Andrew Hill
(Australia)

STARStv

STARS Video

Walid Fattah

(U.S.A.)

Accessibility to Tennis

Pierre Lamarche

(Canada)

The Cluster

FEBRUARY 2020

Andrew Hill - Director

STARStv.com.au - a positive promotion platform.

STARS Video - Activating the Community with FUN.

Andrew Hill is an Australian Master Coach who wrote the ACE Tennis Program for Tennis Australia and SMASH Program for Tennis Coaches Australia focusing on improving grassroots tennis in schools and clubs.

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  • The theory was 5% of kids were playing tennis and 100% were playing sports in Australia.

  • Focus on the masses at school and club.

  • Presented by Tennis Coaches to communities.

 

Andrew writes, "I became the Head Coach at Sydney International Tennis Centre and part of the Lleyton Hewitt Tennis Academy with the privilege of being on court when he became Number One in the World. Tennis in Australia was excellent in 2002 with players, coaches and authorities working together.

 

It was hard to get Tennis Players to showcase the sport all year round which inspired the creation of SportsSTAR - TennisSTAR. A Sports Mascot who visits schools and communities and gets kids healthy and active."

Andrew's ideas are:

  • SportsSTAR.com.au - a multi-sports skill Talent ID program for Kids at School and at your Court.

  • CourtSports.com.au - Modified Multi Sports ideas for your Tennis Court.

  • STARStv.com.au - an online TV Show getting Kids healthy and active through sport, singing, dance and more.

All programs attract the community to my court and STARS now run programs in the community.

STARS represents School Talent Area Region State - a pathway from your school, via a coach, to Clubs and Shops, Councils onto Sydney Olympic Park.

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Walid Fattah

CEO & Co-Founder, Kourts, Inc.

Kourts, INC. is the first SaaS-enabled marketplace with the mission of growing the sport of tennis by making tennis courts, clinics, and tennis pros more accessible.

 

 

Make Tennis More Accessible

The way we promote the sport of tennis has not evolved much in the last few decades, yet consumers and sports athletes have in many different ways. Collectively we need to find a way to keep the players vested in the sport and find the right way to bring the others to the sport. I don’t think someone is to blame for the numbers per se. Throughout the years I’m sure the USTA has tried to make the right investments and find solutions to grow the sport, but politics and the fact of having so much money is often more of a distraction. It’s always easy to criticize but at this stage, we need to find solutions versus trying to blame someone. The sooner we all do this, the better it is for the sport.

Here at Kourts, we believe that the more accessible you make tennis, the more people will play, we’ve seen this with the occupancy rates of facilities using our platform. We constantly do surveys and contact hundreds of clubs weekly. One of the worst discoveries we’ve made is that only 19% of tennis clubs pick up phones during opening hours! Why would I want to play a sport that is so difficult to access? Digital platforms such as ours offer the convenience to players of not having to wait to speak to someone to make a booking. Do you enjoy waiting on the phone when you call a restaurant to make a booking to be told they have no availability? Why would players enjoy waiting for the club/pro to pick up?

For me, the biggest problem is not the USTA but more the vision of club owners and managers. They’re about to learn a very expensive lessons: the Y and Z generation will not want to be members of clubs. The millennials don’t buy cars, they use UBER, they don’t buy furniture, they rent it, they pay for what they use… Look at some of the sports that have had success in the last decade, spinning, yoga, Crossfit. You have platforms such as MindBody, Classpass that make it so easy to access those classes and you don’t need to be a member, you pay for what you use.

In a nutshell, I believe that the solution must come from the industry as a whole. From the federations, the manufacturers and the club managers that are at the forefront of the sport.

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Pierre Lamarche

President, All-Canadian Sports Management, Inc.

 

“Growing the Game” strategy- The Cluster approach

The Concept

The Cluster approach to “Growing the Game” is a simple low-cost recruiting initiative which can be implemented by any year-round or seasonal facility.

  • The Cluster concept benefits from having regional and national endorsement

  • The Cluster requires for facilities and their staff to invest in growing the game and their customer base

  • The Cluster concept would benefit:

    • From having tangible support from the provincial associations through lobbying of the education system

    • From having financial, marketing and promotional support from the national body

    • By developing the brand and program through social media with a new market

 

The “Growing the Game” concept is based:

  1. On how to make tennis a mainstream sport in the future

  2. First and foremost, on how to bring more players to the sport in Canada

  3. On the lessons learned through the history of the sport in Canada over the last 40 years

  4. On the objective insight by private club operators on the real state of tennis participation       

  5. On a concept of WORKING TOGETHER [public and private sector] to grow the number of new players in the game

  6. On a strategy to maximize the financial and human resources of the public and private sectors

  7. On the thought that international professional performance by players and teams are best served through:

    1. Having a wider base of participants “Pipeline” to identify young players [athletes] as possible future top international representatives

