Serving the country club industry in educating governing bodies and committees in building renowned programming in tennis and fitness departments. Through best-business practices, proper management, and by retaining and recruiting "best-in-class" professionals, we look to bring your tennis and fitness departments at your club to be the benchmark in excellence in the region.
Marketing the Mardy Fish Childrens Tennis Foundation
We were happy to catch up with Randy Walker at The Boulevard Tennis Club in Vero Beach, FL. Randy, owner and President of New Chapter Media, is not only a tennis publisher, but also an avid player, marketer and tournament director. Randy directs the annual tournament for the Mardy Fish Children's Foundation. Part of the USTA Pro Circuit, this tournament serves as the biggest fundraising opportunity for Mardy's foundation. Randy discusses with us how he markets and communicates to the many demographics along the Treasure Coast of Florida for the biggest fundraiser for Mardy's foundation.
Marketing Secrets From One Of The Best!
Randy realizes that each player has a story and that's the first tantalizing or teasing piece of the marketing strategy for his tournament. He has a sound marketing strategy and he shares it with us: "Make your tournament like a mini US Open!"
Randy just released the book Juan Martin del Potro: The Gentle Giant this year at the Delray Beach ATP event, and he continues to serve as Communications Director for the Invesco Series. It's one of our favorite tournament series in which we have the opportunity to watch some of the best ever: Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, and John McEnroe.
You can always reach Randy on Twitter @tennispublisher and please visit his publishing firm's website at www.newchaptermedia.com
A Pro With Every Court Reservation Could Become A Reality
Doug Cash Joins the BTB Podcast
Doug Cash, founder of CashFlow Tennis, joins the BTB Podcast and discusses how Covid has changed the club industry and what to expect as we head through 2021. Nothing will remain untouched by the virus, says Doug. From the large fitness national chains which have lost up to 70 percent of their monthly dues revenues, through to country clubs which, on the other hand, have been seen as sanctuaries and have raised dues. Every facet of club membership is evolving as Covid declines.
Doug Cash, owner of CashFlowTennis.com, joins the BTB Podcast this month.
Doug escaped the on-court grind of the industry and moved in to management in which he has worked with over 50 clubs. He received a few calls asking for help back at a time when there were few who knew how large clubs could operate profitably and has never looked back. Moving into the arena of growing the game, Doug has worked with the USTA and the Tennis Industry Association.
Cash, like most management consultancies in the business, recommends that dues and initiation fees should go up on an annual basis. If not, over time, the club will find itself in dire financial straits.
A Pro On Every Court
Doug relates how some clubs in the Northeast are requiring a professional on every court. "You can't make a court reservation without a pro," says Doug. Doug sees this as the way forward and will be a function of tennis clubs in the future. "The pro-led hour of court time is so much better in the long run. You hit more balls, you have more fun, you learn a little bit, the pro is a ringmaster... you get more exercise and you don't have to worry if your fourth shows up."
Antiquated Compensation Packages Need Revision For This Century
Doug dislikes the antiquated payment and compensation models that currently exist n the tennis industry. As is said widely, the house always wins. If paid through a percentage, an instructor is always hampered by the club's cut which remains the same percentage, even as lesson and clinic prices go up. Doug believes because of this, there is a scarcity of teaching professionals, with clubs now across the country clamoring for new professionals to meet current and much higher demand. Although compensation is going up slowly due to the lack of supply, Doug feels that raising club dues and initiation fees over the long term can inhibit raises in lesson and clinic rates.
Doug notes that a starting truck driver for Walmart makes $82,000 per annum starting out as a brand new driver. "Very few starting tennis professionals start out at that level," says Cash who feels that compensation simply starts out too low right from the outset.
Our bi-weekly BTB Podcast has over 10,000 listeners. Please subsribe on Apple or Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Doug is a specialist in creating cash flow within a department. And he gives us a couple of his secrets along the way on the podcast. So click above and have a listen as he discusses how we, as an industry, will need to adjust even more than we have post-Covid. And, if you like our podcast series, please subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Vera Gibbons Discusses All Things Tennis, Fitness and Why Everyone Is Moving to Florida
CNN and Fox News Contributor Vero Gibbons joins the BTB Podcast!
Vera Gibbons joins the podcast today for a discussion of all things tennis, Presidents and the steady migration of Americans to Southern States and what that might mean for tennis and court availability next winter, dinner reservations and traffic up and down the Florida peninsula.
Vera, a heralded newscaster, started her career on the financial side of journalism at the Kiplinger Report. She moved on to CNBC and the show "High Net Worth" and was a part of CBS’s financial team at "The Early Show." Many of you will know her, more recently, as a contribute to both CNN and Fox News.
Vera Gibbons has been in all the New York news studios but now discusses why home is where the mic is.
But a few years ago, Vero took a career life leap and changed it all up and started her "NoPo" (No Politics) newsletter. The news digest daily email woke its readers up with all non-political - from finance to fitness, from dining to travel. Vera sold "NoPo" in 2020.
But, like many during a Pandemic, she started a "NoPo" podcast and is now in five local radio regions. Gibbons' No Po Podcast is her new, unlikely medium and she discusses how it is different from being on a 3-minute segment on CNBC, Fox, or CNN compared to a 30-minute podcast.
We discuss all things tennis and why she has left New York City and moved to the Sunshine State. How will the courts in Florida deal with the onslaught of northern migratory players, especially once the large leagues start to play again?
