The Tennis Industry Association, originally founded in 1974 as the American Tennis Federation, celebrates 40 years of growing the game in 2014. Serving as the industry's not-for-profit trade association, the mission of the TIA is to "promote the growth of tennis and the economic vitality of the tennis industry." Focusing its resources on the business of tennis, the TIA produces more than 70 annual research reports to help tennis businesses make the most informed strategic business decisions possible while also working closely with all of its industry partners to grow the game through grass-roots initiatives.
In its efforts to grow the sport and the game the TIA focuses on 4 key strategic platforms:
- Providing the Industry with Up-to-Date Market Intelligence
- Focusing on the Growth of Tennis & the Tennis Economy
- Positive Comminications and Positioning of the Sport & Industry
- Unifying the entire Industry Under One Brand - TENNIS!
- Making the sport easier for young children
- Highlighting the fun aspects of tennis
- More focus on play opportunities and development than competition
- Industry wide adoption of new rule change for youth competition
- Across the board support of shorter courts, racquets, and use of red, orange, and green balls
- Youth participation increase of 12% in 2013
- Getting and keeping consumers engaged with playing tennis
- Providing an easy to use platform to connect players to the game and other players
- Easy to use consumer searches for all things tennis
- Industry-wide support to promote the PlayTennis.com effort and use the site as a “rallying-cry” to get people into tennis
- Thousands of players registered to connect with other players
- Continuous evolution of the platform to provide players with resources to stay connected with tennis
- Getting new players into the game by having them take an introductory lesson with a certified teaching professional
- Plugging the leaky bucket of participation, increasing player retention
- Providing an industry supported “entry program” and messaging for consumers wanting to try tennis
- Support has been secured from both the PTR and USPTA to participate in messaging the Try Tennis promotion to their respective membership bases of teaching professionals.
- Highlighting viable career paths in tennis
- Encouraging young professionals and recent college graduates to consider the tennis industry as their career path of choice
- Developing the base of Professional Tennis Management schools to provide a bigger pool of highly qualified individuals to fill future leadership roles within the industry.
- CareersInTennis.com has quickly become the “go-to” source of information for potential jobseekers in tennis, with more than 40,000 views of jobs listed annually and the largest pool of open positions within the tennis industry
- Partnerships between the USTA’s Tennis On Campus program and other industry organizations has helped to increase awareness about viable career opportunities among a younger generation
- Industry leaders are beginning to take action on the Careers In Tennis effort, helping pave a path to increasing the number of Professional Tennis Management programs in the United States.
- Importance of tennis restringing
- Highlighting local retailers as providers of expert knowledge providers in tennis equipment
- Increasing foot traffic at local tennis retailers and pro-shops through an industry supported awareness campaign
- Consumer messaging and awareness effort is being driven through PlayTennis.com
- Trade based support for the initiative is strong with both the USRSA and industry manufacturers on-board with promoting the campaign to consumers
- Both consumer and trade marketing assets have been developed and made available on PlayTennis.com for view and use
- Cardiovascular Exercise while honing important tennis abilities such as footwork, hand-eye coordination, and more
- Creating a fun and social program that allows consumers to both play tennis and get in a good workout in a short time frame
- Providing an alternative “play option” for tennis players than the traditional single or doubles play
- Cardio Tennis is now delivered in over 30 Countries
- National Governing bodies of tennis, including the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) and Tennis Australia are using the program as a key driver of participation growth in their respective nationas
- Nearly 2,000 facilities in the U.S. deliver the program and over 1.5 million participants took part in Cardio Tennis programming in 2012.
Grow the Game Efforts
In 2008, the industry embarked on a collaborative and conscious effort to focus on developing the future of the sport, and in turn, the long-term profitability and sustainability of the industry. Over the past 5 years, the effort has evolved and we are starting to see results across the board of the cohesive efforts from various segments of the trade, including the USTA, teaching pro organizations, and members of the TIA. With a change in the rules of tennis in 2012 to include play for under 10?s on shorter courts, with shorter racquets, and red/orange/and green tennis balls, the landscape of youth tennis was drastically changed. Now, it’s easier than ever for kids to pick up the game and get on a pathway to lifelong play and become long-term contributors of the tennis economy.
A concept derived out of necessity to provide current and potential consumers with a central hub of information on how to get into and stay in the game of tennis, PlayTennis.com is a collaborative industry effort re-launched in May of 2013 by the Tennis Industry Association. The site serves as a “clearinghouse” of tennis data.
Beginning in May of 2014, tennis facilities around the U.S. will begin offering a promotion to beginning and returning tennis players to try tennis for free at their facility. Industry research shows that 65% of players who begin tennis in an introductory program continue with the sport. Getting consumers “hooked” on tennis by “trying” it is half the battle. As the game of a lifetime, we’re confident that if we can just get consumers “foot in the door,” that as an industry we’ll have a tremendous opportunity to grow our player base and ultimately, the number of frequent tennis players.
Launched in mid 2009 by the Tennis Industry Association, in conjunction with its industry partners, the Careers In Tennis initiative is aimed at creating awareness about viable career paths in the tennis industry and helping to encourage young professionals to join the industry as future leaders who can ensure the sustainability of the industry overall. As a whole, the tennis industry is graying and is one of the industry’s key challenge to long-term growth. This initiative is aimed at both generating awareness for careers in tennis, but also providing a platform for employers and jobseekers to easily connect with one another, through CareersInTennis.com.
Launched in the fall of 2013 in conjunction with the USRSA and industry manufacturers, the Tennis Tune-Up Campaign is an ongoing awareness effort developed to promote the importance of racquet restringing to the general tennis public, while also helping drive consumers to specialty retailers in their area to learn about “tuning-up” their game with new equipment.
Cardio Tennis is a cross-over fitness and tennis program that was started by the Tennis Industry Association, in conjunction with the U.S. Tennis Association in the summer of 2005. With more of a focus placed on getting a good cardiovascular workout, Cardio Tennis provides a great revenue generating opportunity for tennis providers and an option to get in to shape outside the confines of a gym for consumers. Players of all ability levels can participate in Cardio Tennis, even on the same court at the same time!