May 2007 Volume 35 Number 5 $5.

00

TIA SPECIAL SECTION

GROWING TENNIS TOGETHER
Industry partners drive the sport forward EXCLUSIVE RACQUET SELECTION GUIDE

Contents
TIA SPECIAL SECTION 17 18 18
Growing Tennis Through Teamwork
New TIA initiatives offer more services to keep your business growing.

R S I

M A Y

2 0 0 7

INDUSTRY NEWS 7 USTA reaches record
700,000 members

7 7 10 10 10 11 11 12 13 13 14 16

Pros “get on the bus” for new US Open Series ads Bidding on Agassi book tops $5 million USPTA’s Tennis Across America in its 18th year Ace Collections offers new apparel line Wilson unveils new multimedia website Ashaway’s Crandall says players buying reels for hybrids Lever 2000 promotion to help bring in new players K3 offers new custom ball logo program ITA picks Deco and Plexipave as official surfaces Welch to hold clay court maintenance seminars USPTA offers certification exams PBI Tennis Show expands 2007 schedule

Let’s Keep Moving Forward!
Tennis’s growth is the result of many people and organizations all working together, says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.

Meet the TIA Board of Directors
The 22 individuals on the TIA Board represent 500 years of experience in the tennis business.

20 A Unified Effort
Together with the USTA and industry partners, the TIA is helping to drive tennis forward, for the benefit of all.

26 Know Your Market
The extensive research available from the TIA will help you increase your business, and your profits.

28 Economic Leverage
Through benefits and services with TIA affinity partners, you can reduce costs and expenses and boost your bottom line.

29 Net Advantages
Enhanced websites for the tennis industry provide news, trends, and information to help you build your business.

30 Support Your Industry
The TIA has membership levels to suit your needs, and your membership dollars go right back into supporting tennis.

32 Join the TIA Today!
Help grow the game and your business.

EXCLUSIVE GUIDE 24 2007 Racquet Selection Map
Our annual guide to racquets will help you quickly and easily choose the right frames for your customers.

DEPARTMENTS 4 Our Serve 42 String Playtest: Wilson Super Spin 16

44 46 48

Ask the Experts Tips and Techniques Your Serve, by Kent Oswald
May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

3

Our Serve
Two Programs Serving the Future
(Incorporating Racquet Tech and Tennis Industry)

F

Publishers David Bone Jeff Williams Editor-in-Chief Crawford Lindsey Editorial Director Peter Francesconi Associate Editor Greg Raven Design/Art Director Kristine Thom Contributing Editors Cynthia Cantrell Rod Cross Kristen Daley Joe Dinoffer Liza Horan Andrew Lavallee James Martin Chris Nicholson Bob Patterson Cynthia Sherman RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY Corporate Offices 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084 Phone: 760-536-1177 Fax: 760-536-1171 Email: RSI@racquetTECH.com Website: www.racquetTECH.com Office Hours: Mon.-Fri.,8 a.m.-5 p.m. Pacific Time Advertising Director John Hanna 770-650-1102, x.125 hanna@knowatlanta.com Apparel Advertising Cynthia Sherman 203-263-5243 cstennisindustry@earthlink.net
Racquet Sports Industry (USPS 347-8300. ISSN 01915851) is published 10 times per year: monthly January through August and combined issues in September/October and November/December by Tennis Industry and USRSA, 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084. Periodicals postage paid at Hurley, NY 12443 and additional mailing offices. May 2007, Volume 35, Number 5 © 2007 by USRSA and Tennis Industry. All rights reserved. Racquet Sports Industry, RSI and logo are trademarks of USRSA. Printed in the U.S.A. Phone advertising: 770-650-1102 x 125. Phone circulation and editorial: 760-536-1177. Yearly subscriptions $25 in the U.S., $40 elsewhere. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Racquet Sports Industry, 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084.

or years, this industry has been searching for the magic bullet that will send tennis participation through the roof, making this business profitable for everyone. Many programs and initiatives have flashed onto the scene, only to fade after a few years and much investment.

I don’t think there ever will be one cure-all that will put this industry back on top. What there will be, though—and what we have in place right now—is a series of programs that, over time, will lead to more people playing tennis. Significantly more people. There are two programs in particular, being run by the USTA’s very capable Community Tennis division, that may very well have the greatest impact on your business in the future. These programs have been functioning a bit under the radar, but already, the impact they’ve had has been huge. And it will only get bigger. I’m talking about the USTA’s No-Cut Program for high school tennis, and the USTA Tennis on Campus program for college students. The No-Cut initiative now has signed up more than 1,400 high-school coaches across the country. It’s a deceptively simple idea: Accept on the high-school tennis team any student who tries out. Some teams have dozens of kids playing, some more than 100. Yes, it can be a challenge scheduling practices and court time for large groups of high-school kids, but that’s where the USTA comes in with its expert highschool coach advisory team, ready to help things run smoothly with advice and resources. The alternative to No-Cut is that while eight or 12 kids make the team, dozens more would be lost forever—simply because they didn’t have the opportunity to play through their high-school years. Once kids move on to college, the co-ed Tennis on Campus takes over (it’s a collaborative effort by the USTA, the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, and World TeamTennis). For decades, college students could only play organized tennis in the limited number of varsity team slots available. But this program makes tennis an intramural team sport, and right now more than 25,000 students at over 400 colleges are participating. Not only that, but each of the 17 USTA sections has a Campus Championship, which feeds into a National Campus Championship (held this year April 26 to 28 in Cary, N.C.). Think of the possibilities: Hundreds of thousands of high-school students can continue to play tennis through all four years of high school because, well, they aren’t being cut from teams. Then when they get to college, they can continue the fun and camaraderie as part of the co-ed intramural team program (since there are so few college varsity tennis spots available). Combine this with the excellent work being done at the elementary and middle school levels to get kids started in tennis, and you now have a pathway for the sport right into adulthood—a series of programs that is exactly what the future of this industry needs. If you’re a high-school coach, visit USTA.com/highschoolcoaches, and if you’re near a college or university, help get a co-ed Tennis on Campus intravisiting mural program started by visitin USTA.com/college.

Peter Francesconi Editorial Director

RSI is the official magazine of the USRSA, TIA,and ASBA

4

RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

R S I

M A Y

2 0 0 7

INDUSTRY NEWS
INFORMATION TO HELP YOU
Bidding on Agassi Book Tops $5 Million

RUN YOUR

BUSINESS

USTA Reaches Record 700,000 Members
North Carolina man who recently purchased a lifetime USTA membership has become the association’s 700,000th member, which is a record number of members for the USTA. Mark Holman, 47, of Fayetteville was recognized in early April at a ceremony at the Fayetteville City Hall. He’s the marketing manager of NFI Consumer Products of Fayetteville, a health supplement manufacturer and distributor. “I’ve been a member of the USTA on and off for a long time,” says Holman, who bought a lifetime membership in January. He says he developed a passion for the game in 1971 when as a 10-year-old he watched the Stan Smith-John Newcombe Wimbledon final on TV. He has been a regular tennis player ever since and currently plays four days a week. “To reach 700,000 members is a tremendous accomplishment, and we look forward to continuing the growth of our membership in the years to come,” says USTA Executive Director Lee Hamilton. To recognize this record number, the USTA presented Holman with a lifetime USTA membership, tickets to the U.S. vs. Spain Davis Cup quarterfinal match that was held in April in Winston-Salem, N.C., and an all-expense paid trip to the 2007 US Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. The USTA has been increasing the number and amount of benefits it offers its members. Some of the newest benefits of USTA membership include discounts at select resorts and camps, and a partnership with The Active Network that includes dining discounts, travel offers, savings on online purchases, and more (visit www.USTA.com for more information).

A

The memoir of tennis legend Andre Agassi sparked a bidding war among publishing houses recently. While financial terms were not disclosed, Alfred A. Knopf publishers came away with the rights to the book, which reportedly sold for more than $5 million. The Associated Press reported that David Hirshey, senior vice president at HarperCollins, one of the publishers that competed for the book, said the deal was more in line with what a former U.S. president would get. "This is White House money," Hirshey said. "I can't remember the last time a sports figure got more than 2 million." "Andre Agassi is one of the world's most popular and admired figures," said Knopf head Sonny Mehta. "He has lived an extraordinary life, and he has a great story to tell—an inspiring story of determination, competition, and what it takes to become one of the greatest athletes of our time. Additionally, he is someone who has chosen to use his success as an instrument for change in the world." Agassi’s book is not yet titled and no release date has been set.

Players ‘Get On the Bus’ for US Open Series
paign. During the Pacific Life Open and Sony Ericsson Open in March, pro players—including Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Venus and Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, and James Blake—were filmed on a speciallydesigned US Open Series tour bus. The ad campaign will highlight the players’ unique personalities as they “live” on the tour bus. The US Open Series is the six-week season that links the 10 ATP and WTA Tour summer tournaments in North America, leading to the US Open. The tour bus campaign is scheduled to break nationally during NBC’s broadcast of the Wimbledon finals.

A

dvertising for the 2007 US Open Series of summer hard-court tournaments will include a multimillion-dollar “Get on the US Open Series Tour Bus” cam-

7

RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

M A Y INDUSTRYNEWS

2 0 0 7

USPTA’s Tennis Across America in Its 18th Year
he USPTA’s 18th Annual Tennis Across America Day is set for May 12. USPTA-certified teaching pros will offer free tennis clinics in more than 350 cities, then provide follow-up programming. Established in 1990, the goal of Tennis Across America is to get people out on the courts in a grassroots lesson program. The program also includes multicultural segments, reaching out to various communities and potential players who have special needs and may not otherwise have the opportunity to play. People getting their first taste of tennis will learn basics to get started, find out how to improve, and reap the benefits of a calorie-burning workout. While Tennis Across America Day will officially be celebrated May 12, it is not limited to just that day. More than 1,500 USPTA pros and developmental coaches, along with volunteers, offer free clinics to the public throughout the spring and summer. Clinics, which often coincide with the start of entry-level lesson programs, can be directed toward adults, children, or both, and may include new, current, and former players returning to the game. Honorary co-chairs for Tennis Across America include the top-ranked men’s doubles team of Mike and Bob Bryan; former touring pros Leslie Allen, Tom Gullikson, Stan Smith, and Fred Stolle; coach and Master Professional Rick Macci; author, speaker, and Master Professional Peter Burwash; and sports science expert Jack Groppel. They also include former President George Bush and Wayne Bryan. For more information, visit www.uspta.com.

Ace Collections Offers New Apparel Line
he new apparel line from Ace Collections includes styles that run from a shapely A-line mini dress to A-line skirts (with shorts built-in and separate), and coordinating muscle tops and squareneck fashion tops. Ace accessories include two designer leather/canvas racquet bag styles, hats, bandanas, and sterling bracelets. “Ace is for strong women with good taste who like a sense of challenge,” says Ace Collections President Andrea Watley. “It is important for women to feel good on the court, and Ace has such clean lines. It’s easy to wear for all women.” For more information, visit www.ace-collections.com.

T

T

Wilson Unveils New Multimedia Website
ilson Racquet Sports has gone live with its revamped tennis website, which can be accessed at www.wilson.com or www.wilsontennis.com. In addition to a new look and format, the website has new features designed to engage consumers with interactive components for Wilson’s key products and technologies, as well as the brand as a whole, says the company. A new flash media section explains the new [K]Factor racquet technology, and a streaming video component offers consumers a chance to view the new [K]Factor videos featuring some never-before-seen footage of Roger Federer, as well as footage and images of other WTA and ATP Wilson players. The new site, which is now live for North America and Europe (a site for Asia currently is in development), also features downloadable wallpaper, a continuously updated news section, player profile section, and other major upgrades. In coming months, the site will be expanded to highlight Wilson badminton, squash, and racquetball.

W

10 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

INDUSTRY NEWS

Ashaway Exec Says More Players Are Buying Reels for Hybrids
ennis players have long used hybrid sets—pre-packaged combinations of different string types—to benefit from multiple characteristics such as increased durability, tension stability, or playability. But Ashaway Vice President Steve Crandall says an emerging trend is for players to custom-design their own hybrid sets by buying reels of different string instead of pre-packaged sets. "The practice of hybrid stringing started with elite players customizing their string beds,” says Crandall, "and manufacturers followed by offering pre-packaged sets. Now, however, players are going us one better and are buying specific strings in reel sizes to design their own hybrids." Crandall says he first noticed this trend when looking at sales figures. "It has since been confirmed by our stringers and distributors who report players are increasingly bringing in their own string for hybrids, or requesting specific combinations,” he says. For Ashaway, says Crandall, he’s seen a particular increase in the demand for reels of its Kevlar, MonoGut, and Dynamite tennis strings. "For the player who is always looking for a little something more from his or her string, experimenting with different string combinations— as well as tensions—and designing their own hybrid can definitely improve their game," says Crandall.

Lever 2000 Promotion to Help Bring In New Players
ennis facilities are invited to sign up for a promotion from Lever 2000 designed to help them attract new players to their facilities. Visit www.tenniswelcome center.com/promotions/lever to sign up and be eligible to win hundreds of prizes and tickets to the 2008 US Open. Lever 2000 will distribute more than 5 million packages of bar soap that will include a voucher driving consumers to a website where they can then find a participating facility to try tennis for free. The campaign also includes TV spots and newspaper and magazine ads, along with other major retailer promotions. To be identified as a participating facility, you need to offer a one-hour beginner clinic once a month in June, July, August, and September (it can be part of an existing clinic) and the clinic must accommodate up to 12 students. Other requirements, listed on the website, include Lever 2000 promotional material.

