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February 2012 Volume 40 Number 2 $5.00 www.racquetsportsindustry.

com

OUTLOOK 2012
Q Racquets Q Shoes Q Apparel Q Strings

Diagnosing Your Club Diagnosing Your Club Facility-of-the-Year Facility-of-the-Year Award Winners Award Winners

Contents
OUTLOOK 2012

R S I

F E B

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28 The Cost Equation 30 Holding the Line

INDUSTRY NEWS 7 Heckler to leave


USPTA in December

While manufacturers build racquets to adapt to players games, the economy is still a formidable opponent. The latest shoe models incorporate tech advances and address needs to help players perform better on court.

7 8 8 8 9 9

TRX Cardio Tennis to debut in FL, CA Former pro Brad Drewett to head ATP ASBA announces new certified court builders Daglis to direct Methodist PTM program Tennis Channel wins first round vs. Comcast Site chosen for Atlanta Tennis Championships Peoplewatch Court builder named chairman of ASBA NSGA initiates All-Star awards program Short Sets ATP names Aces for Charity grant recipients USTA honors grassroots tennis champions

32 Center Court Stars 34 Find Your Cure

For 2012, fashion continues to shine as apparel makers use fabrications that are stylish and comfortable. The current market has a string that will suit just about any playing style.

FEATURES

25 Diagnosing Your Club 38 Wow Factor!

Whatever changes you may be considering, you need to take into account your facilitys personality. With the Outstanding Facility-of-theYear Awards, RSI and the ASBA bring you the best in tennis court construction and design.

10 10 11 12 13 13

DEPARTMENTS 4 Our Serve 7 Industry News 14 Retailing Tip 17 TIA News


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The Complete Stringer Ask the Experts Tips and Techniques String Playtest: Ytex Quadro Twist Your Serve, by Jon Muir
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Our Serve
he start of a new year always seems to be when people resolve to get healthyto eat better, work out more, lose weight. We in the tennis business want this industry to get healthy, toomore players, more frequent play, more equipment sales. In fact, the savvy tennis business owner or teaching pro knows that the health of their operation can, and should, be linked to the health of the individual.
Thats why you, and your members and players, should support the Personal Health Investment Today Act of 2011. PHITpronounced, appropriately enough, fitwas first introduced into the House in 2009, then reintroduced last July with strong bipartisan support. The PHIT Act would change current federal tax law to allow for the deduction or use of pre-tax dollars to cover expenses related to sports, fitness and other physical activities. Its a simple concept, and one with which youre probably familiar: If PHIT passes, Americans would be able to invest up to $2,000 a year before taxes to pay for physical activities by investing money in Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Medical Savings Accounts (MSA) and/or medical reimbursement arrangements. The PHIT Act would not increase contribution limits to these accounts, but importantly, it would expand the types of expenses eligible for reimbursement to include physical activity costs as a form of prevention. (Once an individual or family spends 7.5% of their income on qualified medical expenses, they can deduct physical activity expenses directly.) Right now, these types of medical spending accounts are set up to provide reimbursement for things like prescriptions and doctors appointments, but theres no provision for preventive care. But with IHRSA reporting more than $76.6 billion spent on health care directly associated with inactivity, theres absolutely no excuse for this. For your business, whats significant here is that PHIT will provide financial incentives for all Americans to lead more active and healthy livesand that includes money they spend on tennis memberships, fees spent on programs like Cardio Tennis and league play, lessons, clinics and other fees associated with physical activity programs. Childrens programming, such as 10 and Under Tennis and other junior programs, also is eligible. Contact your elected officials and show your support for PHIT. What could be simplerand better for tennisthan an incentive to help people get healthy?

Pushing a Health Incentive

(Incorporating Racquet Tech and Tennis Industry)

Publishers David Bone Jeff Williams Editorial Director Peter Francesconi Associate Editor Greg Raven Design/Art Director Kristine Thom Technical Editor Jonathan Wolfe Contributing Editors Robin Bateman Cynthia Cantrell Joe Dinoffer Greg Moran Kent Oswald Bob Patterson Cynthia Sherman Mary Helen Sprecher 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 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. Periodcal postage paid at Vista, CA and at additional mailing offices (USPS #004-354). January 2012, Volume 40, Number 2 2012 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.

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

RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

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RSI FEBRUARY 2012

INDUSTRY NEWS
INFORMATION TO HELP YOU RUN YOUR BUSINESS

Update Your Provider Info at PlayTennis.com


Prior to the re-launch of PlayTennis.com this spring, tennis providers should visit the website as soon as possible to update or input their information for free. PlayTennis.com is designed to serve as a non-branded hub for information and opportunities for consumers to easily get on the pathway to becoming frequent players. The re-launched site will provide consumers with the ability to find all things tennis, including teaching pros and coaches, programs, courts, retailers, playing partners, leagues and more. Teaching pros, club owners, tennis facilities, retailers/pro shops, and other industry contacts who want to be listed for free should visit PlayTennis.com now and navigate to the appropriate link. Q PTR and USPTA Certified Teaching Pros: On PlayTennis.com, click the appropriate link, then fill out the online form to have your contact info listed so consumers can find you easily. Q Facilities, Club Owners, Tennis Organizations: Click publish programs. Youll be able to sign in and either create a listing, or make sure your existing listing is up to date, with current program offerings. Q Tennis Retailers and Pro Shops: Click the link under Retailers/Pro Shops to update or create your free listing, including store location, directions and information about what you sell. Q Manufacturers and Other Industry Contacts: Click the playtennis.com support form link. In the coming months, prior to the official re-launch of PlayTennis.com, the TIA along with its industry partners will be disseminating marketing collateral to industry businesses and organizations that will help drive consumers to the new website.

Heckler Announces Plans to Retire from USPTA

im Heckler announced on Jan. 3 that he will retire from the USPTA in December 2012, after 30 years as CEO of the tennis teaching pro organization. Heckler, who became a member of the USPTA in 1970 when he started his tennis-teaching career, was named CEO in 1982. During Hecklers tenure as CEO, the organization has grown from approximately 2,400 members to more than 15,000 in 66 countries. Its annual budget, the association reports, also has grown during that time, from $700,000 to $6.5 million. The USPTA reports that since 1982, its equity has grown from $60,000 to more than $4.2 million. Heckler, who began playing tennis at age 3, is a former president of the USPTA Texas Division in 1974 and served as national president of the USPTA from 1980 to 1982. Under Hecklers guidance, the organization pushed technology, through computerization of the business itself in the early 1980s to use of the internet and email, including for educational purposes. The USPTA honored Heckler in 2000 by naming him a grand inductee in the associations Hall of Fame. He also received the International Tennis Hall of Fames Tennis Educational Merit Award in 2002 and was inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2008 he received the USPTAs highest honor, the George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award.

TRX Cardio Tennis to Debut in Orlando and Los Angeles

new addition to the 2012 Cardio Tennis line-up is TRX Cardio Tennis, which will be featured as the morning workouts at the PTR Symposium in Orlando, Feb.24-27. The first TRX Cardio Tennis Training Course will be held in Los Angeles in March. TRX is a suspension training system designed to facilitate an enormous range of bodyweight training movements for the entire body, says Michele Krause, the TIAs Cardio Tennis manager. Its the ultimate system for adding strength, muscle endurance, balance and flexibility, and tour pros such as Max Mirnyi and Fernando Gonzalez use TRX to train for tennis. Cardio Tennis has always been about elevating the heart rate and training in the zone, she adds. Together, TRX Cardio Tennis will provide the best ball-striking, strength and calorie-burning workout you can find, anywhere. TRX Cardio Tennis classes can have up to 16 players on one court. The TRX Cardio Tennis class is very structured, with precise lesson plans that combine Cardio Tennis activities and TRX exercises in a 90-minute class (a traditional Cardio Tennis class is 60 minutes). In TRX Cardio Tennis classes, all tennis and TRX exercises are defined and chosen for a specific reason; unlike original Cardio Tennis, there is no room for interpretationthe rotations are timed and are critical to the success of the class and to a healthy result for participants. To offer TRX Cardio Tennis, in addition to being a Cardio Tennis Authorized Provider and being a Licensed Cardio Tennis Professional, teaching pros also must complete the TRX Cardio Tennis training course. Details are at CardioTennis.com.

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INDUSTRYNEWS

Daglis to Direct Methodist PTM Program


ethodist University in Fayetteville, N.C., has named Tom Daglis as its new director of the Professional Tennis Management program and assistant professor. Daglis, the current president of the USPTA, most recently was director of tennis at Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, Md. He brings a wealth of tennis business experience and an extensive tennis network to the position, including his former tenure as director of the PTM program at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. To prepare graduates for a career in the tennis industry, the Methodist PTM Program offers a B.S. degree in business administration, marketing, accounting, management or financial economics along with tennis industry experience.

PTR Symposium Set for Orlando, Feb. 24-27


he PTRs annual International Tennis Symposium will be Feb. 24-27 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Fla. The Symposium attracts nearly 1,000 tennis teachers and coaches from more than 50 countries. Teaching pros can compete in the PTR International Championships, held in conjunction with the Symposium. The Symposium also offers a Tennis Trade Show where more than 40 organizations and companies exhibit their newest product lines, latest technologies and services. Among the more than 35 presenter, who will conduct classroom and on-court presentations, will be Dave Miley, Dr. Jim Loehr, Pat Etcheberry, Kelly Jones, Butch Staples, Leo Alonso, Lorenzo Beltrame, Doug Cash, Michele Krause and Dr. Mark Kovacs. Topics will range from 10 and Under Tennis to tennis business to teaching tactics and techniques. There is also a special high school coaches program to be held over the weekend, Feb. 25-26, to accommodate scholastic schedules. For information and registration, visit www.ptrtennis. org/events/ptr-week.

Former Pro Brad Drewett Named Head of ATP


ormer Australian pro player Brad Drewett is the new head of the men's professional tennis tour. The 53-year-old Drewett signed a three-year contract as executive chairman and president of the ATP and will be based at the organizations London office. He succeeds Adam Helfant, who announced in June that he was stepping down when his contract ended at the end of 2011. Since 1999, Drewett served as CEO of the ATP International Group, overseeing operations in the Middle East, Asia and Pacific. He previously served as a member of the player council and as a representative on the ATP player board. "The ATP World Tour and men's tennis are stronger than ever and it is my intention to continue to lead the organization on this successful path, working hand in hand with our players and tournaments," Drewett said. His appointment was welcomed by 16-time Grand Slam singles champion Roger Federer, who heads the ATP's player council. "He understands the global nature of the business as well as the complexities of dealing with all of the tour's stakeholders," Federer said.

Study to Measure Size of Sporting Goods Industry


GMA is working to create the most accurate and timely report on the size and direction of the sporting goods industry in the U.S., to be called the Sports and Fitness Confidence Index (SFCI). The SFCI has been developed to provide a periodic, comparable snapshot of the sporting goods industrys overall health from both the consumer and trade perspectives. Each quarter, SGMA Research will survey more than 1,000 American sports and fitness consumers on their intentions to participate in sports and fitness activities, as well as their likely expenditures on related equipment and fees. The sporting goods industry will be surveyed to provide additional input on hiring, shipments and overall business climate. This information will be integrated into this measurement.

ASBA Announces New Certified Court Builders


hree tennis court builders recently completed the requirements to become a Certified Tennis Court Builder (CTCB) from the American Sports Builders Association. The ASBA offers its voluntary certification program, which allows builders of specific athletic facilities (currently tennis courts, running tracks and sports fields) to demonstrate proof of their experience, as well as their knowledge of sports-facility-specific construction. There are now 66 court builders who are certified by the ASBA. The three newest CTCBs are: Q Danny Amonett of American Tennis Courts Inc., Mobile, Ala. Q Michael Taylor of Sport Court of Oregon, Portland, Ore. Q Sal Vitale of Vee-Jay Cement, St. Louis, Mo. The certification program was developed by ASBA in order to help raise professional standards and improve the practice of sports facility construction. To become a CTCB, an individual must meet specific criteria set forth by ASBA; he or she must complete an application that shows proof of a set amount of experience in the chosen type of sports facility, and then pass a comprehensive exam on construction and maintenance. In order to maintain the designation, an individual must recertify every three years by documenting a sufficient level of continuing education activities in the relevant field or by passing the examination again. For info about the ASBA and the builder certification program, visit sportsbuilders.org.

RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Tennis Channel Wins First Round vs. Comcast


ennis Channel won its carriage complaint hearing against Comcast Cable Communications in December. The decision marks the first time that a cable operator has been found to violate the program carriage anti-discrimination rules that the FCC put into place in 1993. The decision was issued in December by an FCC chief administrative law judge. A spokesman for Comcast says the company is prepared to appeal to the full FCC and possibly to the U.S. Court of Appeals. The ruling concluded that Comcast had "discriminated against Tennis Channel in favor of Golf Channel and Versus in terms and conditions of their distribution." Golf Channel and Versus are owned by Comcast, which was also ordered to pay a $375,000 fine. They were ordered to proceed as soon as is practicable, said Ken Solomon, chief executive of the Tennis Channel, so were preparing to add between 20 million and 23 million households. That would boost the Tennis Channels number of subscribers to more than 50 million; currently, Comcast customers have to pay an extra few dollars to get the tennis network on a digital sports tier. Sena Fitzmaurice, a vice president of Comcast, said in a statement that the company disagreed with the decision. Comcast has the contractual right to distribute Tennis Channel as it does currently, she said. It also believes that the exercise of that right to minimize costs to consumers is not discrimination.
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Site Chosen for Atlanta Tennis Championships

tlantic Station, located in the midtown Atlanta corridor, will be the new home of the Atlanta Tennis Championships, which will be July 14-22 and is the opening event of the US Open Series. The Atlantic Station complex combines middle-income and up-scale housing and commercial office space with world-class restaurants, theaters and retailers. The in-town setting will be framed by the Atlanta skyline. A minimum of three competition and three practice tennis courts will be built on the 138-acre site. Central Park, located in the middle of Atlantic Station, will be the site of Center Court. A hard court will be laid down with two large grandstands on the sides built to accommodate more than 4,000 fans. Two other competition courts will be built a block away adjacent to I-75 and I-85 within view of downtown Atlanta and with exposure to over 500,000 vehicles per day.

Canine Unit Benefits From USTA Adopt-a-Unit

he 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion Canine Unit stationed in Afghanistan is the beneficiary of a unique partnership that is bringing supplies to both the troops and their canine partners to help make their lives easier and to provide needed recreation. The Trap Falls Kennel Club (TFKC) of Connecticut adopted the canine unit and sent boxes of supplies for the troops, including needed supplies to help care for the approximately 70 dogs. Next, the U.S. Tennis Association, through its Adopt-A-Unit effort, will send portable tennis equipment to the units soldiers to help provide recreation. TFKC is the first kennel club in the country through the American Kennel Club (AKC) to team up with the USTA in participating in the Adopt-A-Unit program to provide tennis to the troops. For more on the USTAs Military Outreach, visit usta.com/military.

Christina McHale Signs with Tourna Grip


ising American pro Christina McHale has signed a multi-year agreement with Unique Sports as part of the Tourna Grip team, joining fellow WTA Tour pros Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, the world No. 3, and Russian Vera Zvonareva, the world No. 7. McHale, currently ranked No. 43, is the second highest ranked American player on the womens pro tour. In 2011, the Englewood Cliffs, N.J., resident had wins over No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Marion Bartoli and Daniela Hantuchova, among other top players.

PTR Signs Two Corporate Members


TR has signed on Fuzzy Yellow Balls and reBounces as Corporate Members. Both companies will be at the PTR Tennis Trade Show on February 26 in Orlando, Fla. Fuzzy Yellow Balls (www.fuzzyyellowballs.com) is a website where tennis players can learn how to play tennis online for free, discuss the sport and socialize. FYB also sends a weekly newsletter that highlights whats new to help the tennis community grow. The Green Tennis Machine by reBounces is a bulk tennis ball re-pressurization system that allows tennis facilities to extend the life of their practice balls. reBounces also offers a free tennis ball recycling program for facilities and individuals. PTR members can get a 5% discount on the Green Tennis Machine. Visit www.rebounces.com.

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PEOPLEWATCH
Janko Tipsarevic has renewed his contract with Tecnifibre for the next four years. US Open champion Samantha Stosur has signed a multi-year deal to wear Asics shoes and apparel. Also, Asics America promoted Tracy Paoletti to vice president of sales. Madison Keys and former top 100 player Jesse Levine won Australian Open wild-card spots after winning the USTAs Australian Open wild-card playoff held in Atlanta in December. The 16-yearold Keys beat Gail Brodsky, while Levine downed Robby Ginepri. Both Keys and Levine were part of eight-player fields to compete at the Racquet Club of South for the Aussie wild-cards, part of a reciprocal agreement between Tennis Australia and the USTA. USTA Chief Financial Officer Harry Beeth will retire effective Jan. 31. Sue Hunt has been named the USTAs Chief Marketing Officer
and will oversee all Professional and Community Tennis marketing and advertising. She will report to Kurt Kamperman, the associations Chief Executive, Community Tennis. She joined the USTA in 2006.

USTA Eastern recently honored 28 volunteers, tennis pros, players and organizations. Among the winners are Woman of the Year Lisa Camerino of Larchmont, N.Y.; Man of the Year Lloyd Emanuel of Rye, N.Y.; Member Organization of the Year Love 15Rochester, N.Y.; and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Donald Van Blake of Plainfield, N.J.

World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki won the WTAs Diamond Aces


Award for 2011, which is given to the player who consistently goes above and beyond in promoting the sport of womens tennis to fans, media and local communities by performing off-court promotional and charitable activities.

Former NSGA board member Anthony Rosati Sr., former owner


and president of Lansing Sport Shop and one of three founders of Team Athletic Group (TAG), passed away in December. He was 86 years old.

ASBA Elects New Officers and Directors


he American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) has announced the election and installation of new officers and directors. The new slate took its place at the conclusion of the ASBA's December Technical Meeting in California. Q Mark Brogan of Pro-Sport Construction, Devon, Pa., has been elected chairman of ASBA. Brogan, a Certified Tennis Court Builder (CTCB), previously served the association as its Tennis Division president and as a member of the Board of Directors. Q Pete Smith, CTCB of the CourtSmiths, Toledo, Ohio, is ASBA's new Tennis Division president. He previously served two terms as a member of the Board of Directors and prior to that, was active in the awards committee. Q Randy Futty of Lee Tennis Court Products, Charlottesville, Va., has been elected secretary/treasurer. He previously served as Supplier Division president, has been on the ASBA Board of Directors since 2007, and has acted as a speaker at numerous ASBA Technical meetings over the past 16 years. Q Robert Righter of Nova Sports USA, Milford, Mass., is the president of the Supplier Division. He previously served several terms as a member of the Board of Directors. In addition, Righter is the chairman of the Awards Committee. Several new members of the Board of Directors were also elected. They include Builder Director Benjamin Brooks (Patriot Court Systems, Houston) and Supplier Director Chris Rossi (Premier Concepts, Baltimore). Re-elected to his position of Professional Director was Chris Sullivan (Verde Design, Santa Clara, Calif.). Officers continuing on the Board include Track Division president Kristoff Eldridge (Cape & Island Tennis & Track, Pocasset, Mass.); Professional Division president Ed Norton (Holcombe Norton Partners, Birmingham, Ala.); and Indoor Division president Randy Niese (Robbins Sports Surfaces, Cincinnati). Those continuing on the board in their current director positions include Mike Edgerton, CTCB (Copeland Coatings, Nassau, N.Y.); Ben Rennolds, CTCB (Tennis Courts Inc., Aylett, Va.) and John Schedler (Atlas Track and Tennis, Tualatin, Ore.). The ASBA is a non-profit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality athletic facility construction. For information on the ASBA, its publications, activities and upcoming meetings, visit sportsbuilders.org or contact 866-501-ASBA or info@sportsbuilders.org.

Loeb, Hiltsik Win 18s Winter Nationals


amie Loeb, 16, of Ossining, N.Y., swept the girls 18s singles and doubles titles at the 2011 USTA 18s Winter National Championships, and 17-yearold Jared Hiltzik of Wilmette, Ill., won the boys 18s title. Many of the nations top juniors competed in eight USTA National Championships, the last major national junior events of 2011, in five cities in Arizona at the end of the year. Singles winners are:
Boys 18s: Jared Hiltzik, Wilmette, Ill., d. Kristofer Yee, Las Vegas, 6-2, 6-3. Girls 18s: Jamie Loeb, Ossining, N.Y., d. Mayo Hibi, Irvine, Calif., 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Boys 16s: Paul Oosterbaan, Kalamazoo, Mich., d. Marshall Sharp, Memphis, Tenn., 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Girls 16s: Jessica Ho, Wexford, Pa., d. Allison Miller, Norcross, Ga., 6-2, 7-6(3). Boys 14s: Francis Tiafoe, College Park, Md., d. Michael Genender, Los Angeles, 7-6(4), 6-2. Girls 14s: Kenadi Hance, Torrance, Calif., d. Raquel Pedraza, Claremont, Calif., 7-5, 4-6, 61. Boys 12s: Noah Makarome, Wesley Chapel, Fla., d. Sam Riffice, Roseville, Calif., 5-7, 6-2, 7-5. Girls 12s: Anna Bright, Boca Raton, Fla., d. Riley McQuaid, Tustin, Calif., 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Host an Event and Grow Your Kids Business


he USTA is encouraging tennis providers to host a special event in 2012 to get more kids into their tennis programs. Providers can boost their business by hosting a Youth Registration event, holding a one-day Play Day thats low-pressure fun, or starting a playbased Kids Club. And by registering your event now, you can also tap into key alliances between the USTA and media giants Nickelodeon and ESPN and take advantage of national media exposure, supported by millions of dollars and designed to drive consumers to your registered event. Visit usta.com/coaches-organizers to register your event.

NSGA Initiates All-Star Awards Program


he National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) has created a new way for the industry to recognize outstanding accomplishments and contributions with the launch of its All-Star Awards program. The All-Star Awards program is meant to recognize the most outstanding efforts made within the sporting goods industry throughout the previous year. In 2012, four awards will be presented during the inaugural All-Star Awards Luncheon at the 48th Annual NSGA Management Conference & 14th Annual Team Dealer Summit in May. They are: Q Community Collaboration All-Star AwardRecognizes retailers/team dealers that go above and beyond in their support of community activities, organizations and/or events. Q Retailer/Team Dealer All-Star AwardRecognizes outstanding retailers/team dealers for their contributions to the sporting goods industry. Q Vendor Partner All-Star AwardRecognizes vendors who practice a strategic and collaborative partnership with retailers and team dealers, and for their contributions to the sporting goods industry. Q Industry Catalyst All-Star AwardRecognizes companies that continually give back and support the sporting goods industry by sharing their discoveries and best practices, taking risks and expanding the way they do business in new and creative ways. Nominations must be made by an NSGA member before Jan. 27, though winning companies need not be members of the association. Awards will be presented on May 7 in San Antonio, Texas. Nomination forms are at nsga.org/allstarawards, or contact Erin Goodchild at egoodchild@nsga.org or 847296-6742, ext. 132.

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SHORT SETS

> The USPTA has scheduled more than 144 certification exams, with additional
will not renew its > Sony EricssonWTA after the current sponsorship of the deal expires in December 2012. The company has been a sponsor of the WTA since 2005, in a contract worth $88 million at the time, the largest in womens professional sports.

Sports and StarGames Inc., will be at Montreals Bell Centre. The eight singles finalists at the 2011 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London raised $57,261 through a unique player locker auction. The lockers were personally stocked with signed memorabilia by each player, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer. Save the Children, the tournaments charity partner, received half of the proceeds, with the other half going to each players chosen charity. Federers locker fetched the most, $17,800, while Nadals raised $14,800. Denmark will host the BWF World Badminton Championships in 2014. World No. 14 Andy Roddick headlined a field of tennis stars at the 11th annual Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational in December that raised $150,000 for local charities at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. The event, which entertained a record crowd, has now eclipsed $800,000 in total donations. The 2012 USTA Tennis on Campus National Championships will be April 1214 at Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C. Visit tennisoncampus.com for more information. ATP and the > Thehave announced aState of Rio de Janeiro two-year agreement for Rio to become the official tourism destination of the ATP World Tour. Designed to promote international travel to the region, Rio de Janeiro will be the new presenting partner of ATP World Tour

dates to be added. Total fee for the exam and application is $175, plus prorated USPTA membership dues. Visit uspta.org.

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Uncovered the Tours weekly 30-minute magazine-style television show, which airs in more than 150 countries. for > LookingChecknew desktop computer wallpaper? out the WTAs Strong is Beautiful wallpaper downloads that tie into the associations global marketing campaign. Visit wtatennis.com to download an image of your favorite star. pro Feliciano > Spanish racquet deal withLopez has expanded his Wilson to include apparel and footwear. Also, Wilson signed a long-term deal with world No. 3 Victoria Azarenka. Dunlop Tour Team member Amr Shabana won the prestigious ATCO PSA World Series Finals in January, defeating fellow Dunlop Tour Team member Gregory Gaultier in the final. The PSA event features the eight players who earned the most points from the nine PSA World Series championships in 2011. endorsement agree> Fila signed anNo. 1 Jelena Jankovic. ment with former Squash (PST) > The Pro players will Tour Black announced its wear Knight Eye Protection in all tournament matches. PST announced in December that it would require its players to wear protective eyewear beginning in 2012, and under an agreement, Black Knight is an Official Tour Sponsor of PST. Racquetball champion > Former Worldhas been promoted to Derek Robinson, National Account Manager of Golf & Racquet Sports at Wilson Sporting Goods.

