ORLANDO, FL—February 11, 2019—The three-day 2019 Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference attracted more than 1,000 racquet sports professionals, industry leaders, and representatives of emerging and bellwether brands to the inaugural event recently in Orlando, FL.
The multi-faceted tennis, racquet and paddle sports industry event featured a hands-on product demo experience and opening welcome party at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona; and a curated ONE2ONE buying summit, Tennis Owners & Managers (TOM) Conference and a Show Preview of racquet, paddle and tennis vendors and organizations at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).
The three-day Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference, January 23-25, was organized by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) and Reed Exhibitions, and co-located with the PGA Merchandise Show.
“The first Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference has created an enormous amount of energy and excitement within the industry,” said Senior Director of Industry Development for Reed Exhibitions and Event Director for the Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference Elizabeth Reed. “We look forward to continuing to work with all racquet sports stakeholders to provide a valuable business platform where allied associations, manufacturers, buyers and industry professionals can discover, test, learn and network to grow participation and the business of their relevant sports.”
“The inaugural event in Orlando was an exciting time for the tennis industry as it showcased the different racquet and paddle sports together to help drive innovation, education and growth for industry professionals and businesses,” added Jolyn de Boer, Executive Director of the Tennis Industry Association. “We are enthusiastic to collaborate with all who are invested in our industry to continue to enhance the Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference, providing an annual rallying point to build business and participation in the New Year.”
The Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference began with a curated “ONE2ONE” buying summit, which matched invited key buyers with emerging, new and existing tennis, racquet and paddle industry vendors in scheduled appointments, January 23 at the OCCC.
An evening hands-on product demo experience and opening welcome party followed the buying summit on January 23 at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona. Attendees were able to test the newest products in real court conditions from some 20 tennis and racquet equipment companies showcasing the latest racquets, paddles, training aids, ball machines and more within 16 courts at the USTA facility. Additionally, attendees participated in campus tours and watched professionals showcase their skills in live demonstrations, and enjoyed the welcome party to network with industry peers.
At the OCCC and co-located with the PGA Merchandise Show, a Racquet & Paddle Sports Show Preview of more than 60 racquet, paddle and tennis vendors and organizations was offered, January 23-25. In addition to the vendors showcasing the newest products in their booths, the Racquet & Paddle Sports Show Preview featured two demonstration courts, scheduled daily with professional demonstrations and on-court playing opportunities.
The multi-use racquet, paddle and tennis court, a 30-by-60-foot NEXT-Court surface by Mateflex, showcased the sports of tennis, youth tennis, pickleball, POP Tennis, platform tennis, badminton, Cardio Tennis and more. Event attendees experienced demonstrations by professional players and were able play on the court with the newest equipment from leading manufacturers. Participating organizations included the American Platform Tennis Association, International Platform Tennis Association, United States Tennis Association and the USA Pickleball Association.
The second court focused specifically on Padel, a fast-moving paddle sport played in a glass-enclosed court that is popular in Europe and South America, with about 12 million players worldwide. Event attendees experienced on-court games, as demonstrated by world-ranked players from the adidas professional padel team, personally tested padel equipment, and learned insights on the business and customer benefits from adding padel courts to U.S. clubs and facilities. The Racquet & Paddle Sports Show padel court, designed exclusively for the show by AFP Courts of Barcelona, presenting sponsor was All Racquet Sports USA and supporting sponsors were adidas padel, All for Padel (Spain), Babolat and Play Padel USA.
Sofibella, a purveyor of high fashion tennis, golf and lifestyle apparel, participated in the first Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference and experienced a valuable return on their investment.
“We are pleased with the contacts that were made while participating in the ONE2ONE event at the Racquet & Paddle Sports Conference,” said Anna Davis, national sales manager for Sofibella/SB Sport. “The Show Preview itself was also a success with a healthy number of solid leads and new business written on the spot! We are excited to see what direction this event takes for 2020 and will definitely plan to have our team there again.”
Additionally, the TIA’s annual Tennis Owners & Managers (TOM) Conference, January 23-25, at the OCCC, featured expert speakers from within and outside the tennis industry in an engaging format for the sharing of ideas, experiences and best practices among peers. In addition to the classroom education sessions, the conference also featured the popular “TOM Talks” series, the fourth edition of the Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge, and afternoon breakout sessions.
For more information, visit the show's website.
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 the business of tennis by working closely with its industry partners and in support of the USTA in their development of initiatives to increase tennis participation. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 U.S. and global research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, managing the largest relational database, along with hosting annual TIA Tennis Forum, Leadership meetings and the TOM Conference at major tournaments and events. Visit the Tennis Industry website or call 866-686-3036.