Annual Industry Christmas lunch tops attendance record
Over 70 people attended the 2022 Tennis Industry Christmas Lunch held in December at The Queen’s Club, the largest attendance so far for the event and close to capacity.
The President and Deputy President of the LTA, the CEO of Tennis Scotland, the Chair of the Dan Maskell Tennis Trust, the CEO of the Grounds Management Association and the Chair and President of the TIA UK were all in attendance, together with many TIA UK members and other influential people within the british tennis economy.
Guests were treated to very informative thoughts and opinions about key aspects of british tennis from broadcaster and former British number 1 Annabel Croft and from Gary Stewart, LTA Head of Operations. The host was tennis broadcaster and firm TIA UK supporter Marcus Buckland, who ran the tennis panel’s deliberations and questions from the floor with his usual great aplomb.
Louise Price crowned the TIA UK Tennis Industry Leader for 2022
During the annual Christmas lunch, Louise Price, MD of J. Price of Bath was announced the recipient of the inaugural Tennis Industry Leader Award.
The award is in recognition of the person in the tennis industry who has significantly contributed to improving company growth or in promoting innovation and also for their long-term achievements within the industry.
Price of Bath is a small family run company that has been making balls in Britain for over 90 years crossing 3 generations. As a company, Price is committed to providing excellent quality balls all ‘made in England’ with sustainability at its heart. Louise has maintained the company reputation for innovation; raising interest in personalisation has seen Price tennis balls in campaigns for some of the largest brands and most recently launching Phoenix, the world’s first recycled tennis ball.
The award to Louise was presented by David Rawlinson and Sandi Procter, President and Deputy President of the LTA.
UK Pro League is latest TIA UK member
The exiting and innovative UK Pro League has become the latest Affiliate member of TIA UK.
Bringing together the UK’s top Professional Tennis Players, the UK Pro League (formerly the UK Pro Series) is a season-long competition to crown Britain’s men and women Champions. Running across 7 separate weeks from January through to November, each week players compete in a round robin format and play-offs to secure League Ranking Points as they endeavour to qualify for the end of season UK Pro League Finals.
Each event week is an individual week-long qualifying event where players earn League points in order to qualify for the UK Pro League Final week. Each week consists of a 12 player men’s and 12 women’s draw with players split into four pools of 3 to play a round robin format ahead of playing quarter finals, semis and final ranking matches over the Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
The League has a Prize Fund in excess of £500,000 and is broadcast on BT Sport and the Tennis Channel in the UK.
Welsh National Tennis Centre and Sport Complex approved for Bridgend
Plans for a national tennis centre in Bridgend, South Wales have been approved, creating 50 jobs and with nine indoor and six outdoor tennis courts. Tennis Wales said it was “incredibly excited” about the centre’s potential to promote tennis.
“This centre will support the development of tennis in Bridgend county borough and in turn Wales, benefitting many generations to come,” Tennis Wales said. The organisation said a key part of its ‘Tennis Opened Up across Wales’ strategy was to improve access to “community indoor tennis courts to ensure year-round play”.
Developer HD Limited unveiled plans for the centre to Bridgend councillors at a meeting in December. The complex will comprise tennis courts plus an outdoor swimming pool, as well as a café lounge, gym, and health and rehabilitation services. The development is expected to create 75 new jobs during the construction phase and a further 50 full and part-time jobs when the centre is complete.
Wimbledon accolade for groundskeeping award
Apologies that we missed this from November’s newsletter…
The Grounds Management Association award for the Tennis Grounds Team of 2022 is The All England Club – well done to Neil Stubley and his hard working team!
The winners were announced at a sell-out awards gala at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole attended by 630 people during SALTEX. The awards acknowledge the high standards achieved by volunteer and professional teams as well as individuals at facilities ranging from grassroots to professional stadia level.
LTA fined by ATP
The ATP has imposed a $1m fine on the LTA for not accepting entries from Russian and Belarusian players for its 5 grass court tournaments this summer at Queen’s Club in London, Eastbourne, Surbiton, Nottingham and Ilkley. The fine comes in addition to the $750,000 levied by the WTA on the LTA for the players exclusion from Eastbourne, Nottingham and Birmingham, and the $250,000 fine it imposed on the All England Club.
In response, the LTA said: “The ATP appear to regard this matter as a straightforward breach of their rules – with a surprising lack of empathy shown for the situation in Ukraine, and a clear lack of understanding of the unique circumstances the LTA faced. The financial impact of both this fine and the WTA’s fine will have a material impact on the LTA’s ability to develop and host tennis in this country.”
The LTA and Wimbledon came under pressure from the British government to impose the ban on Russian and Belarusian players following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
It is also reported that the LTA is facing the threat of expulsion from the ATP Tour if the ban is repeated in 2023.
Meanwhile, the ATP reportedly will donate the $1m fine to humanitarian relief in Ukraine, and the AELTC and the LTA are left with considering their options for the next grass court season next summer.
With no end to the war in Ukraine in sight, the two organisations must decide whether to extend the ban of Russians and Belarusians players for a second year, or to acquiesce to the demands of the ATP and WTA and accept their inclusion.
(With thanks to our friends at Tennis Threads for this piece)
Barclays takes over Wimbledon umpire’s chair asset vacated by Robinsons
Barclays will see its logo feature on the umpire’s chair at the Wimbledon Championships as part of its record sponsorship signed with the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club.
The deal, announced in November, is understood to be the biggest sponsorship deal on a per-annum basis in AELTC history, with Barclays also making the largest donation of any Official Partner to the Wimbledon Foundation, the AELTC’s charity which seeks to tackle inequality and social disadvantage.
IMG retains Wimbledon media and sponsorship rights representation
IMG will continue to represent broadcast and sponsorship rights to the Wimbledon Championships after agreeing to an exclusive ‘long-term’ extension with the Club.
Announcing the agreement, IMG said “We have been working with the Club for more than 50 years to help maximise engagement, reach and revenues for the world-famous Grand Slam through international media rights management and sales, including the long-standing partnership with ESPN which last year was renewed for 12 years through to 2035.”
In the November newsletter was reference to free management support offered by James Sohl. Unfortunately the email address given was incorrect. To contact James, go to: