National Governing Body Will Provide Comprehensive Program of Financial, Educational and Other Resources to Help Tennis Industry Weather the COVID-19 Pandemic
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 16, 2020 – The USTA today announced a comprehensive suite of programs to support the tennis industry, which is battling the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement is the second phase of ongoing efforts that the USTA is developing in concert with the American tennis industry. The overarching goal of these efforts is to provide immediate relief, spur the industry’s recovery, and help the industry rebuild when the crisis passes.
On March 23, the USTA announced the creation of Tennis Industry United, a collaboration of the USTA, TIA, USPTA, PTR, ITA, major endemic media partners and others, that is assessing overall industry needs and making recommendations for those industry sectors that need immediate relief. The initial goal of the first phase was to provide help for the front lines of the sport including tennis facilities, tennis professionals, grassroots tennis programs and the hundreds of tournaments, college and high school matches, and league matches cancelled or suspended since the onset of the pandemic. On March 26, through the collaborative efforts of the Tennis Industry United partnership group, the USTA published the industry resource guide at http://www.tennisindustryunited.com. This resource guide is continually updated to provide the most current information regarding governmental assistance and other resources available to those in the industry.
“We recognized helping tennis facilities, community tennis programs, and teaching professionals navigate the multitude of government grants and loans was of immediate importance,” said Mike Dowse, CEO and Executive Director of the USTA. “The foundation of our sport begins with these stakeholders and we need to ensure they can weather the storm and remain viable as the storm recedes. This is all about ‘relief, recovery and rebuild’ for our industry.”
For the second phase of support, the USTA, along with its partners, will begin offering specific economic assistance packages, increased support to navigate government assistance for facilities and coaches, access to industry leaders, daily educational webinars and in-the-moment phone support to help individuals emotionally impacted from COVID-19. The extent of this future support will be determined by the financial performance of the 2020 US Open and the impact that the current pandemic has on the event. The USTA’s plans to stage the tournament remain ongoing, and all decisions regarding the US Open will be guided by federal and local governmental agencies and the health and safety of the players, fans, partners, and the broader tennis community.
Nevertheless, the USTA is taking immediate actions to cut costs for the eventual deployment of financial resources to support the tennis industry in the U.S. Immediate first steps include identifying more than $20 million in savings by instituting salary reductions of USTA management, eliminating programs in marketing, Player Development and operations, and deferring all non-essential capital projects.
The following outlines a summary of the support and assistance currently provided or now in development to assist the U.S. tennis industry:
- USTA Facility Grants: USTA facility grants are being developed to support facilities in need of financial support to reopen. This funding, expected to reach more than $5 million in total, will come from both USTA National and the USTA Sectional offices. Funding criteria, award levels, and the application process are being finalized and will be available on or before May 1.
- Certified Tennis Professional Membership Grants: The USTA is working with the USPTA and PTR to ensure that certified tennis professionals are able to renew their annual membership dues moving into 2021. This will allow these critical tennis providers to maintain their liability insurance, be Safe Play compliant, and continue to have access to educational opportunities. The organizations will be collaborating on this plan over the coming weeks. Grants are expected to exceed $2.5 million.
- The USTA Foundation will provide $5 million in operating grants to grassroots tennis and education organizations supporting underserved communities through the National Junior Tennis and Learning network.
- Access to legal expertise with links to identify and claim government support through the CARES Act at http://www.tennisindustryunited.com.
- The hosting of all tennis offerings from key organizations within the tennis industry on one central site to enable ease of access of key offerings available at http://www.tennisindustryunited.com.
- FREE access to online continuing professional development for facility owners and managers and tennis professionals at http://www.tennisindustryunited.com.
- FREE phone support to help the tennis industry cope with the emotional impact of COVID-19 through the USTA’s health provider, Aetna. Those needing to utilize this service can call 1-833-327-AETNA and reference the USTA.
- A dedicated email address, [email protected], has been created for those in the industry to submit specific queries regarding available COVID-19 support.
- Daily updates and guidance by leading experts will be made available on http://www.tennisindustryunited.com that will give specific information about key steps to take to navigate the pandemic.