The Bjrn Borg brand is launching in China, with a plan to establish sales in Shanghai during the second half of 2012, primarily through Bjrn Borg stores and shop-in-shops in large department stores, offering underwear, sportswear, footwear and bags. The plan also includes e-commerce. The San Diego District Tennis Association received $15,000 by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in support of programs for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. Since 2009, the SDTA, in collaboration with Naval Medical Center San Diego and the Balboa Tennis Club, has provided free tennis clinics twice a month to more than 200 service members and veterans from all military branches as part of NMCSDs Balboa Warrior Athlete Program. The Montreal Rendezvous, a new event that will be held on March 2, will showcase tennis icons Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Michael Chang. The event, produced by MSG

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Stringlet Bracelets Launches Website


tringlet magnetic tennis string bracelets is a unique accessory made from colorful synthetic gut string, with a powerful magnetic clasp. Made for both tennis players and fans, it can be worn on court and off, for a fun, casual look. Stringlet recently launched its website, stringlet.net, in conjunction with the launch of retail sales at the Barnes Tennis Center and Balboa Tennis Club in San Diego. Stringlets are made in a variety of colors to represent a variety of themes, so players can show off their favorite color or colors, or show their school or country colors, or if you want to stock the colors that best represent your club or facility. The bracelets weight just 3 grams and feature a physical twist mechanism that helps secure it to the wrist. The company says it plans to identify additional retail outlets and tournament venues for product distribution, including working with charity organizations. For more information, visit stringlet.net.

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ATP Announces Aces for Charity Grant Recipients


he ATP has announced the 14 recipients of its ATP Aces For Charity grant program for 2012, including the Roger Federer Foundation, Andy Roddick Foundation and the BNP Paribas Opens Champions Volunteer Foundation. Grants of $10,000 each will be awarded by the ATP on an annual basis to charitable causes nominated by ATP World Tour players and tournaments. This years recipients support a range of causes, encompassing youth enrichment programs in Africa and Chennai, earthquake relief in New Zealand, healthcare in St. Petersburg and Sydney, HIV/AIDS education in Washington D.C., and social services for children in Colombia, Zagreb, and Austin, Texas. ATP Aces For Charity, launched in 2011, is a global initiative aimed at giving back to communities where ATP World Tour events are played, as well as recognizing and supporting tournament and player charitable initiatives. The recipients for 2012 are: Players
Q Eric Butorac: Saint Paul (Minn.) Urban Tennis (SPUT), nominated by Butorac. Q Somdev Devvarman: Athletes United for Social Justice (AUSJ), which Devvarman helped found. Q Roger Federer: The Roger Federer Foundation. Q Juan Carlos Ferrero: Fundacin Juan Carlos Ferrero. Q Mardy Fish: The Mardy Fish Foundation. Q Jamie Murray: Children of the Andes (COTA), supported by Jamie Murray. Q Andy Roddick: The Andy Roddick Foundation. Q Vijay Amritraj (Alumni): The Vijay Amritraj Foundation.

USTA Honors Grassroots Award Winners at CTDW

en award winners were honored during the USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop, which was held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel Jan. 13-15. The honorees were recognized in a variety of categories for their dedication to growing the game at the grassroots level.

Q USTA Adaptive Tennis National Community Service Award: Tennis for Fun Program, Tampa, Fla. Q Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award: Cindy Harkins, Longwood, Fla. Q Janet Louer USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Organizer of the Year Award: Justin DePietropaolo, Chester Springs, Pa. Q Community Tennis Association of the Year Award: Houston Tennis Association, Houston, Texas Q Recreational On-Court Trainer of the Year Award: Rita Gladstone, Port Orange, Fla. Q Starfish Award (No-Cut High School Tennis): Jim Neal, Niskayuna High School, Niskayuna, N.Y., and Jim Solomon, Hall High School, West Hartford, Conn. Q National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) Chapters of the Year: Fred Wells Tennis & Education, Minneapolis, Minn.; Mary and Frances Youth Center/Lobs & Lessons, Richmond, Va.; and Central Texas Tennis Association, Austin, Texas

PTRs Santorum in National News

he sport of tennis received a unique bump from the Iowa presidential caucuses and New Hampshire primary in early January. PTR CEO Dan Santorum was in the national news as his brother, Rick Santorum, campaigned for the Republican nomination for president. Dan Santorum was quoted in a front-page article in The New York Times, appeared in a CNN interview at his home in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and was in other media. In his interviews, Santorum made sure the sport was somehow tied into the story.

Tournaments

Q Heineken Open (Auckland): Canterbury Tennis, nominated by the Heineken Open. Q Gerry Weber Open (Halle): The Bodelschwinghsche Foundation Bethels childrens hospice in Bielefeld, Germany. Q BNP Paribas Open (Indian Wells): The Champions Volunteer Foundation. Q St. Petersburg Open: The Infant Leukemia Therapy Department at St. Petersburg First Childrens Hospital. Q Apia International Sydney: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Q PBZ Zagreb Indoors: Childrens Home Nazorova.

www.racquetsportsindustry.com

February 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

13

Retailing

Plan Your Year


The time you spend working on your business could be the most valuable youll spend all year.

ention creating an annuyour sales by category for small meral business plan and chandise items and by SKU for large most small to mid-size merchandise items, including your specialty retailers will planned retail selling prices roll their eyes and move For more details on and landed cost of goods. on to the next subject as developing your own Use your actual revenue quickly as possible and total cost of doing busiannual business plan because they misunderness from the immediate past with the essential stand what is really year. If available, use the last companion planning involved. But more three to five years of actual calendar, visit Tenimportantly, they dont store performance as a guide, nisIndustry.org/Webiunderstand the huge and make all of your projectbenefit to their business nars and download ed changes, including increasof spending quality time for free the January es, off of this base. Take into 10 TIA webinar on working on their busiaccount any major events in Annual Planning. ness. your businesses past history, As you begin the new (While there, also like the recession, and list the year and specialty tennis check out the other assumptions you are making selling season, it is the about your projections for the webinars available perfect time to focus coming year for free download, about five working days, Next, you should use the along with the or about 1 percent of TIA Cost of Doing Business schedule of retail your year, on your report to benchmark your webinars for 2012.) projections for your business. Annual 2012 Business Plan and a companion This will result in the annual planning calendar. These five budget spreadsheet you create having a days spent working on your busiminimum of five columns, including: ness could prove to be the most 2012 Budget valuable time you will spend all 2011 Actual yearproviding you with a huge TIA Cost of Doing Business Benchreturn on investment! mark Dollar variance from 2012 Budget Percent variance from 2012 Budget This will give you a quick reference Start with laying out your financial as to how your current year budget is projections by week and by month performing, above or below your plan for sales revenue by both departand compared to the previous year, and ment and category. Follow that the TIA CODB benchmark. with your projected cost of doing business, including all expenses and overhead. For the sales revenue portion of your plan, forecast In working on your marketing expens-

Projected Revenue & Costs

es, you should also start the companion planning calendar to go with your business plan. Lay out your calendar by no less than every week to capture all the detail. As you plan sales, promotions and both in-store and out-of-store community events, post them on your calendar. You can also use your calendar to plan and budget staffing based on both seasonality and the sales and promotional activities you are planning. The purpose of an annual business plan and planning calendar is, essentially, re-planning! No plan survives first engagement and most small specialty retailers miss the point that a plan is nothing by itself, but the ability to replan and control the direction of the retail business is a huge benefitand thats the real purpose of the planning process. To make sure you are re-planning in a timely manner that assures you will be able to make the necessary corrections, both positive and negative, to keep your business on the course of your annual plan, make sure you are receiving and reviewing an overview of your plan against actual performance on a weekly, or at the most semi-weekly, basis.

Top customer service tips using technology. Q


This is part of a series of retail tips presented by the Tennis Industry Association and written by the Gluskin Townley Group (www.gluskintownleygroup.com).

Coming Up:

Create a Planning Calendar

14

RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

www.racquetsportsindustry.com

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The Complete Stringer

From Stringer to Racquet Tuner


When you focus on the players preferences, type of play and personal characteristics, youll step up your business.
BY FRED TIMMER

hats the difference between a stringer and a racquet tuner? A good stringer masters the technical skills of stringing and is able to use all the necessary tricks to string all kinds of racquets. A racquet tuner, however, takes it to a higher level. A racquet tuner is able to adjust the string job to the type of play and to alleviate possible arm injuries of the player. The racquet tuner knows which string to use and at what tension every string should be at to obtain the best possible combination of string qualities and stringbed stiffness for every individual player, regardless of ability or age. Theres a saying in this business: A stringer is good only until the player finds a better one. What this means for you is that no stringer can allow himself to stay only a stringer. As soon as players discover a more dedicated stringer, your business shrinks. When you step up your business and become a true racquet tuner, your knowledge, skill and how you use your professional equipment will result in satisfied customers coming back to you time and time again.

A serious racquet tuner employs several tools of the trade to give his customers exactly what they need to improve their tennis and get maximum enjoyment from the game. For instance, a racquet tuner uses a stiffness tester to test if his product

Becoming a Racquet Tuner

meets the desired string-bed stiffness. Mechanical testers apply a certain force on the string-bed and measure the deflection. Electronic stiffness testers generate the natural vibration of the string-bed, and calculate the string-bed stiffness from there. What tools and resources does a racquet tuner need to fulfill his task in the best possible way? Q A racquet tuner needs a system to analyze the players game so that he can give advice about the string-bed stiffness and type of string that is best. The system should consider the type of play, possible arm injuries, age of the player, and other player preferences. Q He needs a string classification system so that he is able to choose a string with the right playing characteristics for each player. Without a classification system, its next to impossible for stringers to find the optimal string in a market that has a huge number of strings of all different kinds. Q To obtain the right stiffness in a racquet, the stringer needs to know what tension he needs on his stringing machine. He needs a system that converts the desired stiffness into stringing tension, based on the size of the racquet and the string-bed density. Q Every stringer should know the correlation between his way of stringing on his machine and the resulting string-bed stiffness. Q To be able to string on stiffness, the stringer needs a stringing machine that offers a certain minimum accuracy of +/- 5% of the desired string-bed stiffness. Stringing on stiffness means that the stringer aims at that value that the

player actually feels when he plays with the string bed. The stringing tension is only a set tension on a certain machine, and the final result is influenced by the quality of the machine, the stringer and the type of string that is used.

RSI has agreed to publish my series, From Stringer to Racquet Tuner, on its website, www.racquetsportsindustry.com. The series deals with all aspects of tuning a string job and focuses on the tennis player, with his or her preferences, type of play, age and possible arm injuries. The first online installment will cover the classification of strings for different types of players. Future installments on www.racquetsportsindustry.com will cover: Q String-bed stiffness and ways to check it. Q The right stiffness for different players. Q How to string as accurately as possible. Q Stringing on stiffness instead of on tension. Q
In 1982, Fred Timmer and his father started the Stringway business, based on the cross stringing tool which Timmer designed. A development engineer with the Dutch Nuclear Centre, Timmer has designed all Stringway products. He also has conducted research on the mechanics and properties of racquet strings, which has led to the development of the Tension Advisor (translator from sbs to stringing tensions), the Rucanor Tennis computer and the Stringlab. Since 2010, Timmer has worked on a string classification system with the USRSA and the Dutch racquet forum. You can reach him at stringway.fred@gmail.com.

Tuning a String Job

20

RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

www.racquetsportsindustry.com

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The rules of tennis officially changed
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formal for all U5TA and ITFS<I'ICt !oned tturnaml:'nls for

10 a"'d Under Tennis is no1only the way tl-e game is playe:l. 001also how it's taught-and :hat ccu!d mecn big bosmeso; for hnnis pw1iders thrw:Jhout lhl? oountry. IOplay tle- game, vl'liC'l
The ne-..,. play format the QS>p.ortunityior more kids

kid!'> 10 and unde<. The lttrgest, moM C:{)mprehensi..-e


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lJI'I(Ier l'(lrn l!;.

