Tennis Night in America (TNIA) gets under way with the BNP Paribas Showdown in New York City’s Madison Square Garden, where Serena Williams will play Victoria Azarenka, followed by Rafael Nadal vs. Juan Martin del Potro.
TNIA and the BNP Paribas Showdown serve as a launching pad for the U.S. tennis season and for one of the USTA’s efforts to increase participation by encouraging tennis facilities and programs across the country to host youth registration events, Kids Tennis Clubs, and Tennis Play Days. The TIA has been promoting Tennis Night in America to retailers and the industry, mailing posters and copies of the “Parent’s Guide to Tennis” to tennis providers, especially in the metro NYC area. (To download the material, click here.)
TV spots encouraging consumers to get out and play will be run during the broadcast of the BNP Paribas Showdown. In addition, commentary throughout the event will focus on the message of growing tennis in America and getting more people into the sport of a lifetime. TNIA will also start off the USTA's month-long drive to encourage tennis organizers and providers across the country to register to host a Tennis Festival. Consumer traffic to find these programs will be driven through the YouthTennis.com website.
In an effort to grow and promote tennis around the world, the ITF entered into an agreement with StarGames Inc., the producers of the BNP Paribas Showdown, to launch World Tennis Day. Highlighting World Tennis Day in the Eastern Hemisphere will be the BNP Paribas Showdown in Hong Kong, which will feature Asia's first grand slam champion, Li Na; Carolina Wozniacki; Ivan Lendl; and John McEnroe. In addition to the Showdown in Hong Kong, other high profile exhibition events held across the globe will feature demonstrations of the ITF's Tennis10s program, which is similar to the demonstrations that will be held in the U.S. with the USTA's 10 and Under Tennis.