Top 50 TWC Facilities Recognized

April 22, 2008

Hilton Head, S.C.— The “Top 50 Tennis Welcome Centers of 2007” have been recognized by the Tennis Industry Association, U.S. Tennis Association and the trade magazine Racquet Sports Industry as leading the charge in the growth of the sport by providing well-rounded programs to new and current players of all ages and abilities. The tennis facilities honored all exhibited excellent participation figures involving new and returning players, support of industry programs and community tennis development, and were active with Tennis Welcome Center facility requirements, among other criteria.

“All of the more than 2,100 Tennis Welcome Centers have played an important role in the increased tennis participation we’ve seen in the last few years in the U.S.,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. “These Top 50 Tennis Welcome Centers have been doing an exemplary job of creating a positive tennis experience for people in their communities. Tennis Welcome Centers serve a vital role in delivering tennis. The TIA, together with the USTA, is very pleased to recognize these efforts with this award.”

Mark McMahon, USTA National Manager for Tennis Welcome Centers, adds, “The USTA remains committed in our support of the TIA and of the Tennis Welcome Center Initiative which helps introduce thousands of new players to tennis each year. The Teaching Professionals, managers and staff of the over 2,000 TWC’s play a critical role in ensuring the continued growth our sport is experiencing and we are pleased to recognize those TWC’s who have delivered such exemplary service and program quality to their customers”.

To choose the Top 50 TWCs, an independent research firm, Sports Marketing Surveys USA of Jupiter, Fla., received nominations and applications via an online survey. The company then used extensive criteria measures to determine this year’s winners, which also were reviewed by an Awards Committee.

The Tennis Welcome Center initiative is backed by all sectors of the industry, from governing bodies and manufacturers to media, retailers, teaching organizations, pro groups and facilities. Popular pro players Maria Sharapova and James Blake are spokesmodels for the program, which is free to tennis facilities that wish to support industry efforts to grow participation through specific programming and marketing.

The TWC initiative has been a key factor in tennis reaching 25.1 million recreational players in 2007, the first time in nine years that the sport has topped the 25 million mark. In addition, according to a study by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, from 2000 to 2006 tennis participation has grown 12.2%, which is 10% more than its nearest rival—golf—and well ahead of other participation sports such as baseball, basketball, swimming and soccer, all of which saw declining participation over the same six years. Also, industry research shows that both racquet sales and ball sales have increased for the last four years.


in alphabetical order by facility name