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who can contribute ;o teMis in the future. It also means more


en the coun ptoy1 Jt cncc-Jnd 1\Jvlng ful' doing ng so w'l!ich to more p,;,ycrs I"' progu ms playin9 more of1eo, all of ' hlich leads. e healthier s.ptft and s h<.>a!th.er bGttQ l1 m ne. F<>.r o;.xample, vne 78-fcot coun can :>e transformed into lour 36-t:>ot courts. tl"'.e'anlng t 'l3t :;>roviders can 1\&'..e t1g1 tc 16 u players en c. coun at making thoe best t:se ot available ;ittdiny blended to a ?8-h:11<:uurt!; i!l

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quickly; Sil)'S Kun Kampcrman, Chid Executi\'e, Communi!)'


ruteda nga to tha <ompi!tition fomat fo -

kid& lO and undars cntital to loli9 19rm grovtU" ot ou sport, and ultimately will help devetc;p new of
w ri(J Ct3SS !)lay(li'S,A

relatively rnexpensive-tr,e average cost is $300-and adds a nf!H c;Jimension ;o <ltl.Y ta1\ity.

Here's a closer look at three very different providers and how their facilities and programs boomed after i ncorporating 10 and Un der Tennis: Ahwatukee Tennis Club "Our program revenues have Phaenill. Arizona dramatitalty increased in all
As Tracy -awson iound, introducing a rov()lvtionf.lry r>t;"' ccnce;> is het l
Club.lo5t business in the eart,. days of
But Ahwatukee stuck w;u, 1 and 1,

an immedicte sLccess. ln fact. she sa;o'S that her the Ahwatukee lt;"'is

lls 1 .}n(i Untst1r 0 due to from p<.>-r.=nts and kids.


the

progr.am 15 an und-aniable ard unqualified


che
b!'J!lS(ing the num:loer of junior JUO% a n:lgroatly impn.uing r.r;t-time participants.

programs of p\ay.ars. It ras also c!1rac!ed young families to our club. We an ompt'ynestor type tlub. anti t 1.e youog families have brought Cflll"J)' ::tnd dolt;;r:s... .,n::l ."n1.1-rlc (J:Jr business aQain.r.<w1, a1<S we hr.ve a very big

programs. These students have


ir110 our

v.:.nkers, New York


eartie::.l

Yonkers Tennis Center


of 10 and Undar

-Their eOJ O'(ment whe1 ptay;ng !ennis

'-'on ken, T ennis Center was one of t he - P.nnis, adapting to thP. initiaiive's s-naller ccvrl$, tighter ond tower t:O'Jncing O atls f,;,Jr years ago.

15 S4 1Mierent new!"

-when these l<ics ptay<?.d on !he full

of frustrated kids. No-N they c- play sn

with tho yelt:.m

we hbd a tot

Tne-, are

they

tl-.eir imprctemont to the batt snd runr ing

fr<Jstr-ation. Seehg them ; o happy, that is our suceess. anellhe (thei> erj cyingl k.-eps tlw m comi11g l" h:otck fl) pm(lrAms. As a testament to the program's mcunting popularity. Ahwatukw is adcing blended 60-fol)l l.ines to five of its six courts.

uvwn ln ::>lel:ld Vlll l.IIIUu!J <.>Ill

Since that time participation among 10-and-under children


says Simon Gate, the club's general manager and director
of tennis.
ne sens.ationa1 growth of 10 Md Lnder -ennis Gate to add a c'i ;ector of 10 and Uo.-c::et Toonis as v.-el! as to in:,hlute a of Ptav Oays, which he

has soared, increasing 100%,

rouilncty draw 40 to SO kids per e ..-ert. Not surpl!.ingly, Gate one cf tr.e unwo..e1irg supporters cr the rule chenge.He see$ it a tremendl)us !mpilt't on thE-game- as his bJSiMSs- tor years to COI'I"te. "This is the tliggesi change in tennis :-..in-=1! the !iebu:a\ lin Gate S<rjS. professionals have lo aeepty anaty:(e tne me gam-a to s:uCents. Tennis
d(lliveril' 9 thf:w tennis pogriilrns and a clear pathway for the '1 0-anoundcr pl.aycr. onabtmg flossorsl and ptay' lcompe:i:ion). New. kid!> can follOw tlic to ir!'lpl' '..0 thci ):l<:lrt.&. T"'is cnange in tennis swell overdue, anc f ecil, d!"
dub ownen. must a t how the-1 :lre

"This is no longer the future of

U.S. tennis, it is U.S. tennis,"


lawson says. '' It isn' t a d ifficult

t ransition and the kids love it !"


Spring, l cti(.;J-5

NOW Is the time to take advantage of the 10 and Under Tennis Initiative to grow your busin ess. Are you ready?

Giammalva Racquet Club

Silm Ty 10 and Under Tennis trom the get -go. inco'I)OroMg t into his prograMming a t the Giammatva Racquei

Clvl,; - wl!h

for his b-us-iness.

poS'iti\e tesvlls

Giamma'.va had seven in his beqmner prcgr;lm .;md 20 in his ad\;m::ed program. Sin::e irJ.curpou-atiog 10 and Under Teoois, those nurr.bers have skyroc -<eled to 75rn Ius Red program !modeled after the red b.l\1 used for bc9mning '.In 36foct court:;}. 40 in his Orange program !orange felt ball. <iOfcot c:oortl ;)nd 30 in his Green lett MI. either a 60 or 78.-fooi 40 more i!'l the pr!'gram. There is also a 'flailing list fer hs l'ughpefform3nee 1M $$.

"It has had a bugc i mpact on our business," Glammalva says.

FACILITY MANAGEMENT

DIAGNOSING YOUR CLUB


Whatever changes you may be considering, you need to consider your facilitys individual personality.
BY ROD HECKELMAN hen you visit a doctor, hell diagnose you based on your individual characteristics and needs. Tennis clubs are much the same. Every club has its own personality and unique characteristics. The three main factors that help determine a clubs personality are type of ownership, location, and the general membership. As a result of this individuality, almost every transition or change a club intends to pursue needs to take all three of these factors into consideration. What might work for a club in Wisconsin may not work for a club in Los Angeles. What might be a great new program or change for a facility in New Orleans might turn out to be a disaster for a similar facility in San Francisco. There is no standard that can be used as a guide, and when organizations and clubs try to implement this standard type of planning, the results are often disappointing. To help avoid this disappointment, lets analyze these factors to help determine how to undertake any change or implement a new program.

TYPE OF OWNERSHIP
Ownership is where most decisions begin and end. There are four main types of facility ownershipprivately owned, member owned, corporate owned and publicly owned. Although difwww.racquetsportsindustry.com

ferent in how they operate financially, they are very similar in how they are managed. Privately owned facilities focus heavily on their profit and loss, as they must stand alone in how they financially survive. They put an emphasis on the overhead, the membership numbers and their attrition of members. Because of this, management will need to maintain a relationship with members based on a more personal and interactive relationship. Decisions concerning a change in the facility or the rules of the club need to be bounced off the membership so they feel they have input in shaping the club. A privately owned club that ignores the needs and desires of the membership can develop a disconnect with those members, which can result in a loss of loyalty from the membership. Member-owned clubs behave much like privately owned clubs, except decisions usually evolve through a temporary committee. Management walks a tightrope knowing that the decision makers are transitional. The result is that any change takes time and patience. There is also a tremendous amount of pride involved with members. They often feel a sense of ownership and the responsibility that comes along with believing they are part-owners. This sense of ownership can create a more political environment. Any change will require a manager to retrieve and
February 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

25

hear everyones input; this all takes time and a great deal of work. It also requires a manager to be more intuitive in understanding the total memberships intentions and goals. Because of these dynamics, membership-owned clubs can vary tremendously in their character and personality. Corporate ownership is on the rise and the recent trend has developed into a new style of management. Corporations often are very capable of investing in change and upgrades via speculation. Because they usually have a greater source of funds, they can take greater risk. On the flip side, they can also devoid themselves of any investment without interaction with the staff or membership. Management focuses heavily on sales and membership growth to go hand-and-hand with the acquisition mode of the corporation. A strong focus on training and consistency is part of managements goals. This consistency provides a gateway for members of one club to feel comfortable when using an affiliated club. Publicly owned facilities often have many of the same politics mentioned about member-owned facilities; they are heavily influenced by funding and the local economic environment. Changes not only need to consider a wider range of members, but also a wider range of non-members that may have access to the facility. They need to be more responsive to every niche of their local population as they meet their tax-exempt status. To evolve, all changes need to go through a gauntlet of committees, government organizations and members.

LOCATION
The second factor that influences the makeup and character of a club is the location. Whether suburban, in a city, in an industrial area, etc., each location plays a role in the type of membership the facility will attract. Many clubs attract from a cross section of these communities. Its this blend that makes for a more interesting evaluation of a clubs membership. Often these blends have evolved over time and clubs have either adjusted or morphed into a new facility that recognizes these changes. Its this transition that makes for an

interesting new evaluation of a clubs personality. Failure to make these proper adjustments can result in a failing or dysfunctional facility. As an example, many clubs for economic reasons purchased property that was more affordable. After a time, that property may have appreciated in value and the square footage must now justify a higher return on investment. They will need to find better income-producing programs or activities. There may even be a need to terminate one sporting activity and replace it with a new form of recreation. There is also the possibility that a facility that was once more remote when it first opened has become part of a growing community and is now exposed to a greater population. They may need to alter programs that cater to more local traffic or to new businesses or schools that have developed. Another example is very commonmany communities are aging and a club needs to see this change and adapt to having more programming that suits an older clientele. Many new programs may need to be scheduled at different times of the day, and as a result of this process, existing programs may need to be altered, not an easy task to take on. Mens day will probably be more successful if scheduled in the early morning, say 8 a.m.; this could come in direct conflict with established womens league play at 9. You will need to make scheduling changes that will try to accommodate both groups; this is a task that will require the re-education of many members. Re-educating members into changing their agenda and habits is best accomplished when these changes are accompanied by enhanced programs, discounted programs, or programs that are altered in format to rationalize these changes. The womens leagues may have to start at 10 a.m. instead of 9 and use more courts to play all the matches at the same time. You may need to adjust your childcare hours to accommodate this change. Possibly having a special brunch or food programs for the men to enjoy may help change their normal midday time or afternoon time to a late morning start. However you conduct this change, it will never go easy, but will be much easier if complemented with an enhancement of the programs. Maybe your community has taken a turn in the direction of needing more family activities. This means that your postschool hours will become very busy. Older and more established members, who are used to a more tranquil setting around 2 to 5 p.m., will find this new environment uncomfortable. You will need more supervision, but also you will need alternatives for that longtime member. There may be nothing you can do about this new energetic young crowd after school, but rather than watch your old members get frustrated and leave, you will need to come up with ideas and programs that are run at different times and create a
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26 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

new interest for this group. Maybe its a bridge night, or special travel programs held after 6 p.m. Another impact on the location of your club will be the local logistics. As a community grows and changes, so does the traffic and accessibility of your facility. Members, who could get to your facility in 10 minutes may now need 20 minutes. Possibly another facility has opened that is closer for many of your members and is becoming more convenient for many of your members to attend. Studies show that convenience in location plays a very big role in the fitness and health industry, but not so much in the tennis industry. Keep this in mind as you modify your facility to meet with new demands. Expanding or remodeling your fitness center may not result in growth, but the expansion or an aggressive tennis program may be more prosperous. Will changing your operating hours make a difference? More and more of our population seem to be seeking clubs that provide earlier hours. Clubs that once operated from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. may reach a broader consumer base by moving to 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and if your overhead for operating is minimal, you may just decide to open earlier and stay open as late as usual so as not to lose any members. Lastly, you will find that your method of advertising varies dramatically because of your location. You may know the market you are trying to reach, but knowing the best method of reaching that audience may be tricky. Will the internet work best? Will newspaper advertising work? One way to find out is to put yourself in the position of a potential customer. If you were in a residential area, maybe word-ofmouth is the best advertisement; it is for churches or a local hairdresser, why wouldnt it be the same for your club? Putting together a great website may be more fruitful for a club located in a large city, but for a small club in the suburbs it may not have much impact. Again, you need to discover what works best for you, not what youve heard works best from the information you got from a magazine article or a P.R. consultant that works with businesses in general.

