Tennis facility owners and managers should mark March 23 to 25 on their calendars now, as the third annual Tennis Owners & Managers (T.O.M.) Conference takes shape in Miami, during the Miami Open pro tournament. Among the important topics will be the new, industry-wide “Rally the Family” campaign and how tennis facilities can take advantage of this nationwide initiative to help boost business while increasing participation for all ages.
Tennis promoter Jerry Solomon and a group of financial backers have bought the BB&T Open, the ATP Tour tournament in Atlanta that is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series and played at the end of July. Earlier this year, the same Solomon-led group also acquired the ATP event in Memphis, which is played in February.
ESPN’s first exclusive US Open resulted in the tournament’s biggest TV audience in four years – capped by a Men’s Championship seen by 43 percent more people than last year – plus an explosion of live streaming on WatchESPN. The average audience across two weeks on ESPN and ESPN2 was 1,265,000 viewers (P2+), up 20 percent compared to 1,054,000 a year ago with a combination of cable and broadcast telecasts, according to Nielsen. It was the most-viewed US Open since 2011 (1,443,000).
John Suchenski, the senior manager of programming and acquisitions at ESPN, is the newest member of the Tennis Industry Association’s Board of Directors. Suchenski oversees the network’s portfolio of tennis and golf properties and maintains relationships with the tournaments, event organizers, and other industry partners.
The tennis world went glam off the courts during US Open Finals weekend when more than 500 guests gathered on Saturday, Sept. 12 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City for The Legends Ball presented by BNP Paribas. The annual social event hosted by the International Tennis Hall of Fame celebrated tennis and honors some of the sport's greatest champions and contributors.
In a special ceremony on Sept. 9 at the US Open, the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) honored former Hall of Fame CEO Mark L. Stenning by presentation of the 2015 Golden Achievement Award. The Golden Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions internationally to tennis in the fields of administration, promotion, or education, and who has devoted long and outstanding service to the sport.
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.
The 8th Annual Tennis Industry Association (TIA) Tennis Forum will be Monday, Aug. 31, at the Grand Hyatt New York City, from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. At the Forum, tennis industry executives will present the latest news about the state of the tennis industry, including participation and equipment sales research, updates on initiatives, and an announcement about a major long-term campaign designed to bring more players into the sport.
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.
Tennis fans can receive free admission to the US Open grounds on Sept. 10, the second Thursday of the event. The action on the courts will include semifinal matches in men’s and women’s doubles, and the USTA American Collegiate Invitational, which will feature top U.S. collegiate players.