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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Marketing Professional Doubles

From: Bill Thompson <>
Date: Tue 24 Apr 2001 11:35:51 EDT

Well, you have a "toughie" by the tail! How about the following for promotion
of Professional Doubles on a National or International scale. In no
particular order, you need, money(i.e. lots and lots), sponsors (i.e. see
money), education, radio, TV, the USTA, USPTA,USPTR, ITF, etc, and much more.

In my mind, there has never been a well funded, long term National push for
increased doubles play among recreational players and beginners.(Current TIA
BLITZ /USTA Plan for Growth efforts not withstanding).
There is little or no emphasis on National recreational/beginners doubles
play Statewide, Regionally, etc with the goal of a National Doubles

Playing pros agents/managers get 10% or more of their players earnings with
almost all players having contractual singles goals, appearance requirements
but with few if any doubles participation/requirement goals. Tennis and
athletic clubs promote singles tournaments seemingly with more gusto and
fervor than doubles events.

Simplistically, money and education are the keys. A ton of both. The general
public, indeed, much of the existing, hard core, league playing tennis
fanatics, know not the intricacies or even the basics of doubles. When was
the last time any TV network had a recognized Men's or Women's doubles team
in "the booth" describing as a "team" what was goin on - on the court during
a match. Doubles players - good ones commentating on doubles players. Wow,
what a concept!

Why doesn't TENNIS magazine commit/devote four to six pages in each issue in
a SPECIAL section covering only doubles, history, strategy, tactics,
positioning, etc. Another gem. Easy to do too. A doubles tip of the month,
twelve tips per year and best doubles tip of the year gets two(2) tickets to
US Open(i.e. paid for by TENNIS magazine) The cost of this is minimal. the
potential interest it could create would be huge.

Two more factors, both overlooked and under used by the tennis community-
statistics and cross polination. The NBA, NFL, Pro Baseball use statistics ad
nauseum, however, these same statistics create interest and a "following."
When was the last time first serve percentage and return of serve
percentage(i.e. serves returned w/o being put away) were discussed as they
relate to winning doubles matches. Golly....if tennis isn't interested in
keeping statistics and using them to highlight the intricacies and nuances of
our great game, no-one else will. By keeping statistics first at the Pro
level, then perhaps at the college level, validation of tennis as a builder
of core values like discipline, concentration, etc would occur. Only three or
four points difference in a 2 and 1/2 hour doubles match determines a winner.

Cross polination also needs to be addressed at the highest levels of the ITF
and the USTA. How come we do not have Michael Jordan or similar national
figure endorsing the lifetime benefits of our lifetime sport? How come we
have not put together a National PR campaign using Nationally/Internationally
known athletic figures- outside of tennis- to highlight/demonstrate the
lifetime benefits of our sport? I would love to see Michael Jordan wearing
NIKE tennis apparel hefting a WILSON racquet giving a chalk talk on doubles
positioning and tactics.

Passionate about tennis and doubles,
Bill Thompson
Worldwide Intelligent Tennis Services ( WITS )

"In tennis as in life you must always keep your wits about you!"
20220 13th ave nw
Shoreline, Washington 98177-2124

Received on Tue Apr 24 2001 - 14:22:14 CDT

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