MEMBERSHIP
The last factor that needs to be reviewed before making any change or upgrade is the personality of your membership. This is a fascinating trait to evaluate and understand. Although largely determined by the location of the facility, many clubs have history that contributes to their nature. Often clubs will try to create or build an image based on their membership. One club may find it beneficial to appear active and vibrant; another may want to seem more relaxed and quiet. One club may cater to singles, while another focuses on being more family-friendly. Whatever direction you may want to take your club, you will always find the best source of members through the community you are in. Take note of other activities or busiwww.racquetsportsindustry.com

nesses that already have invested in a particular group of people and try to establish a relationship with that business or organization. If you want to attract single people, look for a business that is holding an event that will attract that crowd. If it is family memberships you are seeking, work with your local schools, your local organizations, or groups that are active in fundraisers. It is also important to understand the flow of your membership. Do you want to make a change that will negatively impact the current flow of your usage, or find the trend and capitalize on that movement? If your club is seeing a big increase in early morning activity, do you want to add programs at that time which might result in a crowded facility? Or maybe scheduling a program at that time is the answer to having better attendance. Place programs and activities at times when you know people might be more likely attend. Some classes can be very successful at 9 a.m., but flop at 1 p.m. If your goal is to integrate your membership, these factors are important to understand. If you think that having a big holiday party will work, you need to first consider if your membership is going to attend. Nothing is worse than funding and organizing an event and then having no one show. Find out what the personality of your membership wants then get behind them and enjoy the ride. Recognize that you need to constantly diagnose and evaluate these three factorsownership, location and membershipthat impact how your club will respond to any transition. In this day and age, change is now normal, not the exception. The ownership, location and membership may be constant, but the factors that impact those three characteristics are fluid and more dynamic than ever. Just like you need to go to the doctor about every three years to get a complete checkup, you need to do the same with your facility. In most cases, managers, tennis directors and even tennis pros know their club better than anyone else. Use their input to continually seek out solutions that work best for your business. Q
February 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

27

THE COST EQUATION


BY KENT OSWALD
hile final figures werent all in at press time, year-end data from the Tennis Industry Association suggested that from 2010 to 2011, total racquet shipments were likely to drop about 6 percent in units and 7 percent in dollars, to 3.56 million racquets shipped and $98.8 million (in wholesale dollars). Unfortunately, that would continue the downward trend since the 2008 record of 4.53 million racquets shipped and 2007s record sales of $121.42 million at wholesale.

OUTLOOK 2012: RACQUETS

While manufacturers build racquets that adapt to players games, the economy is still a formidable opponent.

Manufacturers continue to deliver products that adapt (and help more players adapt) to the changing game that requires players to become ever more physical and aggressive. But racquet makers do so facing rising prices for their frames materials, so they must carefully calibrate price points, as sales of $200-plus frames have dropped sharply. And they need to remain conscious of consumers who often feel overwhelmed by all the racquet choices.

BABOLAT babolat.com 877-316-9435


Although not shying away from their status as premier proponents of todays increasingly more physical and aggressive gamecertainly not while continuing to feature Rafael Nadal as their leading endorserBabolat also asked its R&D folks to offer an enhance feel. The result is Cortex Technology in its new racquets, which the company says filters vibrations from handle to head, but in a way that can be matched Pure Drive to individual playing styles. Pure Drive Roddick For Pure Drives, the company embraced the cosmetic philosophy of light design," featuring bright flashes of color energizing a darker background. The line includes the Pure Drive/Pure Drive+, Pure Drive Lite, Pure Drive Roddick/Pure Drive Roddick+ and oversized Pure Drive 107. The company incorporated the Cortex Dampening System into dual shafts of its new C-Drive line of lighter, larger head racquets: the C-Drive 102 and C-Drive 105.

DONNAY donnayusa.com 877-DONNAY7


Donnay, looking both forward and backward, introduces the Pro One OS as an updated version of the models Andre Agassi and Conchita Martinez used to conquer Wimbledon. Nearly two years in development and with help from lead endorser James Blake, the racquet improves on the original with a weight reduction, and attention to control, touch and feel achieved through Pro One use of the companys Formula OS Ext XeneCore technology. The other racquet debuting this spring is the companys headlight, power-generating Formula OS Ext, a wide-body taking its inspiration from the thicker-beamed 1990s version of the Donnay Pro One.

PACIFIC pacific.com 941-795-1789


Taking the position that less really should mean more, Pacific will be adding one frame this spring. To complement the X Force and X Feel series, the company introduces the X Fast Pro, designed for aggressive players and with an emphasis on a rigid, stable throat to generate maximum energy with the return, although not at the expense of the feel the company developed with its other racquets, says Pacific.

X Fast Pro

28 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

www.racquetsportsindustry.com

DUNLOP dunlopsport.com 800-768-4727


Dunlop, having seen double-digit growth with its premium racquet sales since unveiling its Biomimetic frames, was set to release two line extensions in January 2012. Instead, they were able to snatch up a few more sales by moving the launch of the 400 and 700 series forward a few months. The 400 frames are based on insights from bone structure to offer power and stability and wing design to cut down on wind drag. The company says the racquets deliver more power, spin and Biomimetic 400 Lite stability. Included are the Biomimetic 400 Tour, the Biomimetic 400 Tour Biomimetic 400 and Biomimetic 400 Lite. The 700 Biomimetic 700 series, emphasizing power and comfort, features 3Dom grommetsbased on the idea of cartilage as the padding surrounding joints and designed to create greater freedom of movement for the stringsand debuts with the oversized Biomimetic 700.

PRINCE princetennis.com 800-2TENNIS


Prince, too, refined its racquet story for retailers and consumers. The primary technology continues to be EXO3. The company says it found tremendous success and consumer favor with the string suspension system running through holes instead of grommets, creating an expansive hitting zone. The adaptations in terms of communication include design executions that offer a clean and consistent aesthetic upon first glance, but are actually intriguingly intricate when viewed more closely. The New Jersey-based company also reduced EXO3 Warrior team the number of racquets in its performance lines, trying EXO3 Rebel 95 for a narrow and deep" line of performance racquets EXO3 Tour 100 that make it easier for retailers to support the entire collection. Among the lines to focus on in 2012 is the new EXO3 Warrior line devoted to the power player. Racquets include the EXO3 Warrior 100, EXO3 Warrior and EXO3 Warrior DB Team. The company is also rolling out its Rebels, with smaller heads, thinner beams, and emphasis on control. These include the EXO3 Rebel 95, EXO3 Rebel 98 and EXO3 Rebel, Team 98. They have also updated the Tour line for players with all-court games, highlighting racquets, including the EXO3 Tour 100, that will be offered with both 16 x 18 and 18 x 20 string patterns, the EXO3 Tour Team and EXO3 Tour Lite 100.

HEAD head.com 800-289-7366


Head has simplified the presentation of its lines. The communication strategy is to be clear on the branding of each series (i.e., Prestige, Radical, Extreme, Speed, Instinct and Star) so as to channel the player first to where they are most likely to find the specific weight, feel and price among the companys racquets to match their game. Launching, as the worlds attention turns to Australia, are the companys new YouTek IG Radicals and YouTek IG Prestiges. The featured technologies are Innegra (a carbon hybrid composite improving stability and increased YouTek IG Prestige Pro shock absorption) and D30 (a "dilatant foam" in the YouTek IG Prestige Mid shaft that adjusts based on the swingspeed). LeadYouTek IG Radical S ing the new Prestige line is the Robin Soderlingfavored YouTek IG Prestige MP. Others in the series include the YouTek IG Prestige Pro, YouTek IG Prestige Mid and YouTek IG Prestige S. The face of the Head Radicals is Andy Murray, who will play with the YouTek IG Radical Pro. Other racquets in the line include the YouTek IG Radical MP, YouTek IG Radical OS and the YouTek IG Radical S.

VOLKL volkl-tennis.com 866-554-7872


Volkl simplified the life of its retailers with the decision to release only three to five new frames per season. In 2012, the company is adding to the Organix series introduced last spring. Those racquets, whose carbon nanotubed DNX material is infused with a cellulose-based material for additional power, dampening and feel, will be joined by the Organix VI OS, Organix VI MP and Team Blast. While the racquets continue to feature the feel particular to the brand, their look, in a bow to fashion, will Organix V1 OS feature a return to the darker colors of years Organix Team Blast past.

WILSON wilson.com 800-272-6060


For Wilson, the 2012 theme is feel. The BLX technology infuses basalt fibers into the racquets composition, headlining the program with the current master of touch, Roger Federer, whose signature is on the Pro Staff Six.One 90 BLX aimed at all-court players. The company is offering the Pro Staff Six.One 95 BLX in both a 16 x 18 and 18 x 20 string pattern, and the Pro Staff Six.One 100 BLX. Players with power-centric games will be encouraged to take a look at the Juice Pro BLX, Juice 100 BLX, Juice 108 BLX and Steam 100 BLX. ProStaff Six One 90 BLX

YONEX yonexusa.com 800-44-YONEX


Yonex subtly redesigned the ovals traditional shape with the new Ezone series, providing extra thickness at the four corners and a Quad Power System to improve frame stiffness and allow players to generate more power from the expanded sweetspot. Former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic will play with the Ezone Xi 98. Other racquets in the line include the Ezone Xi, Ezone Xi Lite, Ezone Xi 107, Ezone Xi 115, Ezone Xi Team+, Ezone Xi Team, Ezone Xi Power and Ezone Xi Rally.

Juice Pro BLX Steam 100 BLX

Ezone Xi 98 Ezone Xi 115 Ezone Xi Lite

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February 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

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HOLDING THE LINE


BY KENT OSWALD
n 2009, the annual Participation Survey by the USTA and TIA counted 5.4 million frequent tennis players in the U.S; the 2011 survey shows frequent participation has slipped to 4.8 million. Have we really lost 1.2 million tennis feet in two years? Its not enough that tennis shoes appear to no longer be the fashion statement for the general population they were years ago. Or that manufacturers for the American marketwhere hard-court play dominatesare trying to incorporate ever lighter materials into their products. Or that the general economy has

OUTLOOK 2012: FOOTWEAR

Although shoe releases seem to have declined this year, the latest models incorporate tech advances and address needs to help players games.
been down. Losing (even temporarily misplacing) 600,000 potential shoe shoppers would never be positive for the tennis shoe biz. Still, even if you can see a reflection of those talking points in the constrained number of new shoes being released this year, there is good news. Its not just that technology is being dressed up in new colors; the shoes being released to the marketplace, few as they may be, address needs and incorporate scientific advances and new thinking about the role of footwear in the game.

ADIDAS adidas.com 800-448-1796


Trying to improve their story for retailers and consumers, Adidas is refocusing its shoe line around three types of playersthose looking for something light and fast, players most concerned with comfort, and the hardcore player. Those who rely on speed will be looking into the adiZero series (a new model that will have a new sprinter bottom to help with sliding, available by the time the US Open Series rolls around in July). Players targeting comfort should focus on Response kicks, and the hardcore will find their best match with the companys Barricades. The most recent offering of this last series, the Barricade 7.0, is launching in both a mens (Andy Murray-endorsed) and womens (Andrea Petkovic-endorsed) versions. With the 7.0, Adidas shaved weight from previous models, while also continuing to offer a high level of stability, durability and shock absorption. Continuing the German companys exploration of the color palette, the mens version will be available in running white/iron/black, running white/high energy/prime blue, white/black/high energy and black/high energy. Women will see the version adapted to their needs in running white/core energy/metallic silver, running white/metallic silver/ultra green or prime ink/metallic silver/core energy.

BABOLAT babolat.com 877-316-9435


Babolat will be expanding its Andy Roddickendorsed Propulse line in 2012 with the Propulse 3 (in black/gray/green, red/white/black or white/black/ silver) and Propulse Lady 3 adaptation (in black/pink or white/red/silver). The key features remain with grip and durability delivered in the sole through a partnership with fellow French iconic brand Michelin, as well as the heel cushioning, support and comfort of the earlier models.

Barracade 7.0

Propulse 3 Propulse Lady 3

30 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

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HEAD head.com 800-289-7399


In March, Head expands its Speed Pro shoe line. Adopting the current less weight is better trend for shoes, the company reduced weight by 12 percent in fashioning the new Speed Pro Lite for men (in black/white/orange and white black). Related to that lighter feel, the shoes offer an easier and shorter break-in period out of the box, while continuing to provide the outsole durability, internal comfort, arch stability and vibration absorption in the heel of the previous models.

K-SWISS kswiss.com 800-714-4477


Continuing its rebranding strategyadding a complement of technological innovation to its fashion renownK-Swiss had Gael Monfils debuting his signature line, the Tubes Monfils Mid (in black/silver/blue), Down Under in January. In addition to the featured Tubes technology in the sole, offering a new level of cushioning and comfort for the companys line, the shoe also delivers a high level of traction and durability, says K-Swiss. Not ignoring fashion, the shoes are decorated on the tongue with a caricature of the seemingly elastic and electric Monfils.

Speed Pro Tubes Monfils Mid

NEW BALANCE newbalance.com 800-253-7463


New Balance sees color and weight as the key themes moving forward. Its 851 shoes were introduced last year, adapting insights and technology developed for the running-shoe side of the business to the requirements of the tennis court. A mens version is available in white/black or black/yellow and one for women can be found in either black/blue or white/blue/yellow. Additionally, both versions are available in a Polo Player insignia version (white/black with orange and green high851 lights) celebrating the companys relationship with Ralph Lauren as a member of the team that outfits ball kids at this years US Open.

