The TIA UK announced the launch of the UK Tennis Innovation Awards in association with tennishead at the Business of Tennis Forum at The Queen's Club yesterday.-
Jo Carter, Publishing Executive at tennishead introduced the Awards which are new for 2017 and aim to recognise products and services that make the most positive impact to tennis in the UK.
Perhaps more than any other sport, tennis has retained its traditions, and of course on one hand that rich heritage is something to be celebrated, but on the other hand this presents challenges to modernizing the game and enabling tennis to adapt to 21st Century lifestyles.
While the sport is growing in the 45 and over age group, there has been a significant decline in participation across all other age groups over the past decade.
While improvement in racket technology continues apace, in many areas the sport has not moved on. We need innovation: products, services and marketing tools that increase reach, interest and accessibility in order to keep the sport appealing and relevant to all age groups.
The Innovation Awards will recognize and promote those people and companies who take risks; who show initiative, drive and determination; and who have the imagination to spot business opportunities that will fill gaps in the market.
Jo explained that when tennishead launched 10 years ago, there was just such a gap in the market: tennis needed an entertaining, knowledgeable and independent tennis media channel. Tennishead was originally launched as an e-zine, but ironically back in 2007 not many advertisers could supply a digital ad. How times have changed!
Two weeks ago tennishead launched the first fully responsive digital tennis magazine using the latest publishing platform. This app is available to download for free in the App Store, Google Play and Amazon.
"Whether it is an app that facilitates people setting up matches, a shorter form of tennis that suits today’s time-poor families, or a device that shows how to increase your serve speed, we at tennishead love writing about these innovations and applaud the TIA on introducing this award and are delighted to have been part of shaping the inaugural awards".
There two awards: one for smaller UK-owned businesses with fewer than 20 employees, and one for larger companies that have a UK base or distributor.
The judging panel will not just be looking for creative ideas – that is worth 50% of the judging criteria - they will also be looking at the execution of the concept and subsequent communication to its target market.
The judging panel will be composed of individuals who have business skills and experience from a range of sectors across the tennis industry and includes representatives from the ITF, LTA, the All England Club as well as tennishead. Boasting a wealth of experience and relevant business enterprise skills, the panel will chaired by TIA UK chairman Steve Mathews and also features
- Dr Stuart Miller – ITF Senior Executive Director of Development and Integrity
- Alastair Marks – LTA Participation Director
- Judy Murray – Creator of Miss Hits, Tennis on the Road, She Rallies and Set 4 Sport
- Ross Matheson – Manager of the All England Lawn Tennis Club
- Bridget Marrison – Director of Advantage Media Network and publisher of tennishead
- David Minton – Founder and Managing Director of Leisure Database Ltd
- Jon Southcombe – Group Chief Executive Officer of RMI Ltd
All entrants will receive recognition and marketing exposure through TIA UK and tennishead. The winners of the UK-owned business category will also benefit from free business development mentoring from TIA UK business partners.
Entries close on 11th September and the winners will be announced at the TIA UK Awards Lunch in December. We look forward to receiving entries from a wide range of businesses.