Roy Jones Jr. Comes Out Swinging For Tennis Welcome Centers

11.05.04 - LAS VEGAS, NV. “ Roy Jones Jr., the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, has "Come Out Swinging" with forehands and backhands, on behalf of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Tennis Industry Association (TIA), to support the launch of Tennis Welcome Centers -- the largest grass roots campaign in the history of the sport in the U.S. -- and, the destination for new players to "Learn To Play Tennis....Fast."

At the 3,700 Tennis Welcome across the U.S., new or lapsed players can pick up the sport through local introductory programs taught by certified tennis professionals. This unprecedented industry-wide effort is designed to change consumer perceptions about tennis and welcome new players to the game in a positive learning environment.

Jones, an avid tennis player and fan of the game was chosen for the campaign because of his mental toughness, athletic prowess and high-level of fitness “ skills needed in both boxing and tennis.


Jones appears in a national ads lauding the mind and body benefits of the tennis claiming -- "Like boxing, a round of tennis burns calories, increases agility and improves foot speed¦ all with fewer shots to the head." The ad encourages people to visit to find one of the 3,700 conveniently located Tennis Welcome Centers.

"This marks the largest cooperative endeavor in our sport to change perceptions about it and increase interest in playing it," said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community The participation of Roy Jones Jr. and the other celebrities promoting Tennis Welcome Centers will certainly help people see tennis in a new light and hopefully consider picking up a racquet."

The national print advertising campaign, "TENNIS. COME OUT SWINGING," campaign, also featuring actress/model Daisy Fuentes, NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, and "60 Minutes" host Mike Wallace, all deliver messages about the unique health and social benefits of the sport. All ads contain a call to action -- directing consumers to, the web site with detailed information on Tennis Welcome Centers across the country offering new player instruction programs. The web site provides visitors entering their zip codes a complete listing of Tennis Welcome Centers in their areas. The site offers information on local facilities offering programs to learn to play tennis fast at community parks, schools, health clubs and tennis clubs.

The launch of "TENNIS. COME OUT SWINGING" and Tennis Welcome Centers represents the collaborative efforts of the entire tennis community. Partnering together with the USTA and TIA are the NRPA (National Recreation and Park Association), USPTA, PTR, ATP, WTA Tour, WTT, tournament owners, tennis clubs and other facilities, racquet, ball and footwear manufacturers, retailers, and tennis broadcasters.

"The commitment of the industry partners in launching and supporting this joint initiative has been overwhelming," said Jim Baugh, President, TIA. "The goal is to provide consumers easily accessible information and a fun tennis experience under the guidance of experienced tennis pros -- teaching in their own style -- to encourage them to take up and stick with our sport."

The campaign launched in April in numerous national publications, including: USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, Shape, Fitness, Vibe, Men's Fitness, Men's Health, Travel & Leisure, Runner's World and Tennis. A television campaign is currently in development and will air during US Open telecasts on CBS Sports and USA Network as well as other tennis broadcasts on The Tennis Channel.

In addition to the national media buys, eight-page advertising inserts in English and Spanish will run in more than 50 major daily newspapers across the U.S. The campaign will generate over 100 million targeted consumer impressions, driving traffic to the web site.

This effort is supported by major tennis manufacturers and retailers. "Learn to Play Tennis¦Fast!" promotions will appear on more than 25 million cans of tennis balls; on hangtags for more than 2.5 million pre-strung racquets; in 1 million boxes of tennis shoes; on more than 1,000 banners and 2 million flyers in sporting good stores; on video screens and billboards for professional tennis events; and on tennis-related web sites.

The coordinated advertising, promotion and instruction campaign, a year in development, follows the 2003 release of the USTA/TIA Tennis Participation Study. Research findings identified issues and opportunities in growing participation, notably, proper instruction as the key to improving player recruitment, retention, recovery, and frequency of play.

The TIA is national trade association for tennis manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and other entities in the sport. The TIA brings together a unique synergy among normally competitive businesses willing to pool resources for the betterment of the tennis market as a whole.

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States and is a not-for-profit organization with more than 675,000 members. It owns and operates the US Open and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It invests 100% of its proceeds to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grass roots to the professional levels.

Article posted on 11.05.2004

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