T

T

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

11

M A Y INDUSTRYNEWS

2 0 0 7

Minnesota Couple Wins Hall of Fame Award
teven K. Champlin and his wife, Marjorie E. Champlin, of Wayzata, Minn., have been named the recipients of the 2006 Samuel Hardy Award, an International Tennis Hall of Fame honor that is given annually to a USTA volunteer in recognition of long and outstanding service to the sport. The award was presented to the Champlins in March at a special luncheon during the USTA Annual Meeting in Arizona. The Hall of Fame also presented its Educational Merit Awards to three to individuals who have made notable contributions in the tennis education field at the national level. The 2006 winners are Barbara Fackel of Rock Island, Ill., David T. Porter of Laie, Hawaii, and Marc R. Safran of San Francisco.

K3 Offers New Custom Ball Logo Program
3 Tennis of Birmingham, Ala., has a new custom logo tennis ball program for pro and specialty shops. For orders before June 30, authorized K3 accounts can print their company or club logo on each K3 tennis ball with no setup charge (a savings of $150) and a fee of 30 cents per can. Your custom logo will be on one side of the ball, and the K3 logo will be on the opposite side. The minimum quantity requirement for the custom logo balls is seven cases, and shipping is free. K3 Tennis is the official ball for both the USTA Southern Section and USTA Florida Section Tennis on Campus program. It was also named official ball for Adidas Tennis Camps. “Our strategy is to be partners with the serious retailer,” says K3 owner Yatin Shelar. “With this new custom logo program, small retailers can now promote their brand as well.” Contact 205-940-2474 or visit www.k3tennis.com.

S

K

Zym Electrolyte Drink Tablets

D

courtesy of Greg Shapps Photography

rop a Zym Portable Electrolyte Drink tablet into water to help replace lost electrolytes and vitamins during a match. Combined with water, the fast-dissolving Zym has only 1 gram of sugar and 7 calories per 16 ounces. Visit gozym.com

12 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

INDUSTRY NEWS

ITA Picks Deco, Plexipave as Official Surfaces
ecoTurf and Plexipave have been named as the official tennis surfaces of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and will provide ITA member coaches an incentive to choose their surface systems. “I think our members and coaches will benefit greatly from this partnership,” says ITA Executive Director David A. Benjamin.

D

Welch Tennis Offers Clay Court Seminars
elch Tennis Courts Inc. is again offering its Clay Court Maintenance Seminars for club managers, tennis pros, and maintenance personnel. The all-day program is designed to give participants a working knowledge of Har-Tru courts. Seminar cost is $159 per person ($125 for each additional person from the same facility) and includes breakfast, lunch, refreshments, and happy hour. USPTA members can earn 3 continuing education credits for attending. Upcoming seminars are:
Q May 4: The Club at The Strand, Naples, Fla. Q May 11: Hunter’s Green Country Club, Tampa, Fla. Q May 18: North Palm Beach Country Club, North Palm Beach, Fla. Q Oct. 5: West Palm Beach, Fla. Q Oct. 12: Jacksonville, Fla. Q Oct. 19: Naples-Fort Myers, Fla.

W

Tennis Warehouse to Sponsor USTA Tennis on Campus

T

ennis Warehouse has become the presenting sponsor of the USTA Campus Championship and the official online retailer of the Tennis on Campus program through 2008. Tennis Warehouse will offer product discounts to all Tennis on Campus program participants, in addition to providing promotional products for program start-up kits and the 18 championship events. Currently, more than 25,000 college recreational tennis players participate in the program at over 400 campuses nationwide. “This relationship will allow us to support the entire tennis industry while allowing programs and participants convenient access and selection to a wide array of products not often available in local markets,” says Glenn Arrington, the USTA’s national manager of collegiate tennis.

USRSA MEMBER CLASSIFIEDS
FOR SALE: Babolat Star 3 Stringing Machine. Completely reconditioned by Tennis Machines Inc. Very good condition. $2000. Contact Russ Sheh 760-323-7536.

For information or to register, contact Deb Carlson at 800-282-4415.

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

13

INDUSTRYNEWS

M A Y

2 0 0 7

USPTA Offers Certification Exams
he USPTA is offering more than 125 tennis certification exams across the U.S. Each test date includes a certification review course then the exam. The exam includes an on-court evaluation of private and group lesson instruction, plus evaluation of playing skills, stroke and grip analysis, and other teaching skills. It also includes a written test covering teaching and business management skills, rules, club activity programming, and other topics. The pre-exam review course includes a review of exam topics such as developing student rapport, class organization, lesson progressions, and teaching techniques. Successful applicants for the certification exam become Professional-level members of USPTA. The association offers separate membership opportunities for part-time teachers and wheelchair tennis instructors. Advanced registration for the exam is required, and is available online at www.uspta.com or by calling 800-8778248. Information is also available by emailing membership@uspta.org. The fee for the exam is $175.

SHORT SETS
Tennis and > Portland (Ore.)&After SchoolDepartment the Hillsboro Park Recreation have been named as the 2006 Recreational Coach Workshop Host Site of the Year. This award, in its inaugural year, honors an RCW host site that went above and beyond to provide an excellent experience for those in attendance. The two organizations jointly hosted an RCW in June, catering to 35 participants. Westside > Houston’s2007 U.S. Tennis and Fitness, site of the Men’s Clay Court Championships in April, converted its red clay tennis courts to Lee Tennis’s Har-Tru surface. “We’re thrilled about our investment in the courts as they’re easy to maintain and are aesthetically pleasing,” says Kim Barnett, facilities manager at Westside. announced a three-year > The ATPtennis string manufacturerpartnership with Pacific Entermark GmbH. Under the agreement, the German-based international corporation will become the official string and grip provider for the ATP, whose players will have access to Pacific’s products. has announced > Pro Kennex InternationalCarlsbad, Calif., that Sports Technology of will no longer be the distributor for Pro Kennex. U.S. National Sales Manager Don Laing will be handling orders and deliveries until a new U.S. distributor is named. Contact Laing at 973-738-6941. recent> Family and friends of Arthur Ashewebsite. ly unveiled his official ArthurAshe.org will offer video, audio, photographs, and links related to Ashe, the first black man to win the Wimbledon, US Open, and Australian Open titles. Ashe’s widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, said the site was “dedicated to providing a unique resource for the understanding and promotion of the legacy and values embodied in the life and work of Arthur Ashe as a conscience leader, humanitarian, educator, and athlete.” formed a partnership > The USTA has After School Alliance with Providence (R.I.) that will give students at city middle schools the opportunity to participate in tennis during the after school hours. Four area NJTL chapters will serve as the providers for the tennis programs. The USTA donated equipment.

T

14 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

May 2007

INDUSTRYNEWS

M A Y

2 0 0 7

• NCAA coaches Jim Brockhoff of Xavier University and Dr. Robert Screen of Hampton University each recorded their 1,000th career victories in late March, within 24 hours of each other. Brockhoff and Screen join retired Hawaii coach Jim Schwitters as the second and third tennis coaches at the NCAA Division I level to reach 1,000 combined men's and women's victories.

PE

O

PL

EWA

T

PBI Tennis Show Expands 2007 Schedule
he Peter Burwash International Tennis Show will again be on tour in 2007. Last year the PBI Tennis Show had an exciting one month tour in August, culminating with a performance at the USTA Tennis Teachers Conference in conjunction with the US Open in New York. This year, according to PBI Tennis Show Director Dan Aubuchon, the tour is being expanded to July through September, with performances in both the U.S. and China. "We are very excited at the possibilities for this year and being able to have the show perform in a variety of venues," Aubuchon says. In its nearly 30-year history, the PBI Tennis Show has been performed in 99 countries in front of millions of people. The entertaining show combines music, skits and extraordinary tennis skills highlighting the way people play the sport. Both performance dates and sponsorships are still available for 2007. Those interested in either sponsorship or hosting a performance should contact Aubuchon at 760-333-4688 or Dan.Aubuchon@pbitennis.com. For information on Peter Burwash International, visit www.pbitennis.com.

C
H

T

• Buddy Bayliss is the new racquet
sports territory manager for the MidAtlantic region (Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C.) for Dunlop Sports Group Americas. Bayliss comes to Dunlop with more than 30 years of industry experience—25 of them as an independent manufacturers’ rep for racquet and other sports products in the Mid-Atlantic region.

• USTA Past President Alan G. Schwartz
has been elected to the board of directors of The Tennis Channel.

• Tom Flanagan is the new communications manager at the USTA New England Section office. Also, Alexandra Rogers is a new Tennis Service Representative in the section.

• Prince players Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur captured the doubles crown at the 2007 Sony Ericsson Open recently, playing with O3 racquets. The duo is the top women’s doubles team in the world. Also, Daniela Hantuchova and young American pro Sam Querrey are now playing with Prince O3 racquets. • ATP pros Mardy Fish and Dmitry Tursunov have signed with Wilson Racquet Sports and are playing with the company’s [K]Factor racquets. Both are playing with the [K]Six.One 95.

Coldest Tennis Match?
Bone-chilling temperatures didn’t dampen the spirits of the tennis faithful at the Coldest Day of Tennis, held outdoors Feb. 10 at Walsh Park in St. Paul, Minn. The day started at 8 a.m. with a temperature of -16 degrees and ended at 11 a.m. at a balmy -4 degrees. The free event was open to the public and featured tennis games and prizes.

• University of North Carolina senior
Jenna Long of Fremont, Calif., and Boise State junior Luke Shields of Grand Junction, Colo., received USTA Sportsmanship Awards at the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships in February.

16

RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

From the TIA Executive Director

Let’s Keep This Sport Moving Forward!
Tennis’ unparalleled growth among traditional sports is the result of many people in this industry working toward a common goal. The Tennis Industry Association and all its partners—from major manufacturers and organizations to facilities, retailers, and individual supporters—are committed to “Growing Tennis Through Teamwork.” In this special section, you’ll learn more about the TIA and what we do, including the services and tools we offer to help your business grow. Founded more than 30 years ago as the American Tennis Industry Federation, the TIA is the not-for-profit trade association representing tennis. We provide the industry with research, administer grassroots initiatives, deliver industry news, maintain databases that connect all parts of the industry, and focus on technology and services to help the industry—and your business—grow. Our dedicated Board of Directors and Executive Committee, including new President Dave Haggerty, represent all areas: major manufacturers, organizations, retailers, court contractors, teaching pro groups, pro tennis groups, and more. We have a great support team that provides valuable services, and a service-oriented staff to assist you. At the TIA, we’re strongly focused on using technology to help your business. In 2006, more than 6 million people tried tennis for the first time, and 2 million loggedon to find a place to play, programs to learn tennis, and people to play with. If you’re at a tennis facility, you can list your programs and information with us for free so consumers can find you (see page 29). And with support from our partners, you also receive free product to use and marketing support to attract new players when you become a Tennis Welcome Center or Cardio Tennis site (see 20 Growing the Game page 21). Plus check out the grant and co-op funding opportunities available to you. 26 Your Want to run your business on online? TennisConnect (see page Research 25) provides all you need. Last year, more than 790,000 courts Source were booked online through TennisConnect—up 300 percent 28 Economic from 2005. Leverage Want to save money on credit card processing fees, shipping, insurance, and advertising? See page 28. Want to compare your 29 Net business operation to others? See the market intelligence the TIA Advantages provides on pages 26 and 27. 30 Support Your Finally, visit TennisIndustry.org to see how all areas of the Industry industry are connected and how you can get involved. Your comments and ideas are welcomed. 31 Benefits of Through your continuing support, we can keep the momentum Membership strong for a healthy sport.

Meet the TIA President & Board of Directors
The 22 individuals who make up the Board of Directors of the Tennis Industry Association represent 500 years of work experience in the tennis business. Some of them started in the business with an afterschool job in a tennis shop or as an assistant pro during the summer season. All of them play the game. All of them are passionate about working together for the good of the game. And all of them carry a certain perspective on the TIA’s goal to promote and grow the economic vitality of the sport. “In the TIA, we’re dedicated to working together—with our colleagues and competitors—to make sure that the sport remains healthy and continues to grow,” says Dave Haggerty of HEAD/Penn, who started a two-year term this past January as the volunteer president of the TIA and is also on the USTA Board of Directors. “This spirit of cooperation is paying dividends for everyone

CONTENTS

32
Jolyn de Boer
TIA Support Team TIA Support Staff

Join Today!

Matt Allen Michele Krause Brian O’Donnell Crissie Hale IT/Databases Cardio Tennis Grassroots Membership Programs

Josh Myers Customer Service

Carole Waite Special Projects

Keith Storey Sports Mktg Surveys

Liza Horan Charlie Ruddy TennisWire.org TennisConnect

in the tennis business.”