- The USTA will provide a free website builder tool with marketing and content resources that allows turnkey solutions for communication tools for facilities and pros.
- The USTA National office has recommitted as its top priority the continuation of the “grow the game” funding commitments of $35 million to community tennis programming in 2020 and 2021. These funds are distributed through the 17 USTA Sections to get the money closer to grassroots decision-makers and fund grassroots tennis programs at parks, schools, NJTLs, and a variety of other local efforts. Tennis providers are encouraged to connect with their local USTA offices to explore Section, District and State offerings.
The above equates to a commitment of more than $50 million in spending towards grassroots tennis and will engage the entire U.S. tennis ecosystem.
“With phase one and phase two, the priority has been to start the process of ensuring that the foundation of our sport remains in place and is viable in the future,” added Dowse. “We now quickly are taking a look at the broader tennis ecosystem and are working with our colleagues within the Grand Slams, the ITF, the ATP and the WTA Tour to determine how to provide help for lower-ranked professional tennis players who are facing tournament cancellations and financial hardship.”
In the coming weeks, the USTA and its industry partners, will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. tennis marketplace. Moving forward, the USTA will continue to aggregate all industry resources to aid in recovery while collaborating with all industry partners to develop and deliver programs to help rebuild tennis in the United States.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 4, 2019 – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced that it has signed the United Nation’s Sports for Climate Action Framework.
The USTA, which has long been a leader in the sports industry when it comes to environmental sustainability through its US Open Green Initiative, joins a group of international sports organizations that have committed to drive climate awareness and action in support of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The Framework’s two overarching objectives are to promote a set of principles for the global sports community to adopt in order to combat climate change and to use sports as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and the action among global citizens. The five principles of the Framework are:
Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
Reduce overall climate impact
Educate for climate action
Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
Advocate for climate action through communication
“The USTA is proud to support the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework and become an international voice for environmental responsibility,” said Gordon Smith, CEO and Executive Director, USTA. “Tennis is truly a global sport and we are looking forward to using the US Open as a platform to promote the important principles set forth in the Framework.”
The US Open Green Initiative, which is now entering its 12th year, was originally championed by International Tennis Hall-of-Famer Billie Jean King when the National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., the site of the US Open, was named after the legendary champion and activist in 2006.
The USTA’s decade-plus commitment to reducing the environmental impact of the one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world has resulted in the reduction of greenhouse emissions by more than 110,000 metric tons through waste diversion, recycled paper use, carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates.
The Framework was launched in December 2018 at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, and included founding signatories: International Olympic Committee (IOC), Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, French Tennis Federation (Roland Garros), International Sailing Federation, World Surf League, Forest Green Rovers Football Club, Formula E. Since then, U.S.-based organizations including the New York Yankees, the National Basketball Association, and AEG have also signed on.
READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/usta-signs-un-sports-for-climate-action-framework/
LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2019 – Tennis Channel and the USTA, in conjunction with the NCAA, have entered a three-year partnership that makes the network the exclusive television home of the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis National Championships. The agreement begins with this year’s events, to be held at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., May 16-25.
During the championships, Tennis Channel will show more than 50 hours of live matches, with live coverage every day of the 10-day competition. In all, the network will provide the most hours of NCAA DI Men’s and Women’s Tennis National Championships coverage in television history. Held simultaneously, both the men’s and women’s events feature team and individual tournaments.
“Tennis Channel is the perfect home for the best players and teams in college tennis,” said John MacDonald, Tennis Channel’s senior vice president, content programming. “We’re excited to bring these young stars to fans around the country.”
The agreement expands the network’s coverage of college tennis at the USTA National Campus. Since 2018, Tennis Channel has televised the USTA’s College MatchDay series of head-to-head competitions, featuring some of the country’s top schools. The weekly battles marked the network’s first live coverage of college tennis.