PRINCE princetennis.com 800-2TENNIS


Jerome Jackson, Princes global business director for footwear, explains the key (non-economic) challenge: Color continues to be important in creating an iconic image for footwear. [But] with tennis being one of the most demanding sports on your feet, it's important that we deliver footwear that is not only lightweight but also durable enough to hold up to the rigors that go with an athlete's playing style. Accepting that challenge, the companys newest models are members of the Lightspeed and T families. The Rebel 2LS (in black/yellow or black/white/green for men and silver/yellow for women) offers improved traction and durability, with an emphasis on extra cushioning and shock absorption. The T24 (in black/white/red or white/navy/silver for men and black/purple or white/silver for women) delivers advances through extra cushioning, comfort, breathability and stability.

WILSON wilson.com 800-272-6060


While not true at the pro and highest player levels, most players are relying on one shoe no matter what surface they will be hitting on. Wilson has embraced that reality with its all-court, low-profile Tour Ikon shoes for both men (in silver/red/black) and women (white/silver/super pink). To accommodate both hard-court and claycourt play, the shoes have a multi-directional sole, in addition to the technology that creates the stability, cushioning, heel support, energy return, breathability and moisture management todays players expect and require.

T24 Rebel 2LS

Tour Ikon

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February 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

31

CENTER COURT For 2012, fashion STARS continues to shine


f you think racquet and shoe technology has advanced, clothing has certainly caught up in many technical ways. Apparel manufacturers are in a race to see who has the best form of moisture-wicking, fabrication longevity and comfort, antimicrobial protection and UV shielding. Color knows no bounds, either. Standout greens, vivid oranges, bold purples, sea blues and vestiges of bright pink fill the fashion horizon. All these technical features are complimented by lots of fashionable looks for the court and beyond.

OUTLOOK 2012: APPAREL

as apparel makers use fabrications that are stylish and comfortable.


BY CYNTHIA SHERMAN

TAIL tailactivewear.com 305-638-2650


Tail continues the color trend with eye-popping brights and classic color combos and styles. These combinations for Fall pair black with a splash of red for color blocking and contrast. Featured in performance mesh and jersey in 13.5-inch lengths that are short but dignified, theyre both comfortable and breathable.

32 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

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ELIZA AUDLEY elizaaudley.com 262-691-4770


Eliza Audleys couture style continues its bold color-blocking with one of the hot color combinations of the year going into Fall: a sharp orange and pink on black in an updated Pucci-like pattern. Made of 90 percent micropoly and 10 percent spandex, its an ultra-fashionable, comfortable approach to net play.

BOLLE bolletenniswear.com 301-362-0360


Bolles sharp Summer High Voltage look in graphite gray and white is accented in lime and pink. The fabric is a comfortable 92/8 polyester/spandex with wicking. The outfit on the left is a scoop-neck tank with a built-in bra. For those who wish to wear their own sports bra, the cap sleeve Vneck top is a perfect choice. Both skirts have internal shorts attached.

FILA fila.com 410-773-3000


Fila sheds some light on what youll see its players wearing at the US Open in 2012. The mens Collezione embossed crew neck top is a poly interlock and stretch micro-mesh with classic F box embroidered logo. The shirt features a curved hem and drop tail with mesh inserts at the side and under the arms for breathability, in Lava trimmed in an earthy Ombre tone. The Collezione pant finishes off this sophisticated pairing.

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FIND YOUR CURE


ife was simpler in the 1970s, when I was shipped off to tennis camp with a couple of T-2000s. When I was on the court and the ball started sailing, my stringer simply increased the tension. When I wanted more spin, I changed my swing path and swung faster. When my elbow was sore, I just popped an aspirin. I didnt wake up at 3 a.m. worried about which co-poly would save my topspinand neither did my stringer, who took refuge in a less complicated universe, one yet to splinter into a seemingly endless maze of materials, additives, technologies,

OUTLOOK 2012: STRING

The current market has a string that will suit just about any playing style.

BY JONATHAN WOLFE

and, most importantly, possibilities. How times have changed. In 2012 when a ball misbehaves, players have recourse. They can select strings that emphasize power, control, touch, spin, feel, comfort and durability. They can select hybrids that allow them to zero-in on a feature set with amazing precision. They can mix and match until stroke and string are perfectly calibrated. Needless to say, the current string market has an answer for just about every stroke style. Here are a few of the highlights.

ASHAWAY ashawayusa.com 800-556-7260


For those who refuse to join the polyester revolution, Ashaways Steve Crandall has an answer. Its called Zyex MonoGut and it squares the circle by creating what playtesters describe as the antipolyester monofilamentcomfortably crisp, with zero strain on the arm. Ashaway also continues its long tradition of Zyex multifilaments with Dynamite Natural and Dynamite Tough, both of which rank among the more arm-friendly strings tested by the USRSA. Baseliners on a budget might want to consider the original MonoGut, which boasts near identical lab scores to some of the priciest copolyesters. Did I mention that Ashaway strings are the only ones made in the USA?

ment that has recently undergone a durability upgrade. If thats still not enough, perhaps you should spoil yourself with some VS Natural Gut.

DUNLOP dunlopsport.com 800-768-4727


When we overhauled our string line a few years ago, says Dunlop product manager Hunter Hines, our goal was to satisfy all the different playing styles. To that end, Hines continues, Dunlop now covers the spectrum from comfortable and powerful multifilaments to crisp and spin-friendly polyesters. USRSA lab tests suggest that the new Biomimetic approach (employing lessons from nature) has paid off, yielding scores for Silk that indicate high levels of comfort. Completing the spectrum is Black Widow, which is one of the softer co-polyesters tested at the USRSA.

BABOLAT babolat.com 877-316-9435


If there is one string that is emblematic of the current co-poly craze, it is RPM Blast. Even intermediate baseliners will feel like they are grabbing the ball and throwing it at their chosen target. And dont worry if you lack Nadallike head speed; RPMs cross-linked silicone coating promotes a powerful snapback, multiplied viciously for big hitters. Players looking for a tad more comfort now have the option of RPM Team, which features injected micro air bubbles for a softer ride. Those favoring maximum comfort and high dwell time will like Xcel, a pillowy and uniquely controllable nylon multifila-

GAMMA gammasports.com 800-333-0337


The well-earned popularity of Gamma's TNT2 and Live Wire strings prove that no matter how much real estate the polyester kingdom claims, there is still no substitute for the all-around playability and feel of softer material. Put simply, Live Wire
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34 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

Professional is not going anywhere. Recent additions to Gammas Playability Series include TNT2 Touch, whose high elongation promises equally high shock absorption and energy return. Gammas Durability Series keeps evolving with recent additions like Zo Verve, a co-poly that blends stiff and soft materials to provide equal parts comfort and control. One veteran USRSA playtester sums it up nicely: This is the perfect poly. Not only does it possess the expected durability, spin and control, but it has more comfort, touch and feel than its peers.

PACIFIC pacific.com 941-795-1789


"The racquet is really just a string holder," says Pacific's Tom Parry, perhaps exaggerating slightly. Actually, if you look at the sheer comprehensiveness of Pacific's offerings you realize that Parry, one of the most accomplished stringers in the world, is not kidding. Pacifics natural gut line is, on the whole, the softest tested at the USRSA. Throw in best of class tension maintenance and it proves just how much of a burden Pacific believes the stringbed should bear. As for polyester, like the recently added Xcite, Parry stresses that, Developing a poly which not only performs better but holds tension longer is a tedious endeavor. This probably explains why the company took over two years to develop player favorites such as Poly Power Pro.

GENESIS genesis-tennis.com 866-333-0337


With the demand for soft and elastic strings on the rise comments Mitchell Lvovsky of Genesis, we responded with a superb selection of co-polyester and synthetic strings. Standouts include the recently added Thunder Blast, a comfortable nylon multifilament with impressive bite and tension maintenance. The list continues with a wide variety of carefully engineered co-polyesters. Among them is Black Magic, which scored remarkably well with USRSA playtesters and has a growing following among big hitters, not least because it possesses one of the best price to value ratios on the market.

PRINCE princetennis.com 800-2TENNIS


In an industry that perpetually offers the promise of next years technology, its satisfying to see the unshakeable persistence of Prince Synthetic Gut, the king of best sellers. Players wanting a softer ride can upgrade to Premier LT, a favorite of USRSA playtesters. New to the line is Premier Attack, which provides comfort-seekers the advantage of a strong Tri-Core construction for a crisper response and better tension maintenance. The Prince Endurance Series is lead by Beast XP, which, according to Princes Nathan Price, combines a groundbreaking thermo-poly process with a secret polymer for added power and spinand its friendlier than other top polys!

HEAD head.com 800-289-7366


When the tennis industry started producing lighter and stiffer frames, a challenge was laid bare: absorb the shock, and do it for a fraction of the cost of natural gut. Head answers this challenge with its unique ribbon construction, featured in its RIP Control string and two tendon-friendly hybrids, Intellistring and Intellitour. Witnessing the explosive growth of polyester, Head Senior Business Manager Ben Simons muses: I wonder what price our tendons have paid? This wisdom likely explains why Heads recently added FXP Tour, featuring four polyester monofilaments inside several multifilament wraps, has such an incredibly low stiffness score. For those who cant seem to find the right feel or reliably compute the balls trajectory, Heads Perfect Match Hybrid Program allows the most discerning palette to salt to taste.
www.racquetsportsindustry.com

SOLINCO solincosports.com 310-922-7775


"Our goal was to create performance-enhancing strings that speak for themselves, says Solinco's Director K.T. Kim, whose co-polyesters have been adopted by many elite D1 programs and top international juniors. "Competitive players can tell the difference immediately," he adds. USRSA playtesters agree, awarding the popular Tour Bite one of the best scores for spin since the program's inception. Solinco offers co-polys in a wide variety of flavors, including Revolution, which comes in one of the thinnest gauges available.

TECNIFIBRE tecnifibre.com 858-397-5712


Tecnifibres success with industry icons like NRG2, according to General Manager Paul Kid, is
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achieved by painstakingly shaping the dynamic properties of string. This effort shows in its new XR1, deploying no less than 1,125 filaments in the service of comfort and energy return. Players looking to inch closer to polyester should try what Tecnifibre calls the missing link between multifilament nylon and monofilament polyester. This is found in X-Code and Duramix HD, both of which blend polyester fibers with cozy polyurethane to give players a lively and pleasantly crisp response. Finally, Tecnifibre introduces Ruff Code, a shaped co-polyester that proves once again Tecnifibre does not know how to make an uncomfortable string.

WILSON/LUXILON wilson.com 800-272-6060


If your elbow could use an army of welltrained micro fibers to cushion its load, and you (somehow) havent tried Wilson NXT or Sensation, then your demo list just got bigger. For those who want a little more control without sacrificing comfort, Wilson offers NXT Control and Sensation Control. Both feature polyester and nylon fibers in a bed of polyurethane so that bigger swings feel good and come down on time. Keeping with the control theme, Wilson has recently added Hollow Core Pro, featuring an air-filled polyester core for a crisper feel. And for string breakers unwilling to take the poly plunge, theres Red Alert, a solid-core nylon with multifilament wraps and polylike durability. When Gustavo Kuerten first laced up his Head Pro Tour with something called Luxilon, few could have predicted the heights to which co-polyesters would rise, nor the amazing benefits that would accrue to angular momentum and high head speed. Luxilon continues its magical brew of spin, power, control and durability with two recent additions, including Savage, a six-sided spin monster, and Adrenaline, a more affordable entry into Luxilons new Liquid Crystalline Polymer, which builds improved feel into the famed snapback.

TOURNA uniquesports.com 800-554-3707


It's not easy for a prototype to make the starting roster at Tourna, which is extremely selective about adding new strings. This explains why Big Hitter Blue Rough received the second highest spin ranking ever awarded by the USRSA. And it also explains why, says Tournas Mike Niksich, Serious players and college teams have been flocking to Big Hitter Blue and Silver for several years. The Tourna crew is clearly not resting on its laurels. The new Big Hitter Black 7, an uncommonly elastic co-poly, contains seven sharp edges for maximum bite. For those seeking true comfort, Tourna offers Quasi-Gut, or its slightly tougher cousin, Quasi-Gut Armor, adding a uniquely crisp finish to its classic multifilament.

VOLKL volkl-tennis.com 866-554-7872


The main focus of Volkls string line, according to product manager Benny Neumann, is on high-performance copolymers and multifilaments. In that vein Volkl offers V-Feel, an innovative multifilament nylon with a bite-producing metallic coil. It uses the same bonding process that makes the time-tested Power Fiber II so comfortably firm. Volkls newest offering is V-Twist, a plush multifilament that is twisted during the extrusion process and contains a raised coil for extra spin control. Finally, if you want a real natural gut delicacy, there is V-Icon.