18 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

What Drives You?
Max Brownlee TIA Executive Committee
General Manager, Babolat, USA Years at Company: 7 Years in Tennis Biz: 33

Dave Haggerty TIA President/Exec. Comm. Jeff Harrison
CEO, HEAD USA Years at Company: 8 Years in Biz: 34

Every one of the TIA Board Members has passion for the game, and the business of tennis. Here is a sample of what fires them up.
“I’ve seen hundreds of examples of how tennis has helped kids find the right path, adults take control of their health and fitness, and families bond. The physical, mental and social benefits of the sport are unsurpassed. My passion is bringing new people into the game.” —Kurt Kamperman, USTA "To me it's continuing the growth of any sport with today's technology and giving the end-user an opportunity to compete at a higher level every day." —Steve Dunlap, Sports Authority "The No. 1 focus should be growing the game: The more participation, the more business for all of us." —David Bone, USRSA "I get excited about tennis products that make the game easier to play and more enjoyable for the average club player, whether that's technical innovations in racquets, balls or accessories." —Kai Nitsche, Dunlop Sports Group "What excites me most are programs that introduce the game to kids, because that's the future of the game." —Jeff Williams, Miller Sports Group “We get to help people have fun playing tennis and staying healthy at the same time. How great a job is that.” —John Welborn, Lee Tennis “The people in this industry are probably the most friendly and cooperative in doing what’s right in the sport that I’ve ever met. You just don’t run into that often.” —John Graham DecoTurf

David Bone

Executive Director, U.S. Racquet Stringers Assn. Years at Company: 8 Years in Tennis Biz: 23

VP of League Properties, World TeamTennis Years at Company: 11 Years in Biz: 15

Kevin Callanan

Rick Devereux
Tennis Liaison,

President & CEO, Sporting Goods Mfrs. Assn. Years at Company: 13 Years in Biz: 13

Tom Cove

Vice President, Int’l. Management Group Years at Company: 16 Years in Biz: 18

Tim Heckler

CEO, USPTA Years at Company: 25 Years in Biz: 37

Kurt Kamperman TIA Executive Committee
Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA Years at Company: 4 Years in Biz: 32

Int’l. Health & Racquet Sports Assn.

Years at Company: 20 Years in Biz: 35

Steve Dunlap

V.P. Merchandising, The Sports Authority Years at Company: 19 Years in Biz: 27

Gen. Mgr., Racquet Sports Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Years at Company: 10 Years in Biz: 14

Jon Muir TIA Executive Committee

David Egdes

Sr. VP Tennis Industry Relations, and Tourn. Dir., TTC Open The Tennis Channel Years at Company: 1 Years in Biz: 10

Gen. Mgr., Racquet Sports, Dunlop Sports Group Years at Company: 9 Years in Biz: 11

Kai Nitsche

Dale Queen

Doug Fonte TIA Executive Committee
President, Prince Sports Americas Years at Company: 4 Years in Biz: 15

President, Your Serve Tennis Years at Company: 33 Years in Biz: 33

Dan Santorum

CEO and Exec. Director, PTR Years at Company: 21 Years in Biz: 25

Don Galliers

Chris Gaudreau

Managing Director, Int’l., Sealmaster Industries Years at Company: 8 Years in Biz: 19

Victor Taylor

VP, Tournament & Mktg. Services,

Owner, The Racquet Koop Years at Company: 20 Years in Biz: 21

John Welborn

ATP Years at Company: 17 Years in Biz: 20

John Graham

Managing Director, DecoTurf Years at Company: 4 Years in Biz: 4

Jeff Williams

Dir. of Bus. Development, Lee Tennis Years at Company: 29 Years in Biz: 34

Group Publisher, Miller Sports Group Years at Company: 6 Years in Biz: 21

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

19

A Unified Effort
Together with the USTA and industry partners, the TIA is helping to drive tennis forward, for the benefit of all.
ver the last three years, thanks to the unified efforts of many people and organizations in tennis, we’ve seen growth in participation, equipment sales, pro tournament attendance, and much more. All of this has led to an increased awareness of tennis— both on the recreational level and at the pro level. The popularity of the pro game is clearly helping draw in viewers and fans. We’ve seen increased air time on TV; well-known stars such as Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, and James Blake generating new interest; and an exciting lineup of tournaments in the summer-long US Open Series, capped by the US Open itself. The various organizations and companies involved in tennis—the USTA, manufacturers, teaching pro groups, retailers, tournament directors, media, and others—are continuing to come together to develop and support the sport with a variety of initiatives designed to generate more interest in tennis, get more people playing, retain them in the game, and, importantly, bring more business to retail shops, facilities, and all parts of our industry. The USTA in particular has stepped up key grassroots funding over the last four years, and that’s continuing to pay dividends with successful programs such as Tennis Welcome Centers, CardioTennis, Tennis in the Parks, and many more. The TIA, with key support from the USTA, manufacturers, and others, is a driving force behind many of these cooperative initiatives. “Because of our position as the industry’s trade organization where companies and people all come together for the good of the game, the TIA truly belongs to everybody,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “We’re here to serve as the vehicle to help drive growth in all sectors.” Together with the USTA, the TIA is involved in the planning, development, marketing, and research for both the tennis trade and the consumer. “The TIA is an organization that builds consensus,” adds TIA President Dave Haggerty. “And the streamlined nature of the TIA, along with its focus on technology, allows it to be flexible, adjust fast, and get things done quickly.” That’s important in this industry, because programs, priorities, and campaigns that worked great a year ago may need to be adjusted today to continue to make an impact.

O

GrowingTennis.com
The umbrella for a lot of programs that can really help your business is the GrowingTennis.com website. And it’s easy for facilities to go onto the site to keep their information up to date and manage their

program details. Through Growing Tennis.com, the TIA delivers the Tennis Welcome Center, Cardio Tennis, and Growing Tennis 50/50 programs and initiatives, among others. “Importantly, we maintain the databases, communications with the facilities, and information for the seven websites we manage in-house,” says de Boer. “Not only can we make changes instantly to a website, but also, all facilities in our databases have 24/7 access to the system to update their own information.” The seven TIA-maintained websites are: • GrowingTennis.com • TennisIndustry.org • Partners.TennisWelcomeCenter.com • TennisWelcomeCenter.com

20 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

• Partners.CardioTennis.com • CardioTennis.com

• TennisConnect.org Part of the TIA’s major outreach is to get facilities to go to www.GrowingTennis.com to input their information, programs, facility details, and so forth. The information can be accessed at any time and is managed “live” on TennisWelcomeCenter.com, CardioTennis.com, and other industry sites, including Tennis.com, TheTennisChannel.com, and USTA.com. Consumers can find a place to play, players to play with, and program offerings. The TIA has been constantly making improvements to its technology since these systems were added in 2003. All facilities have the opportunity to get their message out with a free web presence on these sites to connect with the tennis marketplace.

TIA research on the more than 2,000 Tennis Welcome Centers shows that: • 73 percent offer

Tennis Welcome Centers
One excellent example of evolving programs and approaches is with the Tennis Welcome Center and Cardio Tennis initiatives. After a few years of running separate programs, the TIA and industry partners recognized the advantages to be gained by combining resources and synergies with both the TWC and CT initiatives. Now, all Cardio Tennis sites are required to be Tennis Welcome Centers, too. The push for quality Tennis Welcome Centers continues through the TIA and the USTA. Currently, there are more than 2,000 TWCs in the U.S., with 800 of those located at public parks. Pro sensation Maria Sharapova continues as the spokesmodel for TWCs, appearing in advertisements and promotional materials for facilities to use. The TWC program continues to receive support from manufacturers. In 2006 there were more than 2.5 million special hang-

tags on beginner racquets, along with 25 million special labels on ball cans, and inserts in tennis league play. shoe boxes. More than 2,000 banners are up inside and out• 68 percent offer side at facilities around the USTA Leagues. country, supported by 5,000 • On average, 31 new Maria Sharapova posters. players were creatAs a result of these industry ed, 29 players efforts and TWC target market returned, and 36 advertising, page views on players were playing www.TennisWelcomeCenter more frequently. .com in June and July 2006 • Lesson revenue increased from an average of increased at 77 per40,000 per month to 150,000 cent of the facilities. per month. Also, the target market initiative in 2006 included Tennis Block Parties and Business Development Workshops held throughout the USTA sections. And TWCs are receiving support from the USPTA and PTR, along with the media and U.S. tennis writers. The TIA and USTA recently recognized the Top 50 TWCs across the country. Recipients, who were listed in various publications, received wall plaques to display at their facilities. TWCs also receive a boost from the “Growing Tennis 50/50” program—a joint effort by the TIA and USTA that provides more than $200,000 in matching funds for facilities and programs to use for advertising and promotional efforts to attract new adult and junior players. These funds are only available for TWCs, which can receive up to $2,500. (For more information, and an application for funding and sample ads you can run, visit www.GrowingTennis.com.) There also is a new TWC electronic newsletter and a new internet-based community site under development for sharing practices and event searches. Target marketing through TWCs is focused on providing resources and support to individual facilities that are committed to promoting entrylevel programs and transition programs for new players. And workshops for TWCs include the Cardio Tennis model. Through surveys and followup calls to facilities, TWCs have consistently improved
May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

21

The Team Behind Cardio Success

over the last few years. “Staff is much more aware that programs for new players are going on at their own facilities, and they are handling these first-time callers more effectively,” says de Boer. Other quality assurance programs include TWCs receiving automated feedback from their websites if information is not available when consumers are searching for a place to play tennis.

The National Cardio Tennis Speakers team was formed at the inception of the Cardio program in early 2005 to help educate the industry and serve as the official National trainers. Today the team consists of a diverse group of 24 who are some of the most well-respected tennis teaching pros in the U.S. The volunteers who make up the team are certified pros from both the PTR and USPTA. Each member runs a successful Cardio Tennis program and exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding Cardio Tennis pro, such as passion, energy, great feeding skills, and a strong belief in the program. Team members work with TIA Cardio Tennis Manager Michele Krause (above) to promote the program. Their contributions take on many forms, such as writing articles, education and training through Cardio Tennis workshops and at industry events. Most important, they play an ongoing role in the continuous development and direction of the program. “The Speakers Team is an amazing group of people,” says Krause. “Cardio Tennis would not be where it is today without their dedication to the program.” Besides Krause, the National Cardio Tennis Speakers Team consists of:
Katrina Adams Eric Alexson Jorge Andrew Samantha Ardenfriend Jorge Capestany Ken DeHart Lee DeYoung Carmen Garcia

Cardio Tennis
Cardio Tennis, officially launched a year and a half ago, continues to gain momentum throughout the country—and, in fact, the world—as more and more people realize that they can’t take their health for granted. Cardio Tennis is a fun, active way to get in shape, and to help hone tennis skills. And the popular demand for a fitness program such as Cardio Tennis is certainly prevalent. Take, for instance, the phenomenal growth of the fitness chain Curves. In just seven years, Curves opened more than 7,800 locations in the U.S., and 10,000-plus worldwide, answering a demand for programs that lead to improved fitness and lifestyles. By comparison, it took fast-food giants McDonald’s and Subway more than 25 years to open the same number of locations. Cardio Tennis, which includes both drill-based and play-based exercises, is designed to keep the heart rate in the ideal zone, giving players of all skill levels a healthy workout in a fun environment. “Cardio Tennis is all about variety, and that’s what I love about it,” says fitness guru Denise Austin, who will continue as the Cardio Tennis spokesperson. Currently, there

Feisal Hassan Luke Jensen Whitney Kraft Greg Moran

Ted Murray Ajay Pant Greg Patton David Robinson David Schwartz Heather Silvia Butch Staples J. Webb Horton

Mike Woody Sophie Woorons-Johnston Rosie Baries (not pictured)

22 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

A recent survey of Cardio Tennis providers shows that:
• Lesson revenue increased at 71 percent of facilities. • Program fees increased at 47 percent of facilities. • Pro shop sales increased at 23 percent. • Court bookings increased at 22 percent. • Membership sales increased at 18 percent of facilities. • On average, facilities said Cardio Tennis caused about 20 players to play tennis more frequently. • 15.4 new players came to the average facility because of Cardio Tennis. • On average per facility, Cardio Tennis attracted 15.1 former players back to the game.

are 1,600 Cardio Tennis sites in the U.S. And new this year to the Cardio Tennis National Speakers Team is Luke Jensen, former pro player and current ESPN tennis analyst. “Cardio Tennis is a perfect fit to grow tennis among the fitness crowd,” says Jensen. “The program, in my opinion, is what needs to happen for people who take step aerobics and kickboxing and want to try something new and get fit.” Data from surveys of Cardio Tennis sites and customers prove the effectiveness of the program, and show that facilities are realizing increases in lesson revenue, program fees, pro shop sales, court bookings, memberships, and participation. There is also increased interest in delivering Cardio Tennis to kids, through schools and other programs. But most important for your business, Cardio Tennis can be a huge moneymaker for facilities and pros running the program. “People just can’t wait to get into classes,” says Hector Mendoza of the Vancouver Tennis Center. “They get a great workout and they have fun.” In addition to the interest generated by sites and players within the U.S., Cardio Tennis has also garnered a large following overseas. At the request of Tennis Europe, Cardio Tennis Manager Michele Krause, along with members of the Cardio Tennis Speakers Team, have given wellattended seminars to spread the word globally about the health benefits of the program. Cardio Tennis is also gaining exposure nationwide through participation in Better Your Body fitness expos. In 2007, the TIA will feature Cardio Tennis in at least three of these fitness-related sports shows.