“We are incredibly excited that the Tennis Channel is committing to this level of coverage of the NCAA Tennis Championships, showcasing college tennis at its highest level and elevating the sport like never before,” said Lew Sherr, chief revenue officer, USTA. “College tennis is an important part of the development of the next generation of tennis players and the exposure generated by this partnership will only further our mission of growing the game of tennis across the country.”
“We are grateful to the Tennis Channel for providing this unprecedented level of exposure to the NCAA Division I student-athletes competing in the national championship,” added Elizabeth Schmidt, NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee chair and head women’s tennis coach at Rice University.
Emerging from respective fields of 64 schools, eight men’s and eight women’s teams will compete in the NCAA DI Men’s and Women’s Tennis National Championships at the USTA National Campus. The men’s and women’s individual singles tournaments in Orlando will each feature 64 players, with 32 doubles pairs comprising both the men’s and women’s doubles tournaments.
READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/tennis-channel-usta-form-3-year-rights-deal-for-ncaa-d1-chps/
Hamilton, Bermuda – April 30, 2019 – The Bermuda Tourism Authority, the official destination marketing organization for the island, and the United States Tennis Association (USTA), announced that Bermuda will be the exclusive tourism partner of the US Open Tennis Championships at a press event in Bermuda.
The partnership kicks off with the 2019 US Open this summer in New York City, which is Bermuda’s top source market for visitors, with the island being just a 90-minute flight from New York. Bermuda will have a significant presence at the US Open with on-court signage in Arthur Ashe Stadium, presence on US Open digital properties, social media channels and on-site activation space for consumer engagement. The Bermuda Tourism Authority is working in conjunction with the USTA, USTA Player Development and the USTA Foundation to create a new, multifaceted event to take place in Bermuda in 2020. The event will feature a Pro-Am as well as exhibitions with tennis legends and rising American players.
Specific benefits of the partnership include:
Court signage will garner significant exposure during 100-plus hours of live coverage in each of Bermuda’s top feeder countries – US, Canada & UK – in addition to 100 other countries.
Over the course of US Open Fan Week and the two-week tournament, on-site activation space at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will enable engagement with more than 800,000 fans who align with Bermuda’s visitor targets, 56% of whom are from the New York metro market.
The multifaceted event to take place in Bermuda in 2020 will bring additional visitor spending and exposure for Bermuda as a premier luxury and sports destination.
Tennis has important historical roots in Bermuda. Credited by the International Tennis Hall of Fame as the "Mother of American Tennis," Mary Ewing Outerbridge (born in America to Bermudian parents) first came across the game while visiting her family’s home on the island in 1874, learning tennis from British officers stationed in Bermuda. She later brought tennis equipment back to New York, introducing the sport in her home borough of Staten Island.
“An exclusive tourism partnership with the US Open works for Bermuda on so many levels and helps set ourselves apart from our competition,” said Kevin Dallas, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority. “The brand story of Bermuda introducing the sport of tennis to the United States is just one example of how we punch above our weight as a small island out in the middle of the Atlantic. The collaboration also puts Bermuda in the cultural conversation at one of the must-see events in New York City. As summer comes to a close in the city, we will leverage this platform to invite New Yorkers to extend their summer season with active adventure out here in Bermuda,” Dallas added. “The addition of a custom event to take place in Bermuda that will create direct spending and provide kids clinics for developing and exposing Bermuda’s youth to tennis greatness and opportunity is icing on the cake.”
“The Bermuda Tourism Authority is introducing the island to a new generation of travelers who match up perfectly with our regional, national and global US Open fan base,” said Gordon Smith, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, USTA. “We look forward to helping increase Bermuda’s exposure as a leading luxury travel destination through this exciting new partnership.”
The 2019 US Open takes place from August 26 to September 8 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The tournament’s recently-completed five-year $600 million strategic transformation provides visitors and partners more room, experiences and activations than ever before. The venue welcomed a record 828,798 attendees in 2018 over the course of the event.
READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/bermuda-tourism-named-official-tourism-partner-of-us-open/
SAN DIEGO (May 1, 2019) – The eighth annual National Wounded Warrior Tennis Camp will take place May 6-9, 2019 at the Balboa Tennis Club located at 2221 Morley Field Dr, San Diego, CA 92104.
