Reduced budgets, smaller, overworked staff and shortened hours of operation press Parks & Recreation Departments into exploring various methods to make ends meet. When it comes to tennis, though, developing relationships with local Community Tennis Associations can help a rec department save money, increase programming, fill their tennis courts, and open the doors for grants and scholarships.
The Tennis Industry Association continues to work closely with manufacturers, in conjunction with the USTA, to create a National Youth Tennis Retail Promotion, which helps educate both consumers and retailers in all channels on age-appropriate youth tennis equipment that consumers should be purchasing for their young players.
As the world’s best players gather in New York for the US Open, so too are industry leaders gathering for a series of meeting and events involving all areas of the sport with discussions focused on future growth for the tennis industry. Among some of the key meetings scheduled are the TIA Tennis Forum at the Tennis Show, TIA Board Meeting, along with separate dedicated meetings for TIA manufacturers and others to focus on youth tennis developments and updates with the USTA and the ITF.
Playtennis.com, which relaunched to consumers last month, is helping all types of players—whether current, new to the game, or returning to tennis—find everything they need to know about playing the “sport for a lifetime.” PlayTennis.com was developed through a cooperative industry effort and conveys a simple, unified message to get more people out on the courts more frequently.
The USTA is leveraging its partnership with Nickelodeon, one of the largest cable TV networks capable of reaching children and their families, to promote and bring USTA Free Tennis Play Days to tennis sites across the country. These Free Tennis Play Days will be marketed as a part of and in conjunction with Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play to be held on October 6 at Riverside Park in New York City, where the USTA's growing 10 and Under Tennis initiative will be featured.
The USTA and TIA announced the launch of the new playtennis.com site, designed to help all tennis players—whether regular, new or returning to the game—find out everything they need to know about getting into the game and playing more tennis.
The 42nd Annual USTA Tennis Teachers Conference is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Grand Hyatt New York and will run through Aug. 27. The event brings together hundreds of tennis teachers, coaches, tennis advocates and industry partners. World-class speakers will provide current, cutting-edge educational opportunities for all tennis providers. For more information and to register, visit www.usta.com/ttc.
Former USTA Executive Director Lee Hamilton of Dallas passed away on June 15. Hamilton served a variety of roles at the community and section levels, and was a former president of the USTA Texas Section. He was executive director of USTA national from 2003 to 2007.
Looking to build or line 36-foot and 60-foot courts for your 10 and Under Tennis programs? The newest edition of “Tennis Courts: A Construction & Maintenance Manual” can help with all aspects of creating the right environment for youth tennis.
To monitor and report on the progress of 10 and Under Tennis, the USTA has created a “Dashboard,” which sets 2012 goals and tracks the initiative across various categories.
“While our ‘Dashboard’ may be new this year, we’ve been tracking our progress throughout the last few years,” says Scott Schultz, the USTA’s managing director for Youth Tennis. “For 10 and Under Tennis, 2011 was a tremendous year. The industry really pulled together and we had major growth in every category.”