As part of the target market campaign, these images will be used in 500,000 newspaper inserts and counter card displays for facilities and retailers.

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

23

Better Your Business Workshops
Cardio Tennis will also gain a boost through the TIA’s new Better Your Business Workshops. These daylong seminars—focusing on helping teaching pros, facility managers, retailers, and others to boost their business overall—will also spend time on the Cardio Tennis model and how to implement a successful Cardio program. The BYB Workshops go beyond Cardio, too. They offer tips to improve customer service, deliver effective tennis programming, p.r. and marketing to gain and Sign Up to Better Your Business retain players, reach out to the community, deal Take advantage of all that the Better Your Business with the media, and much Workshops have to offer. (To sign up for a BYB Workmore. The workshops, preshop, visit www.GrowingTennis.com.) For the remainder sented by seasoned indusof 2007, the schedule includes: try presenters, deliver the • May 4, San Antonio Country Club, San Antonio, Texas best practices from proven • May 18, Las Vegas Hilton Resort & Tennis sources to improve your • May 20, El Conquistador Hilton, Tuscon, Ariz. Currently, the TIA has business. The goal, of scheduled 10 Better Your • May 21, Meadow Creek Tennis & Fitness Club, Denver course, is to help you Business workshops in • June 9, Center Court Tennis Club, Fond du Lac, Wis. improve your business. 2007. For more informa• June 24, Lexington Tennis Club, Lexington, Ky. Mike Woody, tennis direction, visit • Oct. 1, MidTown Tennis Club, Chicago tor at the Midland Comwww.GrowingTennis.com. Also, Cardio Tennis will be featured at three “Better Your munity Tennis Center in The workshops are also Midland, Mich., will be Body” fitness expos in the U.S., each of which attracts geared toward building one of the main facilitators more than 12,000 consumers: your business via techfor the BYB Workshops. • May 5-6, Dallas nology. Everyone who “I recently attended the • Sept. 29-30, Chicago attends a BYB Workshop first Better Your Business • Nov. 3-4, New York will receive a free webWorkshop on Hilton Head site builder through Island,” says John Hill of TennisConnect, which Raintree Club in Virginia. also includes TennisCol“Although I’ve been in this business for 30 years and have owned lect, a new payment sysmy own facilities, I was impressed with the new ideas that I took tem that allows you to get paid faster and easier by your away. Also through the training offered, I gained the confidence customers when they sign up for court time or clinics online. to start Cardio Tennis at my club.”

Tennis In Public Parks
One key to growing the game in the U.S. involves building— and rebuilding—tennis in the public parks. The USTA, together with the National Recreation and Park Association and other groups, is continuing with its Tennis in the Parks Initiative to enhance public tennis facilities and improve their program offerings. Research shows that parks are by far the No. 1 place where Americans play tennis, followed by play on courts at schools and colleges. More than 70 percent of all tennis played in the U.S. is played at public facilities. Through its public facility funding effort in 2005 and 2006, the USTA awarded grants totaling more than $3.5 million to help build new or renovate existing public facilities. These grants benefited over 85 public facilities and 700-plus tennis courts. And, more importantly, the USTA’s investment was a catalyst for an additional $30 million in public facility funding from other sources. “Our public facility funding grants have been a huge success,” says Kurt Kamperman, the USTA’s chief executive of Community Tennis. “Not only can we effectively leverage our dollars, but in providing these grants, we require that all recipients follow through with sound local tennis programming. The end result is better public facilities, offering local grassroots programs that will attract and retain more players.”

24 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

Serving as a national sales force for tennis, the Tennis Service Representative program has proven to be a great success in helping to connect local tennis providers with the resources needed to grow the game at the grassroots level. “The TSRs are helping facility operators to see what opportunities might exist to help them develop their businesses,” says Mark McMahon, the USTA’s national coordinator for TSRs. “And importantly, they’re not just pushing USTA programs, but the brand ‘tennis.’” Currently, there are 90 TSRs, which are employees of their USTA sections, with support from the USTA national office. In 2006, TSRs visited thousands of facilities, helping them connect with programs, possible funding sources, and more to keep the game growing. A new way to deliver tennis to kids 10

Growing at the Grassroots

Research on Block Parties in Tennis Welcome Center target markets indicates:

developed by the USTA and is tentatively called “Project 36/60.” The numbers refer to the size of different “courts” for kids to • 90 percent of consumers play on when they’re first introduced into gave Block Parties the highthe game (and these “courts” can be set up on parking lots, in driveways, in gyms, est rank in terms of enjoyetc.). But the project involves more than ment, which is key, because just mini-courts; it includes using approthe TWC initiative is priately sized racquets, along with foam designed to be welcoming “transition” balls, to help kids realize and fun for new players. immediate success in the sport, helping to • More than two-thirds of the ensure that they’ll stay with tennis. participants said they “The buzz has been incredible about would play more tennis as this,” says Kirk Anderson, the USTA’s a result of participating in a director of recreational coaches and proBlock Party. grams. “Everybody’s talking about it.” • 48 percent said they would Look for much more on this program in likely participate in future the future, as the USTA and industry partprograms. ners begin a rollout in the fall. • 19 percent signed up for This transition equipment is also helping the USTA revamp its school tennis programs on the spot. program, including a new “in-school curriculum” designed to make it easier for and under is being physical education teachers to deliver tennis to their students.

Connecting With Your Business
Throughout all of these areas, and much more, the TIA remains committed to not only helping you boost your business, but also elevating your position within this industry and with your customers. And one of the main tools the TIA is using to do this continues to be its focus on technology. Recently, the TIA revamped its website (www.tennisindustry. org) to better serve your business and you and your customers. “All areas of this industry need to be connected,” says de Boer, “and our website is doing this.” Key in this effort, as mentioned, is the comprehensive www.GrowingTennis.com website. There, you’ll not only find information on Cardio Tennis, Tennis Welcome Centers, Growing Tennis 50/50 Co-op Funding, and Better Your Business Workshops, but also a link for your free listing that will enable thousands of players to find your facility. The website also has links to one of the most powerful online tools for businesses through TennisConnect.org. This With TennisConnect, facilities can create and manage their own product has transformed the way hundreds of facilities do websites, web hosting included, with features to promote and supbusiness by offering a website presence, interactive calendar, port their business, such as an Online Tennis Court Scheduler, a player matching, court scheduler, group email system, and Player Match feature, a Group Email Engine, an eCalendar feature, more. Last year, 790,260 online court reservations were and TennisConnectForums, a learning tool that allows facilities to made through TennisConnect, and the testimonials from ask questions and share ideas. both facilities and their members support the benefit of this So far, more than 400 facilities have purchased and used the Teninnovation. nisConnect.org software. For consumers, the number of visits to Another technology advancement is the service provided facility websites using the software has been growing—from about by TennisWire.org. Industry “Newsmakers” can upload their 80,000 unique visits in the month of press releases to the site, where they are categorically disJanuary 2006 to nearly 300,000 per played and archived. A bi-monthly newsletter generates the month by year-end, with nearly 9 features and is distributed to more than 12,000 industry conmillion page views. For the past four tacts, including the media. years, court reservations using TenBut the TIA’s main connection is in providing the online nisConnect were in the millions, says research tools that makes information about the tennis marCharlie Ruddy, developer of Tennisketplace easily accessible (see page 26). The TIA, along with Connect.org. its research partner, Sports Marketing Surveys, produces 70 “We will be using this impressive research reports and surveys annually. In addition, quarterly database as part of the new Court census reports are also generated (through W & W Services Monitor System to analyze play Inc.) that show shipment and sales for tennis racquets, habits and court usage for the strings, and balls, a leading indicator of recreational play. research provided in the Tennis More than ever, the TIA is focused on finding ways to help Health Index report,” adds the TIA’s the industry’s vitality by working together toward growth, de Boer. prosperity, and fitness to keep tennis No. 1.

TennisConnect.org

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

25

Know Your Market
The extensive research available from the TIA will help you increase your business, and your profits.
hether you operate a retail shop, tennis facility, or manufacturing operation, one of the key things you need to be able to run your business successfully is market research. And providing that research has long been a strength of the Tennis Industry Association. Soon, though, you’ll have a powerful new research tool to help you spread the word about tennis. The TIA with support from the USTA is finalizing plans for a “Tennis Health Index.” Much like the Consumer Confidence Index, the new THI will be designed to give an accurate measure on an annual basis of the state of tennis in the U.S. Through the TIA, you and your business can have the market intelligence that you need to maintain a competitive edge that will help you prosper. As the research source for every type of facility or retail shop, the information you can receive from the TIA—in conjunction with Sports Marketing Surveys USA, one of the leading market research firms in the country—will give you the tools to help you increase your business profits. In addition to the Tennis Health Index, more than 70 tennis-specific research reports and surveys are available each year. The amount and type of research available to TIA members varies with the membership level and type of business. “We interview thousands of recreational tennis players, facility owners, and tennis retailers throughout the year,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “Our research and market intelligence reports will help tennis businesses of all sizes determine what they need to do to stay profitable, and to help increase their business.” All levels of TIA membership include either overviews or executive summaries of all TIA research. The TIA can also run customized research to fit the specialized needs of any business. Here’s a quick overview of some of the research available to members:

W

* Phone Survey of Tennis Participation. This is a continuation of the USTA/TIA survey, but going forward there will be a reduced sample size. The sample size could be reduced to 4,000 households (9,500 individuals), which would still provide a robust national participation figure. * Online Survey of Tennis Participation. This will be a new U.S. sports participation study of 60,000 individuals. * Mail Panel Survey of Tennis Participation. This survey is from the NSGA’s participation survey. * Ball Shipments. Tennis ball units have historically been a good indicator of the level of play in the U.S. The TIA has tracked tennis ball shipments for more than 20 years. * Grassroots Monitor. This will be a national facility audit that would supplement participation data by monitoring key operational data. “The aim is to produce a ‘courts books’ or ‘games played’ figure that is a monthly indicator of playing trends, similar to what the National Golf Foundation does with its ‘Rounds Played’ data,” says de Boer. “And the TIA will provide software tools to help facilities supply this data.” To determine this grassroots monitor, a website will be developed for data entry by facilities. Initially, the TIA is looking for at least 555 facilities from the 53 most important metropolitan areas to contribute data on a regular basis. * Tennis Player Survey. As part of both the phone and online participation surveys, interviews with an additional 500 to 1,000 tennis players will be conducted. * Annual Facility Survey. This will be in addition to the Grassroots Monitor and provide extra data from 500 to 1,000 facilities.

This new measure of tennis in the U.S. will take the place of the U.S. Tennis Participation Study, which the USTA and TIA have been doing for the last five years. The Tennis Health Index will include seven different components that will give a measure of the state of U.S. tennis. “By combining different elements, we’ll introduce a series of checks and balances and not be over-reliant on a single measure,” says Keith Storey, vice president of research for Sports Marketing Surveys USA, which partners with the TIA in providing research data. Indicators that will make up the THI include:

Tennis Health Index

Cost of Doing Business Report
For Retailers, Facilities & Court Contractors
The Cost of Doing Business Report, which tells businesses how they compare to facilities or retail shops of similar size and type, is an essential reference tool for both tennis facility and tennis retailer members. For your business, you can use this data to benchmark key operating areas. * For Facilities: The report provides a comprehensive study of operational data by region and type of facility, including range

26 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

of revenue expectations, expenditures, and business ratios, such as revenue per court, percent of gross revenue spent on rent, utilities, salaries/wages, insurance, repairs and maintenance. It also includes capital expenditure plans. * For Retailers: A comprehensive study of operational data for tennis retailers by region and type of store, including range of revenue expectations and expenditure. The report also includes amount of floor/wall space allocated to racquets, footwear, apparel, and accessories. Business ratios provided include revenue per square foot, stock turns by product group, capital expenditure plans, and pay structure for staff (employed, contract, hourly, etc.). * For Court Contractors: This comprehensive report provides key operating data, such as net profit and loss, revenue, cost of goods sold, and expenses. Also, it provides a breakdown of business expenses (i.e. percent going to raw materials, wages, equipment, insurance, marketing, etc.), along with capital expenditure plans and a compensation study. In addition, the survey will cover renovation and construction plans for the next two years by category (such as court surface, lights, fencing, buildings, etc.).

Dealers who contribute to the audit receive a monthly pricecheck report and a quarterly summary of the pro/specialty tennis market.

Dealer Trend Surveys
The Dealer Trend Survey evaluates manufacturers’ performance among pro/specialty dealers, tracking dealers’ attitudes toward their suppliers and telling what dealers really are thinking. Each biannual report is from mail and telephone interviews with 100 dealers, representative by region and store size. The reports include a Dealer Confidence Index, dealers’ verbatim comments, and forecasted sales changes by brand, along with ratings of suppliers for sales reps, customer service, product delivery, product innovation, and advertising promotion. Dealers who respond to the survey receive a summary of the results to see how their industry experience compares to the marketplace.

