Bleachr’s TennisONE App Wins Fifth Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge
January 30, 2020
ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 29, 2020) — The winner of the 2020 Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge is Bleachr LLC’s TennisONE App, which is a mobile hub for all things tennis, providing live scoring, AI “ball tracer” technology, player stats, social games and other tennis content.
The fifth edition of the Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), was held on Jan. 23 on the main stage at the Racquet & Paddle Sports Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
Three finalists in the Innovation Challenge, chosen from an online application process, presented five-minute pitches about their new product or service to a panel of judges, and in front of an audience of tennis and racquet sports leaders, in a “Shark Tank-like” competition to determine a winner. Bleachr’s TennisONE App beat out Hydrogen Sports’ Proton and Mojjo’s PLAYR.
The TennisONE App (www.bleachr.co) was presented by Bleachr LLC Chief Executive Officer Kristin Geer, who described how the robust platform addresses the needs of the tennis community—from fans to players. The company partners with a number of professional events, including the Miami Open, Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Rogers Cup and Tennis Canada, Paris Masters, Winston-Salem Open, BB&T Atlanta Open and Hall of Fame Open.
As the Innovation Challenge winner, Bleachr will receive $1,000, coverage in Racquet Sports Industry magazine, a one-year TIA membership, and additional exposure through industry marketing and social media channels.
Hydrogen Sports’ Proton (www.hydrogensports.com) is a robotic ball machine that is less than half the size and weight of other ball machines, and smart enough to automatically aim shots. The user taps the court location on a mobile phone, selects speed and spin, and the Proton machine does the rest.
PLAYR’s Mojjo (http://mojjo.io) is a unique technology based on image processing and Artificial Intelligence that is capable of analyzing a match “on the fly.” The system is intended for clubs, academies and schools and uses a touch-screen computer and two fixed cameras installed on the court, while a smartphone can be synchronized as a third camera.
The Innovation Challenge was developed by TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer. The fifth edition of the Challenge was moderated by Carlos Salum, who is president of Salum International Resources, a leadership performance strategy consultancy based in Charlotte, N.C. The panel of judges for the fifth edition of the Innovation Challenge included:
Mike Barrell, coach for more than 30 years and the director of evolve9, an international company that helps national tennis federations and providers design and implement tennis programs for children.
Louis Foreman, the founder and chief executive of Enventys Partners, an integrated product design, engineering and marketing firm. He is also the founder of Edison Nation, and Edison Nation Medical.
Dr. Stuart Miller, the senior executive director of Integrity & Development at the International Tennis Federation.
Keith Storey, president of Sports Marketing Surveys and one of the world’s leading authorities on sports market research, with nearly 30 years of experience in the field.
Maik Burlage, a former ATP tour player who is the CEO and co-founder of smart-court technology company Wingfield, which recently received $1.2 million in investments.
The first Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge was held in March 2017 at the Tennis Owners & Managers (TOM) Conference in Orlando, Fla., and was won by Tennibot (tennibot.com), a robotic tennis ball collector. The second Challenge, held in August 2017 in New York City during the 2017 US Open, was won by In/Out (inout.tennis), a line-calling device that fits on any netpost. The third Challenge, held during the TOM Conference in April 2018 in Charleston, S.C., was won by Tweener Lighting (tweener-lighting.com), a unique LED system that attaches to existing fencing around tennis and other sport courts. The fourth Innovation Challenge, held during the TOM Conference/Racquet & Paddle Sports Show in January 2019, was won by Sparc (playsparc.com) by CCP Games, a virtual reality game.
The Tennis Industry Innovation Challenge was held during the Racquet & Paddle Sports Show, which was Jan. 21-24 and co-located with the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The RPSS, organized by the Tennis Industry Association and Reed Exhibitions, is a business-to-business event bringing together the global racquet sports industry to drive forward the business of the sport through merchandise sourcing, product testing, educational programs and professional networking events. Visit racquetpaddlesportsshow.com for more information.