    2. Understanding that this “Pipeline” initiative is best served by having year-round clubs and their staff implement strategies which help grow the sport in their community

    3. Having a cooperative working relationship with the major investors in the sport, private and public

 

Step 1: Who leads the Cluster? [Fall]

The leader/coordinator of the Cluster is the representative of the year-round club. He or she should start implementing the project in the fall

  • Social media and web, the Cluster concept

 

Step 2: The Cluster Team [Winter]

The Cluster leader and his club recruit four seasonal clubs [community, parks and rec operation] and their coaches to join in a promotional and recruiting effort of young families in the month of April

  • Social media and web, the participating clubs and coaches

 

Step 3: The Initiation: through the schools [April]

The Cluster leader and the four community clubs are responsible for delivering a one-hour initiation to tennis program to four Elementary schools [children born 2016 or later] in the month of April

  • Contacts with the appropriately selected schools are made and offer the opportunity of receiving a one-hour introduction tennis program either at the school or at the club

  • 5 clubs visit four schools to teach two classes of 25 children and as a result, each club has reached 100 new families and the Cluster, 500 new prospective tennis families

  • Social media and web, names of school and coordinators

 

Step 4: The Pipeline [April]

The children receive a promotional take-home pamphlet which highlight:

  • The values associated with the sport which make it a great investment for the development of excellence in youth

  • Chance to register on-line for prizes: racquets, bags, hats, etc.

  • Opportunity to register on-line for a four-week program in May and June

  • Social media, web report, school pictures, upcoming 4-week free clinic opportunity

 

Step 5: Retaining [May-June]

  • Each participating club [5] will offer a free four weeks, one-hour program for 24 families [accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis] Note: a parent must participate on court

  • All parents are provided with take-home exercises to practice with their children

  • Another low-cost 4-week program is offered if the registration exceeds the 24-player limit

 

 

Step 6: Recruiting [July and August]

  • All clubs operate a progressive summer camp for players age 4-6

  • 8 of the 24 children will be identified to receive one free week of training in summer camps

  • All other children will be offered a 10% discount for joining any week of the summer camp

  • Highlight selected players and other options through social media and web

 

Step 7: Developing [Fall]

  • The year-round facility holds an open house [a Jamboree] in early September for all the families who participated in any of the Cluster components [i.e. school, community club]

  • The half-day session is a fun, competitive, informative oriented session for children [2016 or later] and parents

  • A player will be selected [through commitment, skill level] to receive a 6 to 8-week program in the club’s 2016 promotional fall program. Promotional as the cost is minimal and includes a racquet

  • Wrap up of the year on social media announcing selected players, other programs and next spring Cluster dates and locations

 

Step 8: Wrap up [Fall]

  • A final report outlining:

    • The clubs and coaches involved

    • The schools and the teachers involved

    • The number of families reached

    • The spring/summer program components

    • The financial report

  • 1000 new families reached

  • A minimum 2000 potential players reached

 

The Cluster Actual Costs per club without sponsorship or public support

Staffing: [Staff understands this is a promotional event to assist them]

  • 8 hours of school visits with 2 coaches @$25 = $400

  • 4 hours of free spring clinic, 2 coaches @$25= $200

  • Jamboree 2 coaches, 2 hours @$25= $100

Operations:

  • Nets, ball and racquets provided by the club

  • Courts provided by club

Total $700 per club location

 

The Cluster Program promotional value

Management: $1000

School program

  • for 250 kids @$5 per kid= $1250

Free four-week program

  • for 120 kids @ $10 p/h= $4800

Free summer camp

  • @$300, 8 weeks by 5 locations= $12,000

Free fall 2016 program @ $300= $300

Total: $19,350

 

Comments:

  1. The $700 coaches fee per location can be integrated into the coach’s promotional duties

  2. That is a $350 investment per coach to recruit future players

  3. Two players at each club [from 200] join an extra week of camp, the program is break-even

  4. If one family [from 1000] joins the year-round club program at an average of $2500 per year for ten years, the club receives a gross revenue of $25,000 over ten years

  5. By year 5 of the program, one new player per year translates in $12,500 total per year

  6. By year 10 with averaging one player per year, $25,000 yearly is generated

  7. Lobbying of the provincial education ministry is a prerequisite for the public sector

 

With 160-year-round facilities in Canada, the program would cost $200,000 to the public body or a sponsor to initiate in all clubs [$1000 per club] to reach 160,000 families with at least 320,000 individuals. High Performance would be served through enlarging the pipeline by 160,000 players.

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