Total Tennis Economy Grows 3.1% in 2012 to $5.57 Billion

The total value of the U.S. tennis economy grew by just over 3% last year, up to $5.57 billion. The data stems from the Tennis Industry Association's annual "Economic Index," created to evaluate the total worth of the U.S. tennis industry to the overall economy. The 2012 index value measured 101, meaning the industry is in a slightly better position than it was in 2008 when the first Economic Index value was released.

According to advanced estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, real GDP in the U.S. grew 2.2% in 2012, indicating the growth in the tennis economy outpaced growth in the overall economy by nearly 1%.

Helping drive growth in the 2012 Tennis Economic Index value over 2011 (which was $5.4 billion) was the 4% growth in total tennis participation, 10% growth in frequent players, and increases in lesson revenue from teaching professionals and in sponsor revenue and spectator spending at pro tournaments. The increase in spectator spending was a large contributor to the Economic Index's growth in 2012.

"2012 was a good 'rebounding' year for the tennis industry," says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. "We saw growth in overall participation and an increase in frequent players, the industry's key revenue generators, which had been down or flat the previous few years."

Player spending on equipment in 2012 was up about 5% over 2011 and wholesale dollars shipped into the market were up 7%. Although neither of these values have reached the pre-recessionary levels seen in 2008, they nonetheless helped contribute to the overall growth seen in the TIA Economic Index.

“What we've seen in the overall economy is a normalization of consumer and commercial spending,” says Keith Storey, Vice President of Sports Marketing Surveys USA, the TIA's research partner. “Consumers have learned to cope with lower discretionary income and businesses have adapted to become leaner and more efficient. These more sustainable growth rates of 2% to 3% that we are seeing in tennis and overall U.S. GDP are typical of what we have expected and are likely to continue into 2013.”

A complete overview of the TIA Economic Index will be included in the 2013 TIA State of the Industry, which is slated for release in early spring.

For more information on TIA research, contact Ryan Melton, TIA Operations Manager at (843) 473-4490 or via email at research@tennisindustry.org. Learn more about TIA member research and benefits by visiting TennisIndustry.org/Membership.