YONEX yonexusa.com 800-44-YONEX


The Yonex string line is intelligently limited to a core group of solid options. On the soft side lies Tour Super 850, a comfortable and lively multifilament that holds tension remarkably well for the breed. For a crisper response, Yonex offers Tour Super 850 Pro, ideal for players seeking a little more control. Honoring the trend toward juicier polyesters, Yonex offers Poly Tour Pro, which has a friction-reducing outer coating for a more powerful snapback. USRSA playtesters concur, awarding this string high marks for energy return. More advanced players are likely to enjoy Poly Tour Pro HS, which errs on the firm side, giving big hitters more control and durability for their buck.

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WOW FACTOR!
RSI and ASBA bring you the best in tennis court construction and design.
n 2011, there were 28 tennis winners in the RSI/American Sports Builders Association Facility-of-the-Year Awards program. Exactly half of those winning facilities were private, residential court projectsa huge increase from previous years, and possibly an indication that while municipal projects may be affected by the economy, homeowners with means still are finding ways to develop outstanding private courts. Each year, based on entries submitted by an ASBA member who designed or built the facility or court, the association selects outstanding tennis facilities that meet the standard of excellence in design and construction

OUTSTANDING FACILITY-OF-THE-YEAR AWARDS

determined by the judging committee. For 2011, the panel of judges deemed 28 courts or facilities to be worthy of special recognition, but three of those winners were chosen for Outstanding honors: Q Hunt Logan Tennis Facility at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn. Q Gordon Residence in Boca Raton, Fla. Q Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville, Tenn. Award plaques to the three Outstanding winners and the 25 Distinguished winners were presented at the ASBA Technical Meeting held in December in Palm Springs.

For details on the 2012 Outstanding Facility-of-the-Year Awards, contact the ASBA at 866-501ASBA or info@sportsbuilders.org, or visit www.sportsbuilders.org.

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Distinguished Facility Honors


In addition to the Hunt Logan Tennis Facility, Gordon Residence, and Belle Meade Country Club, these 25 locations were chosen by the 2011 panel of judges for the ASBA as excellent examples of court construction, receiving Distinguished Facility-ofthe-Year Awards. Youll read more about them in upcoming issues of RSI. (The nominating company is in parentheses.)
Q Berce Residence, Frankville, Wis. (Munson Inc.) Q Berkshire School Tennis Facility, Sheffield, Mass. (Cape & Island Tennis & Track) Q Blackhawk School District Tennis Facility, Beaver Falls, Pa. (Vasco Sports Construction) Q Boca Raton Tennis Center, Boca Raton, Fla. (Welch Tennis Courts Inc.) Q Dr. Bourne Residence, Salt Lake City, Utah (Tennis and Track Co.) Q Butternut Hollow Residence Indoor Court, Greenwich, Conn. (Global Sports & Tennis Design Group LLC) Q Cohen Residence, Weston, Mass. (Cape & Island Tennis & Track) Q Colorado State Univ. Tennis Facility, Fort Collins, Colo. (Renner Sports Surfaces) Q Cox Residence, Ogden, Utah (Tennis and Track Co.) Q Crossland/Kirkpatrick Residence, Napa, Calif. (Vintage Contractors Inc.) Q Elkin Municipal CourtsTom Gwyn Tennis Complex, Elkin, N.C. (Court One) Q Fish Hawk Ranch Tennis Center, Valrico, Fla. (Welch Tennis Courts Inc.) Q Florence Tennis Center, Florence, S.C. (Talbot Tennis) Q Gin Lane Residence, Long Island, N.Y. (Global Sports & Tennis Design Group LLC) Q Goddard USD 265 Sports Complex, Goddard, Kan. (Mid-America Courtworks) Q Goodale Park, West Boylston, Mass. (Warner Larson Inc.) Q JJJ Ranch, Dawson, Texas (Patriot Court Systems Inc.) Q Kirslis Residence, Norwell, Mass. (Boston Tennis Court Construction Co. Inc.) Q New Orleans City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center, New Orleans, La. (American Tennis Courts Inc.) Q Polo Park Tennis Facility, Miami Beach, Fla. (Fast-Dry Courts) Q Private Residence, Glen Ellen, Calif. (Vintage Contractors Inc.) Q Private Residence, Miami Beach, Fla. (Fast-Dry Courts) Q Quarry Beach Club Tennis Center, Naples, Fla. (Welch Tennis Courts Inc.) Q Richard Schmidt Residence Indoor Court, West Linn, Ore. (Atlas Track & Tennis) Q Roberts Residence, Wellesley, Mass. (Cape & Island Tennis & Track)

Outdoor Tennis Facility-of-the-Year Award Hunt Logan Tennis Facility at Choate Rosemary Hall Wallingford, Conn.
This upgrade of the existing facility involved the demolition and rebuilding of 14 tennis courts with a Plexipave Professional Grade surface. The project included handicap access, drainage, viewing areas, utilities, fencing and surfacing. New walkways were constructed of brown stone cobble. The landscape had been meticulously tended for more than 80 years, and one of the biggest challenges was preserving existing hedges, cherry trees and flowers.
Nominated by: Cape & Island Tennis & Track Architect/Engineer: CHA Sports/James Boudreau & Richard Webb Contractor: Cape & Island Tennis & Track Suppliers: California Products, Douglas Sports Nets & Equipment, J.A. Cissel, Cape & Island Tennis & Track, ACO Sport Number of Courts: 14 Completed: September 2010

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Residential Tennis Facility-of-the-Year Award Gordon Residence Boca Raton, Fla.


Design and function took center stage on this new residential court, designed to blend into the landscape and have a sunken stadium court feel. A landscape retaining wall addressed the sites major slope issues. After excavating the site, extra machinery had to be brought in to break up bedrock to dig footers for the light pole foundations. The sub-irrigated, lighted Har-Tru HydroBlend court has a 24-foot hitting wall at one end and a cabana for player comfort.
Nominated by: Fast-Dry Courts Architect/Engineer: Fast-Dry Courts Contractor: Fast-Dry Courts Suppliers: Har-Tru Sports, Fast-Dry Courts, Techlight Completed: December 2010

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Indoor Tennis Facility-of-the-Year Award Belle Meade Country Club Nashville, Tenn.
When floods ravaged the Nashville area in spring 2010, about 4 feet of water damaged the indoor courts at Belle Meade CC, forcing the contractor to dig out the asphalt base and replace it with a posttension concrete base, topped by a cushioned acrylic surface. The renovated and upgraded facility now has new backdrop and divider curtains, column pads and net post hardware. And members were able to hit the courts before Christmas that year.
Nominated by: Baseline Sports Construction LLC Specialty Contractor: Baseline Sports Construction LLC Suppliers: California Products (DecoTurf), Edwards/Athletic Connection, Putterman Athletics Number of Courts: 8 Completed: December 2010

www.racquetsportsindustry.com

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? Ask the Experts


Your Equipment Hotline Q
I WAS TOLD THAT THE SWING weight formula is the mass times the square of the distance from balance point. This seems a much more simple method for calculating swing weight than buying a swing weight testing machine or even doing the stopwatch method. Can I use this method to match two racquets using just a scale and a balance board?

SWING WEIGHT QUESTION

NO. THE FORMULA YOU describe resembles some of the swingweight estimators used in golf, and while they might be useful in golf, they are too inaccurate for measuring let alone matching tennis racquets. This is not a knock on golf, but rather an acknowledgement that golf clubs can be taken apart so the head and the shaft can be weighed separately. The actual formula for swingweight is: Swingweight = mass x distance2 The distance variable is measured from the pivot point, not the balance point. By convention, the pivot is defined as a point 10 centimeters up from the butt cap of the racquet, which puts it roughly under the pad of the first knuckle of your first finger, where it would be on a typical forehand groundstroke or volley. The mass variable does not refer to the mass of the entire racquet. Rather, it refers to the mass of each individual molecule that makes up the racquet. To measure it directly, you would need to disassemble your racquet to the component molecules, keeping track of how far each molecule was from the pivot point. You could approximate it by slicing the racquet into ultra-thin sections (assuming you could do this without losing any racquet material in the process), and
RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

then making the hundreds, thousands, or millions of calculations necessary, but in either case the racquet would be useless afterwards. This is why your best bet is a machine that measures swing weight, or the stopwatch method, which you will find in the member-only section of the USRSA website: http://goo.gl/fX0Cx For a more thorough treatment of swingweight and many other technical aspects of tennis equipment, check out The Physics and Technology of Tennis and Technical Tennis, each of which is available from the USRSA on-line store.

IS THE YUSUKI METHOD OF starting the mains acceptable by USRSA standards? It is my preferred method, and I have come across many top-notch stringers that employ this method. If not, should I just pull the first two mains simultaneously, clamp with a fixed clamp, then backup with a starting clamp?

YUSUKI STARTING METHOD

the string where it has to turn to go around the frame and back through, which could lead to breakage, it introduces another step into the stringing process, and it takes more time than other methods. If you are not in a stringing environment where every moment counts, though, and youre not getting any breakage from applying the starting clamp, it is an easy way to start the mains. For a quicker way of starting the mains, check out the method recommended by Babolat, which uses only one machine clamp inside the frame. For this method, install the first two mains on either side of the racquet, and apply the machine clamp just inside the frame in the second main, away from the end of the racquet where youll be pulling tension. Note that if the mains start at the head, your first pull will be from the head, not from the throat. Pull tension on the first main on the same side as the machine clamp (which is on the second main), and use the other machine clamp as you normally would. Because you are using the machine clamp to start, there is little contact with, and no damage to, the grommet on your first pull. Babolat also

THE BENEFITS OF THE YUSUKI method are that you dont have to put the first clamp on a limp string, you are clamping the string in the same line where it will be when you are done, and that first clamp doesnt take all the force of the first pull by itself. Also, because the starting clamp is outside of the frame, there are no visible marks on the main string, other than what is left from the string clamp. We published the Yusuki method in Racquet Sports Industry magazine back in September 2009, and it can be found on-line here: http://goo.gl/LtTbv The drawbacks are that the starting clamp outside of the frame may weaken

has an alternate method where you use a starting clamp instead of a machine clamp inside the frame of the second main, but it is not universal because some frames have really long, soft grommets that simply collapse when you pull tension, while others have no grommet so the starting clamp jams into the finish of the racquet. If, however, you decide to adopt this
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method and later want to take the test to become a Certified Stringer or Master Racquet Technician, the Yusuki method will be acceptable because every string eventually gets tensioned individually.

Q A
string.

STRING SELECTION MAP

WHERE CAN I FIND THE STRING Selection Map on-line? Im trying to find a durable

However, none of these sources deals with durability. For that, youd have to check out the results of our string playtests. String playtests are available in back issues of Racquet Sports Industry magazine on-line, while USRSA members also have access to a sortable comparison table of all the playtests weve performed for publication. This database is on-line here:

http://goo.gl/D1hP6 If youre not a member of USRSA, check out the variety of memberships we have available at the USRSA on-line store: http://goo.gl/7pGGA 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.

WE PUBLISH THE STRING Selection Map in the January issue, which you can find at RacquetSportsIndustry.com. The information at RSI.com duplicates the information that appears in the printed version of the magazine.