Over 50 wounded, ill, and injured service members and military veterans from across the country will participate in the Tennis Camp, which is being hosted by the San Diego District Tennis Association (SDDTA), in collaboration with the United States Tennis Association, Naval Medical Center San Diego, and the Balboa Tennis Club.
The camp, which will offer on-court sessions from 10 a.m. to Noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. each day except Tuesday afternoon, will focus on helping participants improve their tennis skills through game-based clinics and instruction in an upbeat, fun-filled atmosphere. The camp also provides emotional benefits and helps with community re-integration. (There will be no on-court tennis session on Tuesday afternoon in order to give campers an opportunity for rest and relaxation.)
On Monday, May 6, the camp will get underway with its traditional Welcome Greeting, which is scheduled to take place in between 9:15 – 10:45 a.m. Staff and volunteers will personally greet and welcome each service member and military veteran as they arrive on a chartered bus at the Balboa Tennis Club to attend Opening Day of the camp.
"Every year we are amazed at how this event has helped inspire these special service members and military veterans. It truly makes a difference in their lives,” said Steve Kappes, Director of Military Outreach for the SDDTA. “This camp would not be possible without the donations and the support of we receive from many local, regional, and national organizations."
To view a local news report on a past National Wounded Warrior Tennis Camp, please click here.
For more information on the eighth annual National Wounded Warrior Tennis Camp, go to: http://www.sdwoundedwarriortennis.org and www.facebook.com/sdwoundedwarriorstennis.
The camp will be led by Balboa Tennis Club’s Tennis Director, Geoff Griffin, a USPTA-certified teaching professional for over 30 years, and other professional tennis instructors from the club. All have been involved in the club’s Wounded Warrior Tennis Program since its inception in 2009. Support staff from
Naval Medical Center San Diego will assist, along with trained volunteers from the tennis community.
About the Wounded Warrior Tennis Program – Since 2009, the Balboa Tennis Club, in collaboration with Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) and the San Diego District Tennis Association, has provided over 400 free weekly tennis clinics to more than 1000 wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans from all the military services as part of NMCSD’s Wounded, Ill, and Injured Wellness Division, and the San Diego VA Medical Center’s Recreational Therapy Department.
These military tennis clinics and tennis camps have been recognized for their excellence and impact by Congressional and local representatives, senior officials from the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and the leadership of the United States Tennis Association. They have become the model for similar tennis programs for wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans that have been established at other major military medical centers, Warrior Transition Units, and VA hospitals across the country.
The Wounded Warrior Tennis Program has made a positive impact in the lives of wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans. Therapeutically, tennis has helped them work on eye-hand coordination, balance, ability to transfer weight, endurance, strength, and overall fitness. In addition to the physical benefits, tennis enables them to learn a new sport, promotes socialization, decreases stress and anxiety, and helps with re-integration into the community.
READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/8th-annual-national-wounded-warrior-tennis-camp-may-6-91/
White Plains, NY, April 23, 2019 – The USTA announced its plans to support the candidacy of Dave Haggerty for ITF President, and to nominate him for the position by the deadline of May 27. The decision to do so was approved unanimously by the USTA Board of Directors.
“Dave Haggerty is a passionate advocate for tennis, whose strong leadership skills makes him the right choice to continue as ITF President,” said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Patrick Galbraith.
David Haggerty was elected President of the ITF on 25 September 2015. Previously, he served as Chairman, CEO and President of the USTA Board of Directors. In that position, he also served as the Chairman of the US Open and was on the USTA board for 10 years.
Haggerty is a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Board of Directors and the Women’s Tennis Association. He graduated from George Washington University in Washington D.C., with a degree in business administration and marketing. Haggerty was a top player on the GWU tennis team for four years and played on the satellite tour in Europe after graduation. He is a member of the GWU Athletic Hall of Fame where he still holds the school record for the most wins in singles and doubles.
READ MORE AT https://www.tennisindustry.org/cms/index.cfm/news/usta-to-nominate-dave-haggerty-as-president-of-itf/