Wednesday
Apr292015

Hundreds of Tennis Facilities Join Nationwide 'Try Tennis Free' Campaign

This news release was provided to IHRSA by the TIA

With nearly 1,800 U.S. facilities offering a free intro-

ductory tennis session in the month of May, the 

tennis industry is rallying around a key campaign 

designed to get more people on the courts and 

enjoying the sport's many benefits.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C., April 28, 2015 -- Throughout the month of May, the tennis industry-supported "Try Tennis Free" campaign will bring non-players and former players into the sport at any of at least 1,800 participating facilities nationwide. Consumers, particularly new or returning players, can visit PlayTennis.com or TryTennisFree.com to find local facilities and tennis teaching professionals offering a free introductory session, lesson, clinic or other event.

"'Try Tennis Free' will help people quickly and easily find a program that is right for them," says Greg Mason, the president of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), which is managing the nationwide campaign. "With hundreds of tennis facilities and teaching pros offering free introductory sessions, players of all ages and abilities can get into the game and enjoy all the health and fitness benefits tennis has to offer."

The number of facilities offering free introductory tennis sessions continues to grow daily, adds TIA Executive Director and COO Jolyn de Boer. "We'd like to see every tennis facility, teaching pro, park and rec department, and Community Tennis Association offer a free session to help bring new and returning players into the sport," she says. 

Try Tennis Free has the support and partnership of the two main tennis-teaching groups in the U.S.—the Professional Tennis Registry and the U.S. Professional Tennis Association—along with the U.S. Tennis Association, the national governing body of tennis. 

In addition, tennis businesses and organizations have been including Try Tennis Free in their consumer outreach and social media, including the WTA women's pro tour; ATP men's tour; World TeamTennis; the Emirates Airline US Open Series of pro tournaments; media companies, including the Tennis Media Co. (Tennis magazine, Tennis.com, Tennis Tuesday), Tennis Channel, and other broadcast and print partners; tennis equipment manufacturers; Cliff Drysdale Tennis; TIA SaaS technology partners; and USTA sections, along with hundreds of local tennis organizations and facilities.

"We estimate the potential social media reach through all of our partners and supporters is easily more than 100 million consumers," de Boer says. The TIA also is rallying other sports and fitness industry partners to help Americans of all ages to be more active.

"Tennis is a terrific sport, loaded with physical, mental and social benefits for players of all ages," says Tom Cove, the president and CEO of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). "We're thrilled that the TIA is managing this important Try Tennis Free campaign designed to get more Americans active and to help reverse the 'inactivity pandemic' that affects our country. The latest SFIA research shows that 80 million Americans, including 20 percent of this country's youngsters, are completely inactive. We need more unified campaigns like 'Try Tennis Free' to help get America healthy again."

While the broad-based Try Tennis Free campaign runs throughout the month of May, facilities are also encouraged to continue to offer a free introductory tennis session year-round. "TIA research consistently shows that 65 percent of people who begin tennis in introductory programming will continue playing the sport," de Boer says.

Tennis facilities and teaching professionals can offer whatever type of free session they think will best encourage new and returning players to step onto the court, de Boer notes. Free offers can include introductory lessons, clinics, Cardio Tennis, Play Days, and more. 

Additionally, there have been modifications to tennis equipment, courts and play formats to make it easier for new players of all ages and abilities to learn the game, including new tennis balls (red, orange, and green dot balls), shorter courts and racquets, and formats that will have people playing tennis within the first session.

Tennis providers such as facilities and teaching professionals can join the Try Tennis Free campaign by easily signing up at PlayTennis.com. For consumers and new and returning tennis players, visitingPlayTennis.com or TryTennisFree.com will allow them to perform a simple search to find facilities and free introductory tennis sessions and events in their area.

"By participating in Try Tennis Free, Americans of all ages and ability levels will find out that tennis is a fun, easy, affordable way to get or stay in shape," de Boer says.

About the TIA

The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of tennis by working closely with the U.S. Tennis Association and industry partners to develop and implement initiatives to increase tennis participation and improve the health of industry businesses. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, in addition to Grow the Game Initiatives such as PlayTennis.com, Try Tennis Free, Youth Tennis, the GrowingTennis System™, Tennis Welcome Centers, Cardio Tennis, Careers in Tennis and Tennis Tune-Up Campaign. Visit TennisIndustry.org or call 866-686-3036.

Contact: Peter Francesconi, 203-263-5243