According to TIA, tennis is continuing to show growth in many areas. Figures released by the USTA and TIA during the US Open, and shared with the industry during the inaugural TIA Tennis Forum in August, show that trends are consistent across several categories of tennis equipment sales, and represent more than three years of continuous growth.
• Year-end total racquet shipments in 2006 showed an overall increase in units of 1.8 percent over 2005. Since 2003, racquet shipments are up 29.7 percent.
• Youth racquet sales were up 2.8 percent in 2006 and have increased 48.9 percent since 2003.
• Racquet sales continue to increase in 2007, up 5.3 percent over 2006 for the first two quarters.
• Year-end total ball shipments in 2006 increased 8.1 percent in units over 2005 and are up 11.5 percent since 2003.
• Ball shipments in the first half of 2007 have increased .7 percent versus first half 2006.
Some of these numbers don't excite me too much to be honest, but any forward progress is to be commended. By far, the most encouraging of these stats is the 48.9% increase in youth racquet sales since 2003. Youth tennis is the future of the sport. There are a lot of competing activities for kids to participate in these days. We must make tennis a solid choice and it looks like we're on the right track.