Tennis participation up in 2012

December 11, 2012

White Plains, N.Y. — The USTA and the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) today announced that tennis participation in 2012 grew 4% over 2011 to top 28 million players for the first time since 2009. The total number of players is the second highest total recorded since the annual survey, conducted by Taylor Research and Consulting, began in 1988. The survey is conducted via telephone (both landline and cell phones) and includes observations from more than 7,500 individuals, one of the largest surveys conducted annually in sports.

The age demographic that saw the greatest percentage increase in 2012 over 2011, was young players aged six to eleven, which increased 13%. For the past two years, the USTA has invested significantly in 10 & Under Tennis, and the initiative is the organization’s number one recreational tennis initiative. More than 6,500 tennis facilities now offer 10 & Under Tennis programs across the country. In 2012, the USTA helped install or build more than 4,400 youth-sized tennis courts in 371 markets in 44 states throughout the nation. In all, the USTA has constructed nearly 10,000 kid-sized courts since 2010.

The survey also noted a sharp increase in participation among African-Americans and Hispanics. Participation among African Americans reached a ten year high in 2012, and among Hispanics, participation was at the third-highest level in the last 10 years.

“We are very gratified that our efforts geared to young players are paying off,” said Jon Vegosen, USTA Chairman of the Board and President. “We want to grow the game and make it look like America, and therefore find it very encouraging that we are seeing growth among young players and in diverse communities.”

In other survey highlights, frequent players (those who play tennis 21 or more times in a year) grew from 4.8 million in 2011 to 5.3 million in 2012. “It’s heartening to see the total number of frequent players increase by 10% in 2012 after all of our collective efforts the past few years to drive this most immediate and impactful consumer segment of the tennis economy,” says Jon Muir, president of the Tennis Industry Association. “Frequent players represent more than 70% of all consumer spending across the tennis industry.”