Wilson Expands Grassroots Tennis Efforts
2005 Unveiled Several New Partnerships
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Melanie McGeough
8700 W. Bryn Mawr
11/22/05 - Chicago--Wilson Racquet Sports, the No. 1 brand in tennis, has been a loyal supporter of grassroots efforts to promote and grow the game of tennis. From more than 3,000 teaching professionals to players of all ages, Wilson’s involvement at every level of the game increased this year with the addition of several new programs and partnerships.
Wilson increased its commitment to the United States Tennis Association (USTA) by focusing on several key programs, including a new agreement to expand its support of the USTA Schools Program that introduces tennis to over 1.9 million K-12 students each year in physical education classes, after school and summer programs. Wilson also provides direct support for other national USTA programs such as the Community Parks Initiative and Senior Back to Tennis Parties, all programs designed to address both the “re-joining” player and increase retention amongst current recreational players. Wilson is also the Official Ball of nearly 300 USTA adult, junior and professional events including the largest Grand Slam in the world – the US Open.
Wilson’s commitment to tennis at the high school level is unsurpassed in the industry. Just this year, Wilson launched the “Coaches for Life” newsletter that provides tennis tips to more than 6,000 high school coaches nationwide. In addition, Wilson works with several high school associations to offer coaching clinics and provide speakers to help further coaching development at the high school level. Wilson also signed on to sponsor the National High School Tennis Coach of the Year Award and created statewide ball adoption programs for 30 state high school association tennis championships.
As the presenter of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Coach of the Year Award since 1973, Wilson has been synonymous with college tennis for over three decades. Wilson’s partnership with the ITA now includes the title sponsorship of the ITA Regional Championships, which includes the 80 regional ITA events throughout the U.S. In addition to its ITA partnership, Wilson is the Official Ball of the NCAA, NJCAA, NCCAA, and NAIA collegiate organizations.
This summer Wilson launched EZ Tennis, a line of instructional equipment for teaching professionals that includes the first-ever tennis racket with a color-coded grip system. The line was developed for youth entry-level programs to make the fundamentals of tennis easier to comprehend for beginners and includes rackets, nets, targeting systems and two new transitional tennis balls. These products have quickly become the standard for developmental program usage by the USTA and hundreds of tennis programs throughout the United States.
This year also saw several other new Wilson grassroots partnerships including the national “Jensen Brothers Tour,” with instructional clinics held by former French Open Doubles Champions Luke and Murphy Jensen. Another prominent tennis figure, Cliff Drysdale, teamed up with Wilson with the launch of the Drysdale Experience which provides unique tennis clinics at clubs and professional events throughout the U.S. as well as signing Wilson as the exclusive equipment retail brand in its tennis resort pro shops.
Other organizations that Wilson has long-standing partnerships with include: World Team Tennis, Peter Burwash International, Tennis Corporation of America, Swingtime Foundation, Youth League Tennis, Evert Academy and the Austin Tennis Academy. Wilson also supports the Tennis Industry Association and their mission to promote tennis and share the economic vitality of the game through one unified industry voice.
Wilson received a record number of requests for its Speaker’s Bureau Program in 2005, which provides events and organizations with a unique perspective on tennis as told through the words of the industry’s greatest ambassadors. The program features over two-dozen members including Wayne Bryan, Billie Jean King, Tom Gullikson, Peter Burwash and new members Patrick McEnroe, Cliff Drysdale, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Luke Jensen and Murphy Jensen.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) is a cause that Wilson has been a supporter of for more than seven years with donations of nearly $1 million. As the Official Sporting Goods Equipment Partner of the BCRF, Wilson donates proceeds from their women’s line of products in all sports categories, including the hugely successful “Hope” line of tennis and golf equipment and the newly launched “W” line of performance tennis products.
Wilson’s Advisory Staff program of over 3,000 teaching professionals continues to be the backbone of its grassroots efforts. With their support of local programs and efforts to grow the game, Wilson was able to reach thousands of new players in 2005.
Wilson Racquet Sports is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods, one of the world's leading manufacturers of sports equipment and owned by Amer Sports. Wilson designs, manufactures and distributes sporting goods throughout the world and focuses on making technologically advanced products which help all players play better. Wilson's core sport categories include: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer, Youth Sports, Uniforms/Apparel, Golf, Footwear and Racquet Sports (Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton and Platform Tennis). For more information, visit www.wilsontennis.com.
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