As more Americans look to stay active and healthy in a fun, social environment, the tennis industry is coming together to offer a way to get into "the sport for a lifetime" for free. By visiting PlayTennis.com throughout the month of May, consumers can find tennis facilities and teaching professionals in their areas offering "Try Tennis for Free" events for beginners and returning tennis players.
The Try Tennis for Free promotion is for players of all ages. The free sessions offered can vary depending on the location, as each individual facility or certified professional has the option to choose the best introductory session or programs they feel will encourage new and returning players to step onto the court. Free offers can include lessons, clinics, Cardio Tennis, USTA Play Days for kids, and more. Consumers should visit PlayTennis.com to find a participating facility or teaching pro in their area.
"We simply want to get people to play tennis -- it's one of the healthiest sports for kids and adults of all ages, and it's also fun, social, and active," says Greg Mason, president of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), which is managing and promoting the Try Tennis for Free campaign. "With Try Tennis for Free this May -- driven through the PlayTennis.com website -- we want to help more Americans get out on the courts, more frequently."
In addition to the TIA, Try Tennis for Free also is a joint effort with this country's two main professional tennis-teaching organizations -- the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) and the U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). The USPTA is promoting Try Tennis for Free to its certified professionals in conjunction with its Tennis Across America campaign.
"If you go to PlayTennis.com and don't see a participating Try Tennis for Free venue in your area, contact your local facility or teaching pro and tell them you're interested in playing, and inquire about a free or introductory session or program," says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. "PlayTennis.com also has a free 'tennis concierge' service that easily helps you find tennis locations near you. For tennis providers, it's a simple and free sign-up on the PlayTennis.com website to become involved in Try Tennis for Free, and it will bring in more customers." (The TIA also offers free, customizable promotional material on PlayTennis.com that tennis providers can use to promote Try Tennis for Free.)
While the TIA, which is the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is spearheading Try Tennis for Free, the industry overall has come together to support the campaign -- something unique in the recreational sports world. "We are extremely fortunate in the tennis industry to have the support of the sport's major stakeholders, companies and key organizations, along with the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA)," Mason says. "It's encouraging when our industry-related initiatives, such as Try Tennis for Free and PlayTennis.com, receive support from all corners of this business. Plus, it helps us get the message out to consumers about all the benefits of playing tennis."
"We'll continue working collaboratively to bring more people into the game, because it will help not only grow this sport and this industry, but also will help keep consumers active and healthy," de Boer adds. "Tennis is a sport for a lifetime and we hope people take advantage of Try Tennis for Free opportunities in May."
To learn more about Try Tennis for Free and to find a nearby location, visit PlayTennis.com.
How to "Try Tennis for Free"
- Visit PlayTennis.com
- Click on the main "Try Tennis Free" image on the homepage
- Search for Facilities in your area that are participating in the Try Tennis for Free promotion; these locations will be denoted with a small "Try Tennis" icon.
- Contact that location directly to arrange your free introductory lesson or program. (Subject to time and availability at the discretion of the facility or teaching professional.)
Interest in Tennis is Growing
According to the 2014 Physical Activity Council (PAC) Participation Report, the nation's largest annual participation study measuring sports and fitness participation in over 115 different activities:
- Tennis participation in the U.S. grew 4% in 2013
- Cardio Tennis participation grew 7%. (Cardio Tennis is a crossover fitness and tennis program designed to give players an active, fun workout in which they'll burn lots of calories, improve their tennis, and train in their target heart-rate zone. Created in 2005, Cardio Tennis now has 1.5 million participants, and has even spawned a more fitness-intense spinoff through TRX, called TRX CardioTennis.)
- More than 7% of American youth "aspired" to play tennis in 2013, compared to just over 5% in 2012.
- More than 9% of Americans ages 18-24 aspired to play tennis in 2013, compared to 6% in 2012.
PlayTennis.com Continues to Grow
PlayTennis.com was designed with industry support and collaboration as a "one-stop-shop" for tennis. The comprehensive website helps tennis players and non-players alike get into the game and find programs, lessons, partners, equipment, and much more. When looking for "Try Tennis for Free" locations, visit PlayTennis.com. Currently, the website includes:
- Data from 384,000 tennis players
- 15,400 tennis facilities, with nearly 100,000 courts
- 8,600+ tennis teaching professionals
- 7,000 tennis retailers