Consumer Reports
Early- and late-season Consumer Reports on racquets, footwear, strings, and apparel evaluate buying and playing habits, brand strength, and brand image among frequent players. The report defines attitudes and habits of the most avid tennis players, who are the heart of your market. Each year the TIA conducts more than 2,500 indepth, face-to-face, and online interviews with avid players. The data consists of playing characteristics, buying habits and motivations, brand strength (including awareness and propensity to buy), brand image, sources of information, and influences at point of purchase. Do you have an issue you want to know more about? The TIA, in conjunction with Sports Marketing Surveys, can design and create tennis consumer research studies to investigate any marketing issue. They have access to tennis players online and at events, and a custom tennis consumer panel is being developed.

Tennis Facilities Database and Operational Analysis
The TIA compiles and maintains the most comprehensive and accurate record of tennis facilities in the U.S. Database contents includes: address, contact names (pro, manager), telephone, fax, e-mail, number of courts by type, type of facility (private, commercial, etc.), tennis retail space, and volume. From this, the TIA conducts cost of doing business surveys (such as marketing, maintenance, utility costs, etc.) and establishing tennis operation benchmarks (such as the number of members per court, dollars generated per court, etc.) and industry standards.

Distribution Study
This report gathers retailer information from manufacturers to produce an in-depth analysis of the size of the pro/specialty tennis racquet and footwear market by region. The database can now be used to produce custom studies such as: allocation of sales territories, market size for sales territories, analysis by drive-times and smaller geographical areas of the U.S.

For Manufacturers
These quarterly reports monitor racquets, footwear, and strings through the pro/specialty channel and tell what is selling at the brand and model levels. The TIA compiles data monthly from more than 75 retail outlets that are representative of the country by region and store size. For racquets, monthly reports are available that include brand share and best-selling models, plus full quarterly reports that include brand share by product attribute (such as head size and composition). Quarterly reports for footwear and strings include brand share and best-selling SKUs.

Specialty Retail Audit

Census Reports
The quarterly census reports conducted on racquets, balls, and strings define the total size of the U.S. market. These reports enable participating companies to track market changes and determine their own market share. Ball shipments are also closely correlated to tennis participation. The reports consist of confidential quarterly reports provided by all manufacturers on wholesale shipments (units and dollars). The surveys are conducted by an independent third-party accounting firm, W&W Services Inc.

For information about TIA research, call 843-686-3036, email info@tennisindustry.org, or visit www.TennisIndustry.org.
Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

27

Economic Leverage
Through benefits with TIA affinity partners, you can reduce costs and expenses, and boost your bottom line.

A

re you losing too much money every time you process a credit-card transaction? Are you tired of paying hefty shipping charges when you need to send product? Are you worried your insurance isn’t covering your business adequately? Well, the TIA is working to help you reduce your expenses and gain more value for your dollar. Through an expanded list of partnerships, TIA members can benefit from a wide variety of money-saving initiatives and services. “We’ve put together a quality roster of benefits and services, and we’re always looking to expand our offerings to members,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “Together with our affinity partners, we’re reaching out to the entire industry—retailers, pros, facility operators, manufacturers, associations, and more. And we’re going to continue to add value to TIA membership.”

Shipping Discounts
Need to ship product? As a TIA member, you can enjoy discounts with some of the country’s premier shipping companies. To receive any of the program discounts below, call 800MEMBERS. DHL offers rates as low as $12.95 for overnight shipping, with no weight limits for DHL’s ShipReady Package service. Airborne Express offers savings from 20 percent to 40 percent to TIA members, based on shipping volume. Menlo Worldwide, which provides heavyweight air freight delivery, offers up to 45 percent savings. Roadway Express & Yellow Freight System offers up to 52 percent savings on LTL (“less than truckload”) services.

TIA Merchant Card Services
The Merchant Card Services agreement with Preferred Card Services brings credit-card processing rates down as low as 1.23 percent, plus 25 cents per transaction. It’s one of the most competitive rates in the country. “With our TIA Merchant Card Services program, we’re making it much easier for retailers and facilities to keep more of the money they earn,” says de Boer. “As soon as you join the TIA, you’re immediately eligible to take advantage of our Merchant Card Services agreement.” Preferred Card Services has helped retailers save hundreds, and thousands, of dollars per year. By working with the entire tennis industry through the TIA, PCS can leverage the buying power of retailers and facilities. In addition, PCS lists many Fortune 500 companies as its customers, so it can pass on these significant savings to tennis retailers, too. “We know how to service both small and large retailers,” says James Parmes, the national sales manager for Preferred Card Services. “As a TIA member, we’ll work with you to come up with a plan to increase your profitability.” For a free comparison quote or for more information, contact Parmes at 800-656-0077, ex. 16, or email him at TIA@Preferredcard.net. For more information about these membership benefits and services through TIA Affinity Partners, contact the TIA at 843-686-3036, email info@tennisindustry. org, or visit www.TennisIndustry.org.

Travel Discounts
The TIA Advantage Card offers hotel, air, car rental, event, and other discounts for all TIA members through the Active.com network. Enjoy savings when you travel on airlines such as American Airlines or America West, or rent cars through Budget or Avis, or stay at hotels such as the Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Clarion, and many others. TIA Advantage Card discounts also extend to dining and entertainment, event tickets (including with TicketMaster), savings at Barnes & Noble, travel assistance programs, and much more.

Insurance Discounts
The TIA Sports N’ Sure program, provided by Stratus Insurance, is designed to meet your general and/or product liability needs. For TIA members, it’s solid, affordable insurance coverage at competitive rates. As a bonus, Sports N’ Sure is available through your current insurance agent—there’s no need to switch agents or companies. A new program for 2007 is being tailored for TIA retail and facility members.

Publication & Media Discounts
TIA members can receive a 25 percent discount on advertising rates from Racquet Sports Industry magazine. Plus, members can receive In-Tenn online magazine and Bob Larson’s Tennis News at additional savings. For members looking to advertise and market nationally or locally, the TIA’s partnership with Blue Plate Media will help you get the most from your marketing dollars.

28 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

Net Advantages
Enhanced websites for the tennis industry provide news, trends, and information to help you build your business.
asily accessible information has been a key factor in helping this sport to grow, and the internet has certainly become a key in terms of keeping TIA members, and the industry as a whole, informed about what’s going on in the business of tennis.

E

TennisIndustry.org
The newly revamped, interactive TIA website, Tennis Industry.org, is the information source for the whole industry. You can find all sorts of research on trends in tennis, details on grassroots programs, links to industry resources and more. A dynamic, multimedia introduction to the site reflects the TIA's mission—to promote the growth and economic vitality of tennis. A new feature on the site is the detailed searches (via city and state or ZIP code) of retailers, facilities, court contractors, manufacturers, media, and organizations. For instance, facilities can be searched by the type of court surface, number of courts, whether courts are lighted, whether there is a pro shop, and much more. Likewise if searching for a retailer, you can search by type of retailer and also by services offered. Through the TIA’s extensive research partnership with Sports Marketing Surveys USA, current TIA members can access key information that can greatly influence their business. And if you’re not yet a TIA member, the website’s easy-to-navigate design gives you access to information to help you discover the benefits of membership.

As the No. 1 research source in tennis, dozens of tennis-specific reports are available online for TIA members, such as the Market Intelligence Reports, which contain vital research on every aspect of the Tennis Marketplace. It’s all just a click away with streamline secure online access. “Our website describes all the tools and services available so that large and small businesses can continue to grow and profit, which in turn will help grow the sport,” says Jolyn de Boer, executive director of the TIA. Prospective members can review the benefits of each of the levels of membership, and sign up online through a secure payment page. Just go to TennisIndustry.org and click on “Membership.”

TennisWire.org
Stay on top of all the industry news and product releases from top manufacturers and companies in tennis by visiting www.TennisWire.org. This searchable database provides the latest press releases, stories, and more from tennis manufacturers, suppliers, and organizations. A new service added to TennisWire.org in 2007 is a list of jobs available in the industry. Press releases are submitted by TIA members at the Supporting Member level and above and are searchable by company, category and date. The releases also are distributed via the TennisWire.org newsletter to tennis writers and newspapers across the country, as well as to 12,000 industry contacts. Visitors to TennisWire.org can sign up for a free email newsletter that summarizes news and provides insight.

Find a Game, Find a Facility, Find a Program
Facilities can list their information and program details for consumers to find on major tennis websites - 24/7 Tennis facilities have an easy way to get their important facility and program information out to the public: Just go to GrowingTennis.com. GrowingTennis.com is the main portal for facility managers to log onto and to place all their facility and program information. Those details will then automatically be displayed on key consumer websites—TennisWelcomeCenter.com, CardioTennis.com, TheTennisChannel.com, Tennis.com, MyTennisCenter.com, and most recently, USTA.com—enabling consumers to find everything they need quickly and easily. Since 2004, this listing has been a free service offered to facilities that has helped hundreds of thousands of people to find exactly what they’re looking for in tennis—an easy way to get out onto the court and enjoy the sport. Whether looking for a place to play, a game, or an appropriate program, players can search using a wide variety of criteria. And search they did—last year, there were more than 2 million visits. Every day, more consumers are hopping on the internet to find information, and it’s becoming more important for facilities to keep their information up to date. And that’s the beauty of GrowingTennis.com—it’s easy to update your own information. In fact, the site receives 1,200 log-ins per month by facility managers who are updating their listings, so the public has the most complete information. For tennis facilities, going to GrowingTennis.com is a quick, easy—and free—way to increase your business.

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

29

Support Your Industry
The TIA puts your membership dollars to work. Over the past 12 years, nearly 80 percent of TIA revenue—$17 million—has gone to supporting grassroots programs and research.

Member Levels:
1 2 3 4 5 6 Individual ~ Industry Supporters Associate ~ Retailers, Facilities, Court Contractors Tennis Connect ~ Facilities, Retailers ~ Manage Business Online Supporting ~ Businesses, Companies, Major Retailers Affiliate ~ Organizations, Federations, Groups Participating Partner ~ Manufacturers and Contributors

Support Your Industry!
Step up to Participating Partner
• Every benefit and service in all levels below, plus… • Specialized reports in all areas of manufacturing • Greater visibility on website and acknowledgement that tennis campaign support is at highest level of return

Step up to Affiliate Member ($3000)
• All below, plus…Newsmaker status on TennisWire.org • Access to TWC / CT / TIA facilities / sponsor offers • Cardio Tennis special distinction for federations, organizations • 25% off ad rates in RSI / BluePlate Media Specials • All CODB reports / Full report Tennis Index

Step up to Supporting Member ($1000+)
• All below, plus…Newsmaker status on TennisWire.org • Access to TWC/CT/TIA facilities/sponsor offers • 25% off ad rates in RSI / BluePlate Media Specials • All CODB reports / Full report Tennis Index

Step up to Tennis Connect ($595)
• All below, plus…court scheduler, player matching, Calendar • Cost of Doing Business – Retailer and Facility reports

Step up to Associate Level ($295)
• All below, plus…website builder, group email, contact manager • Cost of Doing Business Research for area of interest

Individual Level ($100 / $500 lifetime)
• Tennis Marketplace Reports (2x year) • Overview of the Tennis Health Index • Industry newsletters and communication • All levels include TIA Affinity Benefits

30 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

THE BENEFITS OF TIA MEMBERSHIP
Individual Associate Tennis Supporting Affiliate Participating Members Members Connect Members Member Partners TIA Affinity Benefits TIA Merchant Card Services TIA Advantage/Shipping/Insurance Advertising/Media Discounts WEBSITES (secure research access and industry news) TennisIndustry.org TennisConnect.org (lite version) TennisConnect.org CardioTennis.com Partners.CardioTennis.com TennisWire.org (Contributing Newsmakers) GrowingTennis.com TennisWelcomeCenter.com Partners.TennisWelcomeCenter.com RESEARCH Tennis Health Index Full Report/CD Executive Summary The Tennis Marketplace Executive Summary Cost of Doing Business Reports Tennis Retailers Tennis Facilities Tennis Courts Specialty Retail Audit Full Report-Racquets Full Report-Footwear/Strings • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • •

• • • • •

• • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • •

annual annual

• •

• •

• •

bi-annual

annual annual annual

• • •

• • •

• • •

• • •

• • •

quarterly/monthly quarterly

• •

Retailer Satisfaction & Brand Perception Full Report-Racquets/Footwear early/late season Full Report-Strings/Apparel annual Consumer Reports Full Report-Racquets/Footwear/Strings/Apparel/Balls mid-year/year-end Census Reports Racquets/Balls/Strings Facilities Database TWC and CT sponsor offers U.S. Tennis Facilities Media/Retailers/Industry Contacts

• •

quarterly

• •

• •

• • •

Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

31

Become a Partner for Profitable Growth
Contact Name: ___________________________________ Title: _________________________ Company Name: ________________________________________________________________ Address: _______________________________________________________________________ City: _____________________________________ State: ___________ Zip: ________________ Phone: _______________________________Fax: _____________________________________

Tennis Industry Association 2007 Membership

Country: ___________________ Email: ______________________________________________ Company Web: _________________________________________________________________ Membership Levels: ____ Individual Membership - $100 ____ Individual Lifetime Membership - $500 ____ Associate Member - $295 ____ TennisConnect Member - $595 ____ Supporting Member - $1000+ ____ Affiliate Member - $3000 ____ Participating Partner (please contact me)

Apply online at TennisIndustry.org
Please mail or fax credit card information to 843-686-3078 or mail check (payable to the TIA) to: Tennis Industry Association P.O. Box 7845 Hilton Head Island, SC 29938 Check Enclosed Pay by Credit Card

Card #: _________________________________ Expiration Date: _________________________ Name on Card: __________________________

Service
• • • • • • Research Cost of Doing Business Reports TennisConnect.org Tenniswire.org Facilities Database Marketing & Advertising Discounts

Benefit to YOU
• • • • • • Know what consumers, competitors, and the industry are doing Know what your peers are doing Better communication and service to your members See all the latest news and press releases at one site Know the economic makeup of facilities throughout America Get matching $’s to invest in YOUR marketing

TIA Affinity Benefits
• • • • Merchant Card Services Travel and Hotel Discounts Shipping Discounts Insurance Discounts • • • • Reduce your credit card transaction fees Reduce travel costs Reduce freight charges Reduce business costs

Support for the Tennis Campaign
• Increase participation and our sport’s revenues

Call 843-686-3036 or visit www.TennisIndustry.org
32 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007
Join the TIA . . . Increase Your Profits . . . Grow the Game . . . www.TennisIndustry.org

2007 RACQUET SELECTION MAP
RACQUETS

O

ur exclusive Racquet Selection Map enables you to help your customer choose a racquet with “at-a-glance” ease. The entire performance racquet universe is presented on one easily navigable grid that instantly locates each racquet compared to every other in terms of power, control, and maneuverability.

