USTA to Make Major Changes to Membership Model
August 29, 2020
ORLANDO, FL & WHITE PLAINS, NY (Aug. 28, 2020) — USTA CEO Mike Dowse sent out a letter on Friday, Aug. 28, to the USTA Family, explaining key changes to USTA membership. Here’s the full email from Dowse:
Over the last year, we’ve been evaluating our current membership model in the spirit of better fulfilling our mission to grow and develop tennis. We formed the Membership Transition Advisory Group (MTAG), composed of Section EDs and Presidents, National board leadership and National staff, who looked at best-in-class membership models, conducted research to better understand the needs and wants of our providers and players, and aligned behind a new, scalable engagement model that we will now be working toward moving into market.
For many years, we’ve recognized the need to evolve and change our membership model. As part of our journey, we’ve made major leaps in local initiatives, launched Net Generation, and began implementing our Digital Transformation with a single USTA Account and our new Serve Tennis platform. We’ve created a solid foundation for the future of the USTA and the future of tennis, and I’m pleased to share key outcomes and next steps.
The MTAG team recommended the following, and on August 5th, 2020, at the Semi Annual Meeting of the Membership, key bylaw changes tied to Family and Lifetime were approved by the association.
· Junior Membership at no cost
· Membership Organizations at no cost
· Cease selling Family and Lifetime options
· Cease selling multi-year memberships (3 and 5 year)
· Maintain Adult and Senior 1-year membership costs ($44 and $42 respectively) with the vision that one day soon those options will also be at no cost
The new Engagement Model we are working toward is simple: create an account, whether you are a provider or a player/fan, get access to free benefits, customize your experience with add-in benefits, and get rewarded for playing or growing the game. We are eliminating barriers to play and opening up a new experience to allow our constituents to more easily find themselves in the game.
To better understand timing and what you can expect:
· Junior Membership at no cost starts NOW
· The MTAG group has a sub-committee working on Section and District impacts with the agreed-to changes, especially among Member Organizations
o As such, Member Organization at no cost will not take effect until January of 2021 at the earliest
· Family, Lifetime and multi-year memberships are no longer offered
o Family members will be notified with separate communications about implications and direction
o Lifetime members will still be recognized, with special distinction and opportunity for enhanced benefits
o Multi-year members will term out
· Over the next 3 months, we are working on new messaging for the USTA, further consolidating our benefits, and simplifying our message, a task that will not be done in a silo
· We will also be messaging our providers and consumers with these changes over the next week
To better help understand the changes made, please refer to these FAQs. We will be sharing additional updates as we work toward our vision. I want to congratulate all who have dedicated their time, efforts, and energy over the years to get us to where we are today. This is a critical phase for the USTA and certainly a step forward in the best interest of tennis.