The USTA recently shared a report on national media attention that the 10 and Under Tennis initiative has been receiving. Among the highlights were a media tour of TV stations by 10 and Under Tennis spokesperson Christine Taylor, local coverage of “March Into Tennis” events in top markets, TV segments on youth programs, and extensive coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama playing tennis for the “Let’s Move!” initiative.
Tennis Night in America and March Into Tennis, in conjunction with the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in early March, were major boosts as Taylor conducted TV interviews with 15 stations across the country, in addition to other media interviews before and during the event. The USTA and Taylor also were participants in a TNIA press conference with Showdown participants Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki. The players also talked on-camera about 10 and Under Tennis, and the ESPN and MSG on-air commentators mentioned the initiative throughout the broadcast of the BNP Paribas Showdown.
The educational newsmagazine “Teen Kids News” ran a one-minute video segment featuring Venus Williams, interviewed from the 10 and Under Tennis kid’s competition that took place during the Fed Cup in Worcester, Mass., in March. Teen Kids News airs on more than 200 TV stations to about 91% of the country. Also in March, a 10 and Under Tennis demonstration at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., attracted actress Elisabeth Shue, pros John Isner and Sloan Stephens, and Kevin Frazier of “The Insider” TV show, along with a number of other broadcast and print outlets.
Stories and photos of First Lady Michelle Obama playing tennis at a March 13 “Let’s Move!” event in Washington, DC, were picked up in numerous print, broadcast and web media nationally. She joined former Olympians and Paralympians, along with former tennis pro MaliVai Washington and 2012 tennis Paralympian hopeful David Wagner.
SmashZone kicked off its 21-city national tour on March 9 at the Atlanta Fair, featuring 10 and Under Tennis and introducing the sport to kids and their parents. The USTA is targeting local media markets of the tour stops, ending with Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play event in Washington, DC, in September.
Other related areas that gained coverage across the country include the USTA’s $900,000 investment in grants to build new courts to accommodate 10 and Under Tennis and fund new programs and training; the USTA and Nickelodeon partnership for the “Tennis Really Rocks” sweepstakes; and, earlier this year, extensive coverage of the 10 and Under Tennis rule change, mandating that sanctioned tournaments be played utilizing smaller, lighter racquets and lower bouncing balls on smaller courts.