Simply locate the specs of your customer’s current racquet on the map. From this starting point, move outward in large or small increments in the direction of the customer’s primary preference—relatively more or less power, control

or maneuverability. Once you have zoomed into an approximate location on the grid, you can narrow down the racquet’s feel attributes by choosing from length, size, and flex specs coded into the racquet number. Look up the racquet(s) by number in the accompanying table and send your customer out the door with a handful of “choice customized” demos. This procedure eliminates player’s doubt and second-guessing, minimizes buyer’s remorse, creates a satisfied customer, and leads to more profits. But the Racquet Selector won’t work for you unless you let it. Post it on the wall as a tool for the whole world to see and use. And then, look out!

RACQUET SELECTION MAP KEY
1. Power/Control (columns). (formula = length index x headsize x flex x swingweight) ÷ 1000. Length index calculation: 27" = 1.0, 27.5" = 1.05; 28" = 1.1, etc. 2. Maneuverability (rows). RDC (Babolat Racquet Diagnostic Center) swingweight units. 3. Racquet ID. The number in the grid correlates to the accompanying racquet list. 4. Headsize. Midsize and midplus (≤104 sq. in.) have no indicator. Oversize (105 -117 sq. in.) = •. Superoversize (≥ 118 sq. in.) = :. 5. Length. x = extended length. Standard length (27") racquets have no indicator. 6. Flex (RDC). a = < 60; b = 60-64; c = 65-69; d = 70-74; e = > 74. The higher the number, the stiffer the racquet. 7. Company. Coded by number and color. See accompanying racquet list on the following pages. 8. Racquet Quadrants and the Center of the Racquet Universe. The center of the racquet universe is located at the intersection of the two red lines. Approximately half the racquets lie to the right and left, and half above and below these lines. The lines divide the racquet universe into four color-coded quadrants – clockwise from top left: (1) quick power, (2) quick control, (3) stable control, (4) stable power. These characterizations provide a general vocabulary for comparing racquets. 9. Racquet Finder List. The racquet list accompanying the map identifies each racquet and gives additional information. The map provides specific (very narrow ranges, anyway) swingweight, flex and power statistics, and general size and length characteristics. The racquet list specifies the length and size and further specifies weight, balance, and price. How To Use It 1. Ask questions. What are you looking for that your current racquet does not provide? What do you like most and least about your current racquet? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your game? 2. Locate current racquet on map. If the racquet is not in the list, take measurements. 3. Locating potential racquets. Depending on the answers to the above questions, draw an imaginary arrow (a wide or skinny one) from your present racquet in the desired direction for power and maneuverability. 4. Narrowing the field. Shrink the choices using the length, headsize, and flex codes to match customer preferences. 5. Selecting racquet demos. Once the choices are narrowed, locate the racquets by number in the racquet list.

34 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

35

RACQUETS AS OF MARCH 2007
Racquet Headsize (in2) Length (in.) Weight (gm) Balance (cm) Balance Flex Swingweight (in.) (RDC) kg x cm2 Power Formula Retail Price

AVERY AVERY 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Avery Avery Avery BABOLAT BABOLAT Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Babolat Aero Blast Aeropro Control Aeropro Control + Aeropro Drive Aeropro Drive + Drive Z Lite (Cortex Technology) Drive Z OS Pure Control Pure Control + Pure Drive 107 (with Cortex) Pure Drive 110 (with Cortex) Pure Drive Roddick Pure Drive Roddick + Pure Drive Team + Pure Drive Team Pure Drive (with Cortex) Pure Drive + (with Cortex) Pure Storm MP Team Pure Storm Team VS NCT Tour ACE Advantage Ace Omni Ace Rocket ACE Tour ACE Tour + Double Strung 107 Aerogel 200 Aerogel 300 Aerogel 500 Aerogel 500 Tour Aerogel 700 Aerogel 900 M Fil Lady G Court Ti 2000 M GDS Rally M Pro No. One 105 (SL) 112 98 98 100 100 100 110 98 98 107 110 100 100 100 100 100 100 102 98 100 107 107 116 98 98 107 95 98 100 100 108 113 108 107 102 105 27.50 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.25 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.30 27.50 27.50 27.50 27.38 27.00 295 343 332 324 322 271 292 346 345 313 306 332 333 313 317 318 319 298 311 294 270 272 274 307 323 292 340 324 291 315 274 273 277 253 295 335 37.00 32.25 32.25 33.75 33.75 36.00 36.75 31.75 32.25 33.00 35.00 32.75 32.75 33.50 33.00 33.00 33.25 34.50 33.75 34.00 34.50 36.75 38.00 33.50 33.75 36.75 32.55 33.75 34.15 33.50 35.60 35.80 35.00 39.00 34.00 32.00 M3 Control M3 Power M5 95 95 110 27.00 27.00 27.00 346 355 349 31.00 32.25 31.25

800-758-9467 • www.tomavery.com 12.20 12.70 12.30 14.57 12.70 12.70 13.29 13.29 14.17 14.47 12.50 12.70 12.99 13.78 12.89 12.89 13.19 12.99 12.99 13.09 13.58 13.29 13.39 62 68 59 63 71 72 69 71 68 67 69 69 71 67 73 72 73 71 72 71 68 64 71 307 331 323 340 341 325 337 338 306 326 334 335 319 323 328 332 322 313 318 328 313 320 292 1808 2138 2096 2519 2373 2408 2325 2520 2081 2523 2259 2379 2423 2381 2394 2510 2468 2222 2290 2445 2171 2007 2073 $179 $180 $179 $219 $179 $179 $179 $179 $169 $199 $179 $179 $185 $185 $189 $189 $179 $179 $185 $185 $179 $179 $189

877-316-9435 • www.babolat.com

BANCROFT BANCROFT 24 Bancroft 25 26 27 28 29 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 Bancroft Bancroft Bancroft Bancroft Blackburne Dunlop Dunlop Dunlop Dunlop Dunlop Dunlop Feather Fischer Fischer

800-779-0807 • www.bancroftsports.com 13.58 57 279 1702 $195 14.47 14.96 13.19 13.29 14.47 79 78 67 70 68 308 330 304 319 341 2669 3135 1996 2188 2481 $169 $199 $195 $195 $199

BLACKBURN BLACKBURNE 30DUNLOP Dunlop

781-729-3891 • www.blackburneds.com 12.81 64 1982 $189 800-277-8000 •326 www.dunlopsport.com 13.29 63 324 2000 $199 13.44 13.19 14.02 14.09 13.78 70 73 74 73 69 299 324 307 308 291 2093 2365 2527 2668 2277 $199 $199 $209 $219 $149

FEATHER FEATHER FISCHER FISCHER

323-692-8256 • www.feathersports.com 15.35 77 321 2777 $120 800-844-7810 • www.fischertennisusa.com 13.39 12.60 65 58 291 318 2002 1937 $160 $180

36 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

Racquet

Headsize (in2)

Length (in.)

Weight (gm)

Balance (cm)

Balance Flex Swingweight (in.) (RDC) kg x cm2

Power Formula

Retail Price

40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84

Fischer Fischer Fischer Fischer Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Gamma Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head Head GAMMA GAMMA

M Pro No. One 98 (SL) M Pro No. One 98 (UL) M Tour 100 (SL) M Twin Tec Motion Big Bubba 28 G250 G260 G290 G310 G325 IPEX 2.0 SOS IPEX 3.0 OS IPEX 5.0 MP IPEX 7.0 MP IPEX 7.0 OS Airflow 1 Airflow 3 Airflow 5 Airflow 7 Flexpoint 1 MP Flexpoint 1 OS Flexpoint 10 Flexpoint 4 Flexpoint 6 MP Flexpoint 6 OS Flexpoint Fire Flexpoint Heat Flexpoint Instinct Flexpoint Prestige Mid Flexpoint Prestige MP Flexpoint Prestige XL MP Flexpoint Radical MP Flexpoint Radical OS Flexpoint Radical Tour MP FXP Instinct Team (Flexpoint) FXP Prestige Team FXP Radical Team (Flexpoint) Metallix 10 Metallix 2 Metallix 4 Metallix 6 MicroGel Extreme MicroGel Extreme Pro Protector MP Protector OS

98 98 100 112 137 110 105 103 100 95 137 116 96 98 107 99 102 109 115 102 110 121 107 102 112 102 102 100 93 98 98 98 107 100 105 102 102 124 102 107 115 100 100 102 115

27.00 27.00 27.00 27.63 28.00 27.75 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.75 27.50 27.25 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.33 27.38 27.38 27.33 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.38 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.33 27.30 27.25 27.30 27.00 27.00 27.38 27.63

337 309 313 278 273 275 279 305 323 341 272 265 272 323 322 267 262 250 255 271 268 259 281 294 279 294 297 308 345 338 342 312 318 342 281 310 294 270 273 269 268 312 341 282 283

32.25 33.45 33.00 36.00 38.30 35.95 34.50 33.50 32.00 31.15 37.50 36.00 34.50 32.25 32.50 36.25 35.85 35.50 35.00 35.00 36.85 38.00 35.50 35.75 37.25 34.75 34.50 33.00 32.00 32.38 33.13 33.75 33.50 32.50 35.00 34.00 35.00 36.00 36.00 37.00 36.25 32.45 32.50 36.75 38.00

12.70 13.17 12.99 14.17 15.08 14.15 13.58 13.19 12.60 12.26 14.76 14.17 13.58 12.70 12.80 14.27 14.11 13.98 13.78 13.78 14.51 14.96 13.98 14.07 14.67 13.68 13.58 12.99 12.60 12.75 13.04 13.29 13.19 12.80 13.78 13.39 13.78 14.17 14.17 14.57 14.27 12.78 12.80 14.47 14.96

56 63 59 70 66 72 63 73 61 61 65 70 67 64 59 76 75 74 73 67 64 69 67 68 64 63 66 65 67 66 67 65 59 60 68 56 59 69 69 67 69 68 71 66 64

312 306 305 307 349 319 305 324 300 297 334 302 293 311 308 294 284 270 265 289 268 316 309 324 321 317 304 308 312 315 333 324 330 318 298 319 312 289 290 306 290 308 335 320 340

1712 1889 1800 2557 3471 2716 2018 2558 1830 1721 3197 2575 1932 1951 1944 2212 2173 2178 2225 1975 1887 2770 2288 2332 2387 2104 2047 2002 1944 2037 2268 2064 2083 1908 2128 1822 1878 2554 2102 2249 2370 2094 2379 2235 2659

$180 $180 $180 $210 $190 $180 $160 $160 $160 $160 $190 $180 $160 $150 $150 $150 $180 $200 $225 $120 $120 $275 $225 $250 $250 $150 $140 $180 $225 $225 $225 $200 $200 $200 $170 $210 $190 $275 $200 $200 $225 $180 $180 $300 $300

800-333-0337 • www.gammasports.com

HEADHEAD

800-289-7366 • www.head.com

May 2006 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

37

Racquet

Headsize (in2)

Length (in.)

