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.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced three moves for the executive staff at the new USTA National Campus, which is being constructed in Orlando, Fla. Kurt Kamperman will become Chief Executive, Community Tennis and USTA National Campus. Craig Morris has been hired as General Manager, Community Tennis and Youth Tennis. Tim Cass has been hired as General Manager, USTA National Campus.
Americans may soon see relief from the increasing costs and expenses to get physically active and healthy, with the announcement from U.S. Senate leaders in support of the PHIT Act, the top legislative priority for PHIT America and the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. Last week, the PHIT Act received the support it needs from four U.S. Senators—two Republicans and two Democrats—who are now committed to supporting the PHIT Act.
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 USTA is offering 100% funding to add 36- and 60-foot playing lines for school tennis programs, which will make it easier for organizers and teachers to offer tennis at school, and make it easier for students to excel at the game.
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.
The Cardio Tennis International Trainer Summit will be held Nov. 27-29 at the LTA National Tennis Centre in Roehampton in southwest London. Eighteen world-class tennis and fitness professionals from 11 countries will participate in the Summit.
Justine Henin, a former WTA Tour world No. 1 and seven-time major champion, Marat Safin, a two-time major champion and former world No. 1 on the ATP World Tour, and Helena Sukova, who won 14 major titles in doubles and mixed doubles, have all been nominated for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. All three are nominated in the Recent Player Category for induction in the Class of 2016.
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.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has announced a broad professional development initiative that will help prepare the next generation of tennis providers including tennis professionals, coaches, and administrators. Titled USTA University (USTAU), the program will offer curricula in tennis, management, hospitality and sport science.