USRSA members also have access to the raw data that appears in the String Selection Map as a sortable, searchable database, which is on-line here: http://goo.gl/GBJWg USRSA members also have available our String Selector tool, which allows you to choose strings based on your current string but with the options to change the stiffness, tension loss, and/or gauge. This tool is online here: http://goo.gl/vEoZi

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Tips & Techniques


STRING BED CUTTERS

Readers Know-How in Action


to purchase fewer trash bags specifically for string trash. Cutting out old string beds goes faster, too, as I can just snip string right into the bag, preventing the pieces from shooting all over my office! 5 sets of Tecnifibre MultiFeel 17 to: Matt Previdi, San Diego, CA hole with some wax on an ice pick, but I broke the string that was already in the hole. Very frustrating because I had to restring the entire racquet! This time I located a 10-inch scrap piece of stiff poly string. I cut one end at an angle and was able to get it through the hole. Once through I applied wax to the remaining poly string, and then pulled it all the way through. Now I was able to get my softer string through and finish the job. 5 sets of Unique Big Hitter Blue 17 to: Peter Mroz Newtown Square, PA

I have tried many string bed cutting shears over the years. However, my sister who is a Registered Nurse, once suggested I use her bandage scissors. These shears are stainless steel and retail in any pharmacy for around $5.00. They easily cut through any string including Kevlar. They also cut easily through grips (including leather), bumper guard tape, and grip build up sleeves. They maintain their sharpness; I've used one pair for 2+ years now! This tool should definitely be on every stringer's tool tray. 5 sets of Babolat Revenge 16 to: Eduardo Ramirez, North Halden, NJ

Each stringer devises ways to improve the stringing of a particular frame, or a way to solve a particular problem. In the past I wrote myself small notes alongside the stringing instructions of that frame in the Stringers Digest, but I never went to the trouble of transferring them to each new Digest, and it is difficult to remember which Digest issue contained notes for which racquet, assuming I even remembered that Id left myself a note in the first place. Then I replaced my hand-written notes with a very simple computer spreadsheet to record every hint, note, or problem I have come across. It looks something like this:
BRAND PRINCESS WISDOM XCERT MODEL PROBLEM / HINT MOTOSPORT Add 1 foot for crosses when using poly SUPERSAINT Tie knot at 9T instead of 11T SUPERPRO Pre-weave first 3 crosses to avoid blocked hole

DATABASE FOR STRINGING NOTES

GRIP TAPE

I have been trying to come up with fun ways of reusing old household products when stringing. One way of doing this actually helps keep my racquet stringing time down, and my stringing area clean. I take an old plastic bag from the supermarket and affix it to the arm that has my tensioner attached to it, between the tensioner and the tool shelf. This gives me someplace out of the way, but close enough to snip little pieces of string or even place used string packages within arms reach. This way I can throw out trash quicker, without having to run to the trashcan every 5 seconds. I also have

TRASH AT HAND

The spreadsheet provides a way to reorder the info in alphabetical order for easier, faster access. I have my computer always near the stringing machine, and from time to time I perform a printout of it just in case I need to work someplace else. 5 sets of Head Sonic Pro 17 to: Luis de Santis, Valencia, Venezuela

I dont know how many times I have searched and scratched and picked to try and find the end of a finishing tape! Now, when I apply the finishing tape to secure the end of the overgrip, I run the very end of the tape off to one side, and then slide the grip band up over it. That way I can easily find the end of the tape next time I re-grip. 5 sets of Luxilon SuperSense 125 to: Terry Boyle, Highlands Ranch, CO Editors note: Dont try this during your certification test, as we specify that the tape must appear as it does when it comes from the manufacturer. Greg Raven Q
Tips and Techniques submitted since 1992 by USRSA members and appearing in this column, have all been gathered into a searchable database on www.racquettech.com, the official member-only website of the USRSA. Submit tips to: Greg Raven, USRSA, 330 Main St., Vista, CA 92084; or email greg@racquettech.com.

I was stringing with a relatively soft string and couldnt get it through the last tie-off grommet hole, which was very tight. When I encountered this situation previously, I had tried unblocking the

BLOCKED KNOT HOLES

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String Playtest

Ytex Quadro Twist


tex Quadro Twist is a geometric monofilament polyester string that has a square profile, but is also as the name suggests twisted. The monofilament itself is a co-polymer with carbon and a special polyolefin, with Thermo Foil Cooling Process finish. Ytex tells us that the combination of the material and the shape gives Quadro Twist exceptional power, spin, control, comfort, feel, and tension retention. Ytex highly recommends Quadro Twist in full and hybrid string sets. The target audience is high performance junior and adult players. Quadro Twist is available in 16L gauge (1.26 mm) in black only. It is priced from $8.75 for sets of 40 feet, and $109.85 for reels of 660 feet. For more information or to order, contact Ytex at 786-280-2138, or visit ytexstrings.com. Be sure to read the conclusion for more information about getting a free set to try for yourself.

unmarked strings in unmarked packages. Average number of hours playtested was 33.9. The four corners on Quadro Twist are rounded (as opposed to being sharp), which may explain why it installs so easily despite its geometric construction. Not only do the crosses glide across the mains, but also the corners dont grab on the inside of grommets so Quadro Twist doesnt wrap itself into a tangle as you install the crosses. The acid test to a geometric string such as this is, of course, how much extra wind-up there is in the final couple of crosses, and with EASE OF STRINGING
(compared to other strings) Number of testers who said it was: much easier somewhat easier about as easy not quite as easy not nearly as easy

1 0 21 15 2

The coil measured 40 feet. The diameter measured 1.26-1.29 mm prior to stringing, and 1.22-1.23 mm after stringing. 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 68 RDC units, representing a 7 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. In lab testing, Prince Synthetic Gut Original has a stiffness of 217 and a tension loss of 11.67 pounds, while Ytex Quadro Twist has a stiffness of 269 and a tension loss of 21.36 pounds. Quadro Twist added 16 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame. The string was tested for five weeks by 39 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 6.0. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving

IN THE LAB

Quadro Twist the last crosses looked the same as all the others, with no additional and/or unwanted wrapping. Its stiff enough that you may have to fight it a bit when installing across a hard weave, but once you get the end through it still glides surprisingly well. No one on the playtest team broke his sample during stringing, 15 reported problems with coil memory, six reported problems tying knots, and one reported friction burn.

OVERALL PLAYABILITY
(compared to string played most often) Number of testers who said it was: much better 2 somewhat better 11 about as playable 9 not quite as playable 15 not nearly as playable 2

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

11 15 12 10 0

RATING AVERAGES
From 1 to 5 (best) Playability Durability (13th overall) Power (9th overall) Control (9th overall) Comfort Touch/Feel Spin Potential (1st overall) Holding Tension (2nd overall) Resistance to Movement (4th overall) 3.5 4.4 3.7 3.8 3.2 3.0 4.3 3.8 4.2

We advised our playtest team members that Ytex recommends a 10 percent reduction in reference tension compared to a typical nylon string. The resulting ratings could hardly be any better. Our playtest team ranked Ytex Quadro Twist to be the best string weve ever tested for Spin Potential. Our team also ranked Quadro Twist second overall in Tension Retention, fourth overall in Resistance to Movement, ninth overall in both Power and Control, and 13th overall in Durability. They also ranked it well above average in Playability. As a result, the cumulative score vaults Ytex Quadro Twist into second place overall of the 159 strings weve playtested to date for publication. You read that correctly: Ytex Quadro Twist is second only to an all-natural-gut product in overall score. Two playtesters broke the string during the playtest period, one at six hours and one at 20 hours.
www.racquetsportsindustry.com

ON THE COURT

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RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

TESTERS TALK
This string is a topspin machine. 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince Triple Threat Hornet strung at 60 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Black Code 17) Exceptional blend of playability and durability. Great tension maintenance. Big swings find the court. This is simply a great control string. 5.0 male all-court player using Head Youtek Instinct strung at 57 pounds LO (Head Sonic Pro 16)

Recommended to non string breakers in search of a tendon friendly polyester. 4.0 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Drive strung at 56 pounds CP (Babolat RPM Blast 16)

FREE PLAYTEST STRING PROGRAM


Ytex will send a free set of Quadro Twist to USRSA members who cut out (or copy) this coupon and send it to:

This is the perfect string for big hitters who play with heavy spin. 5.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Babolat Aero Storm strung at 54 pounds CP (Luxilon TIMO/Babolat Xcel 18/17)

Amazing pop on volleys. The extra action on serves is unmistakable. 4.0 male all-court player using Wilson BLX Six One (16x18) strung at 55 pounds CP (Luxilon Savage 16L)

The shaped construction helps with spin. Control is excellent. 5.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Babolat Pure Storm Team strung at 58.5 pounds CP (Babolat RPM Blast 18)

USRSA, Attn: Ytex 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 15 Feb 2012 Offer only available to USRSA members in the US. Name: USRSA Member number: Phone: Email: If you print your email clearly, we will notify you when your sample will be sent.

Great feel and power. Serves have extra spin and volleys are wonderfully crisp. Easy on the arm. 4.5 male allcourt player using Wilson BLX Khamsin Five FX strung at 62 pounds CP (Wilson Hollow Core Pro 17)

Nylon players should definitely lower the tension a little. After the break-in period, this string feels fine. 4.0 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson K Zero strung at 62 pounds CP (Gamma Live Wire 17)

For the rest of the tester comments, visit www.racquetsportsindustry.com.

Players who are considering the switch to one of the strings in the poly family typically seem to want 1) to try the strings the commentators say all the pros are using, 2) to get more spin, and the word is that poly will do that for them, and 3) strings they dont have to straighten between every shot. According to our playtester team, Ytex Quadro Twist covers each of these bases. One other thing to keep in mind for players who are looking for more spin is that it seems as though a geometric string such as Ytex Quadro Twist automatically get credit for spin as soon as the player sees it. Given how much of tennis is mental, you dont want to underrate the positive reinforcement the customer receives when the spin string you have installed actually looks as though its going to grab the ball like crazy. If you think that Ytex Quadro Twist might be for you, fill out the coupon to get a free set to try. . Greg Raven Q
www.racquetsportsindustry.com February 2012 RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY

CONCLUSION

47

Your Serve

Building a Solid Game


011 has been a challenging year, as the tennis industry continued to feel the effects of the overall economy and consumers continued to evaluate their discretionary spending. But 2011 also marked a turning point in several respects, as the TIA established clearer strategic platforms and areas of focus to support future growth. In addition, the USTAs 10 and Under Tennis initiative began to take hold and lay the groundwork for bringing in future consumers. While there is much we can discuss when we reflect on 2011, we wanted to take this opportunity to touch on some key highlights and updates.

The TIA president reflects on key industry highlights of 2011, and points to focus areas to support industry growth in the New Year.
places to play, certified instructors and other information. The USTA has also made a substantial investment to develop PlayTennis.com, and we look forward to the re-launch of the site in 2012. The TIA continues to position tennis as a healthy activity and pathway to an active lifestyle. The TIA's Cardio Tennis program is at 1,800 sites, and in five years has more than 1.5 million players. CardioTennis.com has been re-launched on a new platform, helping providers fill classes and add even more value to their programs.

approach and also developed a series of webinars. We worked to maintain consistent email blasts, increased our use of social media, and established a new alliance with tennis writers. With our strategic platforms and objectives, we also clarified our positioning in several areas and aligned our approach to clearer metrics. Although Hurricane Irene forced the cancellation of the inaugural "Tennis Show" as an industry gathering, plans are in the works for the B Y J O N M U I R 2012 event.

An important TIA service is to provide market research to the industry and its partners, which we do with more than 70 research reports and surveys annually. We have also established a new State of the Industry report to tell the story of the industry in one easier to read report that we will publish every March.

Source for Tennis Research

Over the past year, the TIA completed several new studies in support of our strategic objectives and established clearer economic goals to ensure we maintain accountability for all stakeholders to support industry growth. A key goal moving forward is, obviously, increasing the frequent player base. The new TIA State of the Industry report values our industry size at $5.6 billion. Growing the number of frequent players from the current 4.8 million to our goal of 10 million by 2020 will boost the tennis economy an estimated $3.9 billionbenefitting all segments and stakeholders. A critical building block is the USTAs 10 and Under Tennis initiative. Along with the USTAs substantial investment, the TIA is playing a key role to align this opportunity across our industry, including efforts to drive opportunities for retailers, facilities and manufacturers. The TIA is happy to have initiated a new platformPlayTennis.comthat also supports a pathway for new and existing players to become long-term consumers. A brand-neutral site with a simple message, PlayTennis.com will be a central hub to help consumers easily find programs,

Growth of Tennis

The TIA has always focused on technology to help grow the game and increase participation. We continue to transition some of our ancillary websites to our main portal, TennisIndustry.orgthe primary source of all trade-based information. Our database now lists more than 16,000 facilities and 26,000 industry contacts. More than 299,000 players have registered via the TennisConnect platform. Nearly 2 million court reservations were made online via our systems in 2011, and each month, nearly 5 million consumer queries are made on search data. The TIA-managed CareersInTennis.com is one of the industry's largest online job boards, receiving over 30,000 job views in 2011.

Technology

In keeping with USTA President Jon Vegosens theme Tennis, The Sport of Opportunity, the TIA continues to focus on increasing awareness and advocacy, as we worked to expand and better align our communications network to share information, allow for stronger engagement from several areas of the industry, and further promote opportunities. In 2011, we updated our newsletter

Communications Positioning

As the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, the TIA is dedicated to promoting the growth of tennis and economic vitality of our sport. Importantly, 100% of the TIAs resources goes to supporting this mission. While the TIA made good progress in 2011 behind our mission, our larger achievements were in laying the groundwork for areas that we feel will support stronger, more sustainable growth in the years ahead. As we look to 2012, our focus areas will be: Q Increasing frequent play. Q Promoting the consumer portal PlayTennis.com. Q Supporting growth in the youth market with 10 and Under Tennis. Q Supporting and further developing tools for retailers, facilities, certified tennis instructors, and others across our industrys provider network. Q Creating more awareness for tennis as a healthy lifestyle choice and promoting the reasons to play and stay in our sport. Thank you for your continuing support, and best wishes for a prosperous New Year. Q
Jon Muir is the president of the Tennis Industry Association and the global general manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. Visit www.TennisIndustry.org for more information.
We welcome your opinions. Please email comments to RSI@racquetTECH.com.
www.racquetsportsindustry.com

Moving Forward

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RACQUET SPORTS INDUSTRY February 2012

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