centers; 1,729 Cardio Tennis sites; and 1,638 QuickStart Tennis sites registered in the U.S.
- CareersInTennis.com reaches over 700 job postings and over 300 registered job-seekers.
- The TIA holds is 4th Annual TIA Tennis Forum at the USTA Tennis Teacher’s Conference in NYC.
- Tennis legend Billie Jean King is inducted as the fourth member into the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame.
- The International Tennis Federation and the USTA both implement new rule changes requiring 10 & Under tennis tournaments to be played on scalable courts with scalable equipment.
- The TIA’s annual board meeting in NYC outlines opportunities to promote growth and partnership among tennis businesses in the industry.
- TennisIndustry.org is revamped, designed to serve as a central portal for the industry and connecting visitors to news, research, programs, resources and each other.
- TennisConnect releases a new MobileBuilder Component, allowing customers to create mobile pages for their tennis business.
- TIA President Jon Muir is confirmed by the Board of Directors for a second two-year term.
- A new Technology Panel is created to help keep the industry connected and informed on the latest trends in technology that can aid tennis businesses.
- The annual TIA publication “Tennis Is …” is released in RSI, outlining industry trends, news and research.
- A new webinar series platform is launched to help further educate tennis industry professionals on new developments affecting tennis businesses.
- The TIA develops a new partnership with FedEx to bring discounted shipping to members through the “PartnerShip” program.
- NBC’s hit TV show “The Biggest Loser” features Cardio Tennis, led by tennis star Anna Kournikova, to help contestants achieve their fitness goals.
- TIA announces a new program for tennis facilities, the Cardio Tennis–Get Fit! Challenge, set to run from January through May 2011.
- TennisConnect launches a new “Leagues and Ladders” component to help tennis facilities manage tournaments and leagues.
- The preliminary annual TIA Economic Index study values the tennis industry at just over $5.6 billion.
- TIA’s Cost of Doing Business Retailer Study is released and shows net profit remained stable at 23% for tennis retailers despite the turbulent economy.
- Tennis glamour sensation Anna Kournikova signs on to be the spokesperson for Cardio Tennis.
- The first two webinars in the TIA’s new series focus on social media for the tennis industry and tips for retailers regarding racquets and stringing.
- TIA develops a PTR Edition of TennisConnect to help members grow their business and the game.
- The TIA launches a campaign to make consumers aware of the proliferation of counterfeit racquets and to buy only from authorized retailers.
TIA Update search
TIA Update items
- Tennis Leads Traditional Sports In Participation Growth Rate
- Attention Tennis Providers: Update or Add Your Information Now at GrowTennis.com!
- 2011 State of the Industry Report
- Retailers: Stock Up On 10 and Under Tennis Balls
- 'Dashboard' tracks progress on 10 and Under Tennis
- Tennis Retail A Key Focus At Industry Meetings
- Simple Message to Serve As a Rallying Call for Industry Growth
- Tennis Providers: What Does PlayTennis.com Mean for You?
- Resources for TIA Retail Members
- Business Assessment Program for Tennis Retailers