The third quarter of 2015 was bumpy for the tennis marketplace overall, with only strings and ROG tennis balls growing in wholesale shipments. Racquet unit shipments continue to lag, although pro/specialty retailers showed minor growth in racquet unit sales. However, there appears to be some early signs of overcoming the rust from issues in the greater shipment environment that nagged the industry in 2014 and continued into 2015.
Verifying your facility, business and retail information for the industry’s annual census is an important activity of the TIA to keep current information on courts, program, retail and more. A “snapshot” of information was delivered to industry inboxes this week. For providers of programs, the information helps supply consumer search websites including PlayTennis.com, YouthTennis.com, CardioTennis.com and more.
Plans for “Rally the Family,” a new industry-wide campaign announced during the US Open that is designed to bring more players into the sport of tennis, continue to be refined in preparation for testing in select markets this fall and winter. The new family tennis initiative is expected to be rolled out to consumers in March.
The agenda for the 2016 Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference, which will take place March 23-25 in Miami, includes topics focused on growing revenue for clubs and facilities. The third annual T.O.M. Conference, presented by the TIA, will bring together industry leaders and top experts in the field of facility operations and management. The event will include a separate session on the State of the Tennis Industry.
In support of small businesses throughout the country, the sixth annual Small Business Saturday will be Nov. 28. Founded by American Express® in 2010, Small Business Saturday® is held on the Saturday following Thanksgiving and celebrates the small businesses that help support their neighborhoods and boost the local economy. Tennis shops and facilities are encouraged to sign up for Small Business Saturday by visiting www.shopsmall.com.
With traffic on PlayTennis.com continuing to increase, the home page on the key industry-supported website devoted to getting people into tennis and playing more often is being streamlined and simplified. Visitors to the PlayTennis.com home page will be able to quickly and easily dive into searches that will return courts, program, players, retailers and much more in their local areas.
While overall wholesale ball shipments ticked up slightly for the first six months of 2015, in general tennis equipment shipments into the wholesale market for the first half continued to be a challenge for manufacturers and retailers.
The TIA and USTA have released the updated “Tennis Talking Points” document, which highlights and summarizes a number of topics regarding the tennis industry, with a focus on key messaging. The document, which can be used to help promote tennis locally, is available to view and download at TennisIndustry.org under “media.”
Reserve your spot now for the 8th Annual TIA Tennis Forum, which will be Monday, Aug. 31, at the Grand Hyatt New York City (42nd Street and Lexington Avenue). The Forum, which is free to attend, will be from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. in Salon V on the Ballroom level. It will also include the Tennis Industry Hall of Fame induction for industry pioneer Peter Burwash.
Two years ago, the State of the Tennis Industry meeting in New York was the start of an examination of the health of our industry. Through subsequent Tennis Summits and Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conferences, the TIA brought the industry together to exchange ideas and open a dialogue on issues and concerns, which continues this year at the TIA Tennis Forum on Aug. 31 in New York City.