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Industry News – January 2024

2024 Tennis and Padel Business Forum

We are pleased to announce our key speaker for this year’s Spring Forum. David Minton is Founder and Director of Leisure Database Company. Leisure DB is a leading independent specialist in the UK leisure sector, providing key market intelligence and analysis across the full scope of an increasingly diverse fitness industry. Established over 30 years ago, Leisure DB works with a wide range of fitness operators, suppliers, consultants and investors to provide the insights and tools needed to make informed decisions to thrive in the marketplace.

David Minton possesses a profound understanding of the sector’s developments. Recognised as a mentor, analyst, advisor, and consultant, David is sought after by health and fitness organisations and leisure investors worldwide. As a popular speaker and presenter, he utilises his unique industry knowledge and experience to provide evidence-based consultancy, media commentary, and speaking engagements.

His thoughts and commentary will provide unique insight for operators in the booming Padel market and for tennis clubs seeking business growth

“Racquet sports used to be at the heart of David Lloyd Leisure clubs but now the focus is on spa-gardens and wellness. Other private operators, tennis clubs and the public sector have been picking up the interest in both tennis and Padel so what can these sites learn from the immediate history, for example, demise of squash courts, growth of fitness, rapid expansion of boutique classes like Reformer Pilates”. David will explore these and other areas such as ‘building a community’.

As per last year, attendance is free on a first come first served basis. E-mail phil@tiauk.org to reserve your place now. Further speakers and details will be announced shortly

Padel Project UK launches in Potters Bar and pursues growth

TIA UK member Padel Project UK announces its ambition to become the leading owner and operator of padel centres for communities across the UK. The company has launched its second site in the country which is a 2-court site in Potters Bar. Focussing on a rapid expansion across the country, Padel Project UK has built a strong team to execute its ambitious plan. The company has secured over £1.1m funding from Arbor Ventures and founders.

Padel Project UK Potters Bar has launched at Old Owen’s Sports Ground, Coopers Lane EN6 4NF. Just outside the centre of Potters Bar, the centre has two floodlit outdoor padel courts with the capacity to increase the number of courts in future. Also at the club is a welcoming clubhouse where rackets and balls are sold, as well as a bustling bar and Thai restaurant. Padel Project UK has an on-site coach available for group sessions, private lessons and free introductory sessions for those new to the game.

Padel Project UK already has a thriving padel centre in Lytham St. Anne’s, the first padel centre in the North West of the UK. Opened in 2022, the award-winning centre is at full capacity with two outdoor padel courts and Padel Project UK is doubling the number of courts here. The company’s aggressive roll-out plan expects to open a further 20+ centres in the next two years.


SAPCA conference awaits

The annual Sport and Play Contractors Association Conference and Awards event takes place on Thursday 29th February at the Mattioni Woods Welford Road Stadium in Leicester (home of Leicester Tigers). For information go to www.sapca.org.uk

Wilson racket owner Amer Sports aims to price $1 billion US IPO

Amer Sports which has Wilson tennis rackets in its portfolio is aiming to raise $1 billion through an IPO (initial public offering) by the end of January.

According to Saltwater/Dealogic Data, raising $1 billion would make the IPO the largest in the world since Birkenstock raised $1.48 billion in New York in October

Dispute over professional tennis player trade mark rights

Désirée Fields of TIA Legal Partner Pinsent Masons and an expert in brand protection in sport, has written an article on a dispute relating to trade marks rights belonging to former Grand Slam tennis champion Yannick Noah. She says that the case should prompt other athletes to consider the extent to which they make use of their trade marks to further their brand.

She was commenting ahead of a forthcoming ruling by the EU’s General Court in a case in which Yannick Noah, winner of the 1983 singles and 1984 doubles at the French Open, is seeking to maintain EU trade mark rights he first registered in 2008. The full article can be read here.

New indoor tennis centre opens in Edinburgh

The Oriam Indoor Tennis Centre at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh has opened its doors. Costing £4.5 million, the impressive 4000sq/m structure has taken around 18 months to construct and has been funded in partnership between Oriam, Heriot-Watt University, the LTA, LTA Tennis Foundation, sportscotland and Tennis Scotland through the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis (TSIT) fund.

Work on-site began in September 2022 and it has been built using the latest materials to ensure the courts boast some of the finest acrylic playing surfaces found anywhere in the country, ideal for both recreational and competitive matches.  

Blane Dodds, Chief Executive of Tennis Scotland, said: “We know there is a huge appetite for tennis in Scotland, with record club membership and increasing levels of participation, so we welcome the opening of the new six-court indoor centre at Oriam. 

“It is vitally important that we continue to build capacity, allowing us to deliver top-class coaching and competitions, develop our workforce and bring new people into our sport. 

“The impressive facilities at Oriam will help us open tennis up to continue the growth of the game in Scotland, as will the new indoor centre being constructed in Moray.” 

Courts are available to book for players of all ages and abilities on a pay-as-you-play (PAYP) basis, meaning membership to Oriam is not required and helping ensure as many people as possible can access the sport.  

The arrival of the tennis centre enhances Heriot-Watt’s growing reputation in the sports sector having launched sports degrees in Sport and Exercise Science, Sport Management and Sport Psychology, in partnership with Oriam.

New membership year is upon us!

TIA UK’s new membership year commences on 1st February and current members will be receiving invitations to renew their membership in the next few days.

If you are reading this and you are not currently a member go to www.tiauk.org to find out more.