Weight (gm)

Balance (cm)

Balance Flex Swingweight Power (in.) (RDC) kg x cm2 Formula

Retail Price

POWERANGLE POWER ANGLE 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 PowerAngle PowerAngle PowerAngle PowerAngle PowerAngle PowerAngle PowerAngle PowerAngle Power 102 (Light Blue) Power 102 (Navy Blue) Power 102 (Yellow) Power 115 (Light Blue) Power 115 (Red) Power 115 (Yellow) Power 98 Power 98/K Air Freak Midplus Air Freak Oversize O3 Blue O3 Citron OS O3 Hornet Hybrid Midplus O3 Hornet Hybrid Oversize O3 Hybrid Tour (16x18) O3 Shark Hybrid Midplus O3 Shark Hybrid Oversize O3 Silver OS O3 Spectrum Hybrid Midplus O3 Spectrum Hybrid Oversize O3 Speedport Blue O3 Speedport Red O3 Speedport Silver O3 Tour 100 O3 Tour MS O3 Tour OS O3 White MP Core 1 No. 06 Ki 10 (Kinetic Ionic 10) Ki 10 PSE (Kinetic Ionic 10 PSE) Ki 15 (Kinetic Ionic 15) Ki 15 PSE (Kinetic Ionic 15 PSE) Ki 20 (Kinetic Ionic 20) Ki 20 PSE Ki 30 (Kinetic Ionic 30) Ki 5 (Kinetic Ionic 5) Ki 5 PSE (Kinetic Ionic 5 PSE) Ki 5x (Kinetic Ionic 5x) Kinetic Pro 15g Light Kinetic Pro 5g Kinetic Pro 7g Type C 93 Redondo Edition Type C 98 Redondo Edition Type R 102 102 102 115 115 115 98 98 100 110 110 110 100 110 95 100 110 118 100 110 110 105 118 100 95 107 100 95 100 100 105 105 110 110 117 100 100 100 105 100 100 93 98 100 27.38 27.38 27.38 27.38 27.25 27.38 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.75 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.25 27.75 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.13 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.25 27.50 27.38 27.38 27.00 27.13 27.63 27.50 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.00 274 272 274 268 262 268 322 326 305 287 281 290 302 283 329 314 295 270 302 281 290 297 267 324 338 316 315 339 311 323 280 325 271 297 270 324 370 335 272 334 342 331 342 328 36.50 37.00 36.50 37.25 37.25 37.25 30.50 30.75 34.00 34.25 34.25 35.00 34.25 35.00 31.75 33.75 35.00 37.50 34.00 34.50 35.15 34.50 37.00 32.25 31.75 34.00 33.25 31.75 33.50 33.00 35.25 32.75 35.75 34.50 35.00 32.25 32.00 34.00 35.00 31.50 32.00 32.00 31.00 33.25

877-769-3721 • www.powerangle.net 14.37 14.57 14.37 14.67 14.67 14.67 12.01 12.11 72 73 72 74 73 74 63 64 314 315 314 318 309 318 289 289 2392 2433 2392 2808 2659 2808 1784 1813 $199 $199 $199 $199 $199 $199 $199 $199

PRINCE PRINCE 93 Prince 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Prince Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex Pro Kennex

800-283-6647 • www.princetennis.com 13.39 71 317 2251 $120 13.48 13.48 13.78 13.48 13.78 12.50 13.29 13.78 14.76 13.39 13.58 13.84 13.58 14.57 12.70 12.50 13.39 13.09 12.50 13.19 12.99 13.88 12.89 14.07 13.58 13.78 12.70 12.60 13.39 13.78 12.40 12.60 12.60 12.20 13.09 70 65 67 72 71 67 66 67 78 73 69 67 67 74 61 65 66 67 61 68 62 70 71 69 67 73 63 67 68 65 62 65 57 56 56 298 295 320 314 305 326 322 323 320 313 293 325 324 314 312 315 321 317 317 305 311 312 317 309 321 299 309 335 349 300 314 332 310 314 315 2295 2215 2476 2261 2382 2075 2125 2500 3166 2285 2224 2515 2336 2947 1903 1945 2380 2124 1860 2074 1928 2408 2422 2463 2454 2650 1947 2273 2522 2150 1947 2266 1643 1723 1764 $120 $280 $250 $190 $190 $200 $200 $200 $300 $149 $149 $269 $249 $289 $220 $220 $220 $220 $160 $180 $180 $190 $190 $210 $210 $250 $180 $180 $180 $150 $150 $150 $170 $170 $160

PRO KENNEX PRO KENNEX

973-738-6941

38 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

Racquet

Headsize (in2)

Length (in.)

Weight (gm)

Balance (cm)

Balance Flex Swingweight Power (in.) (RDC) kg x cm2 Formula

Retail Price

PRO SUPEX PRO SUPEX 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 Pro Supex Pro Supex Slazenger Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Tecnifibre Vantage Vantage Vantage Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Volkl Weed Weed Weed Weed Weed Weed Weed Dynamic Energy Ti. S1 Pro X1 T Feel 305 (16x19) T Feel 305 (18x20) T Fight 320 (16x20) T Fight 320 (18x20) T Fight 335 (16x20) T Fight 335 (18x20) T Flash 290 T Flash 310 (16x19) T Flash 310 (18x20) VT001 VT002 VT003 Boris Becker 1 Boris Becker 10 Boris Becker 5 C10 Pro DNX 1 w/Power Arm DNX 10 DNX 10 Mid DNX 2 DNX 3 DNX 4 DNX 6 DNX 7 DNX 8 DNX 9 DNX V1 MP DNX V1 OS Tour 10 MP Gen II V1 Classic V1 Classic (Silver Color) EXT 135 Blue EXT 135 Green EXT 135 Pink EXT 135 Tour X-ONE25 (27 1/2) X-ONE25 (28 1/2) Z-One 35 100 100 95 98 98 97 97 97 97 100 100 100 90 95 100 110 100 102 98 115 98 93 110 110 105 100 100 100 98 102 110 98 102 102 135 135 135 135 125 125 135 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.25 27.25 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.80 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.75 27.60 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.00 28.25 28.25 28.25 28.25 27.50 28.50 27.00 328 314 336 321 321 329 335 350 351 308 329 325 338 334 306 269 306 276 348 267 338 340 283 280 290 285 290 312 320 302 297 339 313 316 280 275 277 263 269 269 273 31.95 33.50 32.00 33.25 34.00 31.50 32.30 31.25 31.50 33.75 32.85 32.10 32.50 32.00 34.75 36.50 34.25 34.50 31.50 35.85 32.00 32.25 35.50 35.25 33.75 34.00 33.65 33.50 32.50 33.50 34.00 32.25 33.50 34.00 37.00 37.00 37.00 37.00 36.25 38.25 36.25

866-787-4644 • www.prosupexusa.com 12.58 13.19 12.60 13.09 13.39 12.40 12.72 12.30 12.40 13.29 12.93 12.64 12.80 12.60 13.68 14.37 13.48 13.58 12.40 14.11 12.60 12.70 13.98 13.88 13.29 13.39 13.25 13.19 12.80 13.19 13.39 12.70 13.19 13.39 14.57 14.57 14.57 14.57 14.27 15.06 14.27 67 70 67 68 69 67 68 67 66 69 71 70 63 61 61 65 67 62 56 71 64 60 71 66 67 67 67 70 68 69 68 64 68 67 64 62 64 60 69 69 67 308 316 305 315 332 299 320 315 319 312 320 314 321 323 324 304 314 282 321 306 314 328 310 315 300 300 299 317 312 301 302 322 320 316 338 334 340 322 311 360 314 2064 2212 1941 2099 2245 1943 2111 2047 2042 2153 2272 2198 1820 1872 2026 2228 2209 1783 1762 2698 1969 1830 2421 2458 2237 2010 2003 2219 2079 2118 2372 2020 2220 2160 3285 3145 3305 2934 2816 3571 2840 $100 $100 $180 $170 $170 $170 $170 $170 $170 $170 $170 $170 $221 $221 $221 $160 $160 $130 $190 $290 $190 $190 $200 $240 $180 $150 $150 $170 $180 $220 $220 $180 $200 $179 $250 $250 $250 $250 $209 $209 $250

SLAZENGER SLAZENGER TECNIFIBRE TECNIFIBRE

800-277-8000 877-332-0825 • www.tecnifibre.com

VANTAGE VANTAGE

+44 (0)1753 621177 • www.vantagetennis.com

VOLKL VOLKL

866-554-7872 • www.volkl-tennis.com

WEED WEED

800-933-3758 • www.weedusa.com

May 2006 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

39

Racquet

Headsize (in2)

Length (in.)

Weight (gm)

Balance (cm)

Balance Flex Swingweight Power (in.) (RDC) kg x cm2 Formula

Retail Price

WILSON WILSON 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Wilson Yonex Yonex Yonex Yonex Yonex Yonex Yonex Yonex Yonex Yonex K1 122 K3 115 K4 105 K4 112 KSix One 95 KSix One Team KSix One Tour KSurge KZen 103 KZen Team n1 n1 Force n2 n5 Force 110 n5 Force 98 nBlade 106 nBlade 98 nFury 100 nFury 110 nPro Open nPro Open X nTour Two 105 nTour Two 95 W2 Black Whisper W2 Blue Shadow W2 Spicy Ruby W3 Gypsy Rose W4 Cobalt Storm W4 Red Fury W4 Savage Lime W4 Savage Sapphire W5 Divine Iris W6 Blue Steel W6 Wild Crimson RDS 001 90 RDS 001 98 RDS 002 RDS 002 Tour RDS 003 100 RQS 11 RQS 22 RQS 33 RQS 55 URQ Speed 8 122 115 105 112 95 95 90 100 103 103 115 125 121 110 98 106 98 100 110 100 100 105 95 117 117 117 116 107 107 107 107 111 97 97 90 98 98 98 100 100 102 107 112 102 27.50 27.50 27.25 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.25 27.25 27.90 27.75 27.50 27.25 27.25 27.25 27.00 27.00 27.50 27.00 27.50 27.25 27.00 27.50 27.50 27.50 27.50 27.25 27.25 27.25 27.25 27.50 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.00 27.25 27.50 27.50 27.50 27.50 27.50 264 268 281 280 347 305 356 292 318 285 256 267 265 286 276 308 315 285 271 311 316 296 302 273 270 273 277 267 272 271 272 273 299 297 344 309 315 342 312 292 285 279 265 277 38.20 37.50 35.00 37.50 31.55 34.10 31.85 33.95 33.10 34.50 38.75 40.00 37.00 37.50 37.50 33.25 33.25 33.75 35.50 32.50 33.50 35.25 35.25 37.75 37.75 37.25 38.00 36.50 36.25 36.75 36.25 37.50 35.25 35.25 31.75 31.75 33.00 31.75 32.75 34.25 34.80 36.00 37.15 36.00 15.04 14.76 13.78 14.76 12.42 13.43 12.54 13.37 13.03 13.58 15.26 15.75 14.57 14.76 14.76 13.09 13.09 13.29 13.98 12.80 13.19 13.88 13.88 14.86 14.86 14.67 14.96 14.37 14.27 14.47 14.27 14.76 13.88 13.88 12.50 12.50 12.99 12.50 12.89 13.48 13.70 14.17 14.63 14.17

800-272-6060 • www.wilson.com 73 65 75 74 71 61 66 71 73 73 75 74 70 56 56 61 59 48 70 69 68 64 65 66 65 65 48 66 67 67 67 64 59 60 65 66 66 68 69 67 65 70 70 72 316 313 311 341 325 316 331 303 328 305 323 347 313 329 312 314 329 297 304 294 319 322 326 326 318 319 326 304 307 311 305 323 327 322 320 309 314 320 306 311 309 321 314 312 2955 2457 2510 2968 2192 1831 1966 2151 2528 2351 3037 3450 2784 2077 1755 2081 1902 1426 2458 2029 2278 2218 2013 2643 2539 2547 1906 2201 2256 2285 2241 2409 1871 1874 1872 1999 2031 2132 2164 2188 2151 2525 2585 2406 $350 $300 $230 $260 $210 $210 $220 $200 $190 $190 $300 $300 $270 $240 $240 $200 $200 $120 $120 $200 $200 $200 $200 $270 $270 $270 $239 $230 $230 $230 $230 $219 $200 $200 $199 $199 $179 $179 $189 $229 $229 $239 $259 $119

YONEX YONEX

310-793-3800 • www.yonex.com

40 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

string Wilson Super Spin 16
Wilson Super Spin is a hexagonally shaped nylon string with a core consisting of two simultaneously extruded layers. Around the core are wrapped 20 nylon fibers. The hexagonal shape is achieved when the final outer layer is added. According to Wilson, co-extruding the core results in a soft feel with good energy return.
Wilson tells us that it is aiming Super Spin at players looking for more spin in a comfortable and durable string, although it is also a good choice for players who use and like nylon string, but are looking for something different to enhance play without giving up the benefits of nylon. Super Spin is available in 16 gauge only (1.33 mm) in crystal, blue, orange, red, and yellow. The pricing is $4.50 per set of 40 feet, $15 for a “mini-reel” of 125 feet (crystal only), and $75 for reels of 660 feet (in red, yellow, or crystal). The mini-reel is offered for those who want to use Super Spin in hybrid string jobs. For more information or to order, contact Wilson at 773714-6400, or visit www.wilson.com. Be sure to read the conclusion for more information about getting a free set to try for yourself. The string was tested for five weeks by 37 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.0 to 6.0. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. On average, each member of our playtest team used Super Spin for 18.6 hours. Super Spin has a slightly rough texture, which is enough to catch your fingers a little bit when weaving the crosses. However, this same texture also helps you hold the string between your fingers, and the crosses seem to pull through the mains just fine. You can get some light scarring on the EASE OF STRINGING
(compared to other strings) Number of testers who said it was: much easier 1 somewhat easier 5 about as easy 20 not quite as easy 9 not nearly as easy 2

PLAYTEST

mains, but this is not unusual these days, and it doesn’t affect playability or durability. If you face a blocked hole, you’ll be glad to learn that Super Spin cuts to a fine point (AKA plastic awl) better than just about any string you can think of. No playtester broke his sample during stringing, nine reported problems with coil memory, four reported problems tying knots, and 12 reported friction burn.

