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Looking to get more kids in the game? Based on research by the TIA and USTA, that’s a smart idea for your business. Here a few of the key findings from the recently released 2013 edition of the “State of the Industry” report that have to do with Youth Tennis and what they may mean for tennis providers.
For the first half of 2013 the TIA has been focused on industry efforts to grow the game and the business of tennis. Under the direction of TIA President Greg Mason—whose two-year term commenced at the beginning of 2013—and our board of directors, we continue to focus our efforts on our key strategic platforms.
Red, orange, and green tennis balls, which were introduced to the market on a wide-scale in 2008 for utilization in play and instruction for players aged 10 and under, have a new replacement timeline recommendation from the International Tennis Federation.
Like any business, you need to use all the tools you have to get ahead, including industry research, such as the recently released 2013 edition of the “State of the Industry” report. Here a few of the key findings of the report and what they may mean for tennis providers. (You’ll find more analysis of the research in a story in the upcoming July issue of Racquet Sports Industry magazine.)
To learn more about industry research and reports available, visit TennisIndustry.org/Research or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the most recent USTA/TIA tennis participation study, the age demographic that saw the greatest percentage increase in 2012 was young players 6 to 11, which increased 13% from 2011. Clearly, messages about 10 and Under Tennis are reaching kids, their parents, and tennis providers—and all of that is having a positive influence in other industry segments, too.
Tennis director and former club owner Rick Vetter says it’s not rocket science: Fewer Courts + More Players = More Income. How do you put this formula into practice at your tennis facility? One of the most reliable answers is with 10 and Under Tennis, which brings more kids onto the court at one time. But there’s a bonus, adds Vetter: 10 and Under Tennis also helps you build your base of players for the future.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced the return of its SmashZone Mobile Tour, which will hit the road for a 22-city tour to introduce youth tennis to kids and parents across the country. SmashZone began as the premier fan interactive attraction at the US Open before being showcased across the country. Since its inception in 2011, SmashZone has attracted more than 2 million people to its tennis courts.
The USTA celebrated the refurbishment and creation of 10,000 youth-sized tennis courts in the U.S. as part of USTA’s commitment to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. A celebratory event, Court 10K, was held on March 19 at the Tamiami Tennis Center in Miami to commemorate the milestone.
Beginning in early 2012 the Tennis Industry Association worked closely with the USTA and tennis industry manufacturers to develop a National Youth Tennis Retail Initiative plan. The focus of this plan was to develop consistent messaging that would help educate consumers and retailers on the proper equipment for youth tennis as well as drive them to the website, youthtennis.com, where they could find play opportunities quickly and easily. As a result, the TIA coordinated the printing of over 1 million tennis racquet hang-cards to be placed on youth racquets at the various retail channels throughout the United States. In addiiton, the TIA worked closely with the USTA to develop POP signage for retailers to utilize in their stores.