OVERALL PLAYABILITY
(compared to string played most often) Number of testers who said it was: much better 2 somewhat better 12 about as playable 5 not quite as playable 14 not nearly as playable 1

ON THE COURT
It’s always nice when a product meets or exceeds your expectations, and that’s a fair summary of our playtest team’s experience with Super Spin, which placed second overall in the Spin Potential category out of the 110 strings we’ve playtested to date. In case you’re wondering, the first place string is none other than Wilson Natural 16 (that’s “natural” as in “natural gut”). Our playtest team also rated Super Spin well above average in Playability, Durability, Control, Comfort, Holding Tension, and Resistance to Movement. Our team also rated Power as above average. It’s almost anticlimactic to learn that the overall average score was also well above average. As one playtester put it, “It excels in nearly every category.” Two players broke the sample during testing, one at 3.5 hours and one at 6 hours.

IN THE LAB
We tested Super Spin in crystal. The coil measured 40 feet. The diameter measured 1.24-1.34 mm prior to stringing, and 1.211.29 mm after stringing. The large variance in measurements is due to the hexagonal shape of Super Spin. We recorded a stringbed stiffness of 73 RDC units immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 x 18 pattern) on a constant-pull machine. After 24 hours (no playing), stringbed stiffness measured 66 RDC units, representing a 10 percent tension loss. Our control string, Prince Synthetic Gut Original Gold 16, measured 78 RDC units immediately after stringing and 71 RDC units after 24 hours, representing a 9 percent tension loss. Super Spin added 17 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

OVERALL DURABILITY
(compared to other strings of similar gauge) Number of testers who said it was: much better 1 somewhat better 13 about as durable 17 not quite as durable 3 not nearly as durable 0

RATING AVERAGES
From 1 to 5 (best) Playability Durability Power Control Comfort Touch/Feel Spin Potential (#2 overall to date) Holding Tension Resistance to Movement 3.4 3.6 3.2 3.5 3.4 3.0 3.8 3.6 3.6

CONCLUSION
Out of our nine rating categories, our playtest team rated Wilson Super Spin well above average in seven of them. This would be a good result for a high-end

42 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

TESTERS

TALK

Very easy to string. Great tension maintenance and good spin potential. This string is very comfortable at impact. 5.0 male all-court player using Head Prestige Tour strung at 58 pounds LO (polyester/natural gut 17)

This string has outstanding durability and comfort. The low power level allows for a full swing, which adds loads of spin 5.0 male all-court player using control. Head Flexpoint Instinct strung at 59/57 pounds CP (polyester/nylon 16L/17)

nylon, but Super Spin could give bargain strings some real competition based on price alone. That’s a heck of a combination. In addition to our nine main rating categories, we also ask our playtesters to compare the playability of the test string against that of their favorite string. Not surprisingly, most of the time the test string doesn’t fare too well. Yet once again, Super Spin did well even in this area, rating in the top 20 percent of all the strings we’ve tested to date. It’s no secret that textured strings

haven’t always lived up to the claims made about them. In fact, lab tests suggest that the shape of the string doesn’t affect the spin very much, and over the years, our playtest teams have been extremely conservative in granting high ratings for Spin Potential. Based on our playtest team’s evaluation of Wilson Super Spin, it looks as though it’s time to go back to the lab and try again. If you think that Wilson Super Spin might be for you, fill out the coupon to get a free set to try. —Greg Raven Q

This string is a very pleasant surprise. It excels in nearly every category. I expected a bland nylon, but I discovered outstanding power, feel, and touch. This is definitely a 5.0 male candidate for my next hybrid. all-court player using Wilson nSix One Tour strung at 51 pounds CP (polyester/nylon 17/16)

Wilson has generously offered to send a free set of the Super Spin to any USRSA members who request it. Just cut out (or copy) this coupon and mail it to: USRSA, Attn: Wilson Super Spin String Offer, 330 Main Street, Vista, CA 92084 or fax to 760-536-1171, or email the info below to stringsample@racquettech.com Offer expires 20 May 07 Offer only available to USRSA members in the US.

FREE PLAYTEST STRING PROGRAM

While the comfort and control are superb, the spin potential is simply off the charts. You can literally feel this string grab and rotate the ball. To top it off, the tension maintenance and durability are among the best I’ve seen. I’m sold. 4.5 male all-court player using Yonex RD Ti 70 Long MP strung at 55 pounds CP (Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power Rough 16L)

Name: USRSA Member number: Phone: Email:
If you print your email clearly, we will notify you when your sample will be sent.

This string has an elastic feel, but it plays quite crisply. The bite is exceptional and spin comes easily. The comfort level is surprisingly low for a synthetic. Power level is low, making it harder to achieve depth. Recommended to those who bring their own power. 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson nTour Two strung at 61.5 pounds CP (Gamma Revelation 16)

The durability, spin, and tension maintenance are top-notch, but the comfort and touch are not a good fit for my short strokes. I would try this in a hybrid with a soft, friendly cross. 5.0 male all-court player using Fischer Pro Tour FT strung at 66/68 pounds CP (Natural Gut 17)

For the rest of the tester comments, USRSA members can visit RacquetTECH.com.

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

43

ask
Q

the EXPERTS

Your Equipment Hotline
RACQUETBALL SWINGWEIGHTS
IN REGARDS TO THE swingweight numbers that are given each year in RSI magazine for the new racquetball racquets, how do you get those numbers? I know that the Babolat Racquet Diagnostic Center (RDC) can measure tennis racquets, but it is not designed to do racquetball racquets. BECAUSE RACQUETBALL racquets aren’t long enough to mount properly on the Babolat RDC machine, the USRSA uses a Rossignol Swingtest to measure the swingweight of racquetball racquets. say it has little to no effect on tension loss. I feel that the strings play better if they are lined up so I encouraged her to do that in between points.

CALIBRATION QUESTION

Q A

A

A

STRING STRAIGHTENING

Q

I HAD A ANOTHER LOCAL teaching pro tell one of my customers that moving your strings back into place when they get out of line because of a topspin hit reduces the tension. I disagreed. I

THE ONLY WAY THAT straightening strings could reduce the string tension is if the racquet was delivered freshly strung with the strings crooked. When a straight string is moved out of place, there is probably some small amount of tension rise in that string, but returning it to position merely restores the string to its original state. To put it another way, if high tension were the only concern, why not string the racquet higher to begin with? Or, why not take a freshly strung racquet and pull each of the strings out of position before playing? The more uniform the stringbed, the better your chances of hitting a good shot.

IN DOING SOME RESEARCH about how to calibrate my lock-out machine, I have found that some people do it with the calibrator going directly from the clamps to the string gripper, while others mount a racquet and simulate a string pull that might occur while stringing a racquet. Which one is a better practice? THE STANDARD PROCEDURE IS to calibrate without having a racquet mounted. This eliminates other factors, so that you can set the tension head to pull at the reference tension. Attempting to calibrate with a frame mounted (and the leads to the calibrator running through grommet holes) introduces friction into your calibration attempt and increases cosine error — which is caused due to the typically linear pull of the machine working at an angle to the actual direction of the pull on the string. It is easy to understand why someone

44 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007

would want to try to mock up a racquet in progress for the calibration procedure, but the frame-in technique introduces more problems than it eliminates. If it is really that important to have the reference tension accurately transmitted to the string as it runs through the racquet, the best approach is to buy a machine such as the Babolat Sensor Expert, which has a tension head that rises to the level of the stringbed during tensioning.

ment, but other customers who use the same racquet say they get some movement and just deal with it. This customer used to play racquetball, so his strokes are hard and fairly flat, with little spin. I string about 200 racquets a year and I’ve never run into this problem before. Is there a string that moves less, or do I recommend string savers?

A

STRING SAVERS MIGHT WORK, but not everyone likes them. Different strings react differently in different situations. You should be able to find him a string that

doesn't move — or at least, not as much — but unfortunately we can’t yet measure the "moveability" rating for strings. However, you might check the results of our playtest reports. Our playtesters rate how much each test string moves. You might be able to find something there to guide you in the right direction. If you haven’t saved your back issues, our playtest reports can be found in full on the web. —Greg Raven Q
We welcome your questions. Please send them to Racquet Sports Industry, 330 Main St., Vista, CA, 92084; fax: 760-536-1171; email: greg@racquettech.com.

FLOATING KNOTS

Q

I HAVE BEEN STRINGING FOR 20 years, and our facility strings more than 500 racquets a year. I thought I’d seen it all, but I have come across a very strange problem. One of your certification testers has instructed some of my stringers to use a knot that I have never seen before. He told them not to tie the knot around the main or cross string, but instead to float it in the grommet hole. He claims this is a new technique in stringing and prolongs grommet wear and increases tension accuracy. This sounds absurd to me but before I question his expertise I want to get your input. THE FREE-FLOATING KNOT used to be optional for starting the cross strings, although at some point in the last 21 years it was dropped from our materials. It’s worth mentioning that there are many different knots for tying off tennis string, and some of the pro stringers even have "signature" knots that allow them to identify at a glance racquets they have strung. The bottom line is that although USRSA no longer teaches that knot, it does work.

A

MOVING STRINGS

Q

ON THE 18TH, I STRUNG A customer’s racquet using a new (for him) string. He returned it on the 21st, complaining that the strings were moving and showing wear in one spot. I strung the racquet as specified in the Digest, my machine is calibrated, and I used the highest recommended tension. This particular racquet has really long mains, which might account for some of the move-

May 2007 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

45

Your Serve
The Great Divide
A longtime tennis observer says the USTA, with its diverse goals, may better serve the industry if it splits in two. BY KENT OSWALD

D

o you think the USTA knows what business it's in? And, do you think its business fits with yours? The USTA's mission statement is pretty simple: “to promote and develop the growth of tennis.” That would seem to imply its aim is in part to help you achieve your goals. However, at a time when business consultants buzz about the need to slim down to core competencies, the monolith based in White Plains, N.Y., certainly seems structured at cross purposes, at odds with its own "business," not to mention yours. Half of the USTA’s operations and goals involve Professional Tennis, headed by Chief Executive Arlen Kantarian. The other half concern Community Tennis, led by Chief Executive Kurt Kamperman. (And let’s not mention that third half, which focuses on player development, diversity, the USTA Tennis & Education Foundation, and everything else. There just isn't room here for the "third half solution.") Professional Tennis seeks to turn a profit through the cultivation of an international audience of spectators who shell out money for tournament tickets and merchandise. The buying power of the tennis audience also appeals to sponsors and advertisers, who are often ready to pay big money to reach this high-end demographic. Community Tennis, on the other hand, has a nonprofit mindset. Its success is measured by raising the number of recreational players in the U.S.—most likely your audience—whether or not they send money to the USTA. Hypothetically, this sounds like it might

make for a good fit. But marriage counselors are a good source for stats on how often partnerships made up of such diametrically opposite types fail. A simple, obvious example of this confusion can be found at the website www.USTA.com. When you have one site that is supposed to cover every single aspect of an organization—from selling US Open tickets and merchandise, to promoting Davis and Fed Cup, to offering tips on strokes, to being a place for tournament sign-ups, etc.—things can get confusing, especially since the target audiences are so different. I won't speak for everyone, but if I don’t know the click stream to where I am going on the site, my experience is that I probably am not going to get there anytime soon. The obvious solution here is to split USTA.com into distinct sites mirroring the diverse goals of the organization. When you land on USTA.com, you can either click to a USTA Professional Tennis site, where you can find out all about the US Open or US Open Series, Davis and Fed Cup, USTA Pro Circuits, and more; or you can head to the USTA Community Tennis site and learn all about USTA League Tennis, how to get involved in the game, Rec Coach Workshops, etc. Clean it up, make it easier for everybody. But let’s not stop at the website; let’s carry this through to the organization as a whole. Trying to be everything to everyone, the USTA has gotten so huge that it’s often extremely inefficient and waste-

ful. It’s time it splits itself up. Professional Tennis should be a for-profit entity; Community Tennis, a non-profit organization. The Pro side can maximize the money it makes from tennis—and of course would need to be set up with the USTA as a major stakeholder so some of the money could still flow back into America’s recreational game. As a separate entity, the Community side will no longer be a junior partner in its own building, which might allow for a clarity of mission and an improvement in defining a viable working relationship with the USTA’s sections—a working partnership currently akin to 17 spokes with different ideas and priorities each trying to set the direction for the same hub. Given the dysfunction that has grown like kudzu as the USTA resists organizational change, it could well be worth asking how much will it help your business if the USTA changed its own, in recognition that tennis has evolved since it was organized 126 years ago as a lawn tennis association for East Coast gentlemen. Q

Former Tennis Week Editor Kent Oswald is a writer and marketing consultant. He recently won second place in the “Hard News/Enterprise” category of the 2006 U.S. Tennis Writers’ Association Writing Contest for a story in Tennis Week.

We welcome your opinions. Please email comments to rsi@racquetTECH.com or fax them to 760-536-1171.

48 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY May 2007