She feels as if her new home in Palm Beach is starting to feel a bit like New York as the money managers and New York companies start to allow their employees to move here and work remotely. Vera doesn’t see a way back to a normal 9 to 5 work week for some industries. That lifestyle could be "toast", says Gibbons.
Vera has played on historic courts up and down the East Coast of Florida from her native South Coast, Massachusetts and courts that still defy Har-Tru and are greenish clay from the Berkshires. to the hallowed, green grounds of the Tennis Hall of Fameand to the blustery courts on private estates and clubs on the bluffs in Newport. Her new Palm Beach home has brought her to the courts buffeted by the South Atlantic from Palm Beach Gardens and Palm Beach down through Lantana and Manalapan.
Vera Gibbins likes to wear white not just on the tennis courts.
The US Open was truly missed, she says. As one of the sporting and calendar gems in New York Vera can't wait for the lights to switch back on in Flushing Meadows so the tournament can regain its regal normality at the end of this summer..
We talk about Joe Biden and his golf game and how the media might report on his sporting endeavors and bemoan the fact that Presidents really just play golf… although a few do quietly play tennis!
The Godfather of the Pro Tennis Tour: Butch Buchholz
Butch Buchholz had an idea. He had an idea as to what professional tennis should look like. He had a dream and he played and toured the world with a vision. And in August of 1967 he played in front of a packed Centre Court at Wimbledon and guaranteed the presence of paid professional players returning to Wimbledon in June of 1968 and the beginning of the Open Era.
Wimbledon, in 1967, had invited 8 of the touring pros - back before pros were allowed to play at all the Grand Slams. The pros were a group of "vagabonds" and the chairman of the club Herman David, said if you fill Centre Court, I don't care what the ITF says, you're invited to come play as pros at Wimbledon. They filled Centre Court.
Buchholz is the man behind what we know as today's ATP and WTA Tours. In his own words he admits he turned pro too early - but he got what he wanted in the end. A tour, a tournament and a tennis life.
As Executive Director of the ATP Tour, Buchholz has always worked hard on behalf of the players. He founded, almost singlehandedly, the Lipton Championships, first held in Delray Beach and now known as The Miami Open. "Golf has The Players, and we always wanted something like that for our tennis professionals." The Lipton, which began as the professionals' tournament, was the first tournament stop that had both the men and the women playing together. Butch fought the tour and demanded that the paying spectators really wanted to see the men and women compete at the same venue. And, basically, that's what we have today at Indian Wells, The Miami Open and all the Grand Slams. Butch was, and still is, ahead of his time.
Andy Roddick accepts the NASDAQ trophy from Butch Buchholz
He fought the neighbors of Crandon Park at the zoning board and battled the powers of Miami-Dade County to build what many players have called the best arena in the sport.
His love and passion for the game and his fellow players led Buchholz to establish a fund which acted as a pension for all the professional players, which exists to this day.
When journalists would rank the players long before the points system, Buchholz was ranked as high as number five in the world and was continually named the best American player. Holding the career Grand Slam as a junior long before the pros were allowed in the main draws, Buchholz travelled the world and tried to time his entry to the pro level. He looks with great fondness back on his years traveling the world as one of the Handsome Eight, and laughs when he tries to compare today's tour with the tour back in the last 60s.
Junior, Be Aware Of Your Surroundings.Butch Buchholz
Butch takes us through how he built his first 10-court club, Town and Tennis in St. Louis, and how he quickly realized there was so much more to the tennis industry than chasing yellow fuzzy tennis balls around a court. He had no idea the meaning of "cashflow" He met a businessman in the St Louis area, Solon Gerhman, who went on to lead one of the leading real estate firms in the country. Solon took a tennis lesson three times a week with Butch. But, as Butch states, "I got the real lesson and training and in reality received an MBA from my student." The lesson learned? "It's all about knowing your surroundings and who you are meeting and speaking with."
The last time Butch hit a tennis ball was at Centre Court three years ago and Wimbledon, for Butch, is still the greatest arena holding his best-loved memories. He'll be happy if that will be the last tennis ball he hits as he sets out to keep his score on the golf links under his age!
Margit Bannon: An Entrepreneur In Direct Marketing, Tennis and Yoga
Margit Bannon Joins The Podcast In Our Series On Women In Our Industry
Magit Bannon, USPTA instructor, yoga teacher and now entrepreneur takes us through her jump into self-employment. Having a court in her backyard and looking at her 30 minute commute for many years, she has jumped into business for herself with her Play Tennis, Practice Yoga brand, based in Punta Gorda, Florida.
What she didn't realize? The amount of time she would be spending on marketing and social media along with the communication. But Margit is happy to be crerating new relationships in the industry and looking to move forward with her business once travel is safely back to a sense of normality.
After working in Columbus, Ohio at the Olympia Club and then another 12 years at a yacht club in Florida, Margit decided to step out and use her childhood court as her foundation for a new idea - Yoga for Tennis. Her YouTube Channel has just reached 200 subscribers but her zeal for what she does on and off the court shows through on her videos, her Instagram account and her work with her clients and colleagues in the industry.
Play Tennis, Practice Yoga Founder Margit Bannon. Is it us or does that Wilson Blade head size look a bit too big?
Through social media and building her YouTube channel, Margit has built a booming business and sees herself traveling with her Yoga for Tennis methods. Margit, through her entrepreneurial spirit, is now an internet star boasting just an IPhone and a tripod - not much needed these days to gain followers and gain a following on social media if you have a great idea and the discipline and diligence to follow through - which Margit does.
Having played tennis at a Division 1 level and competed at the highest levels in American junior tennis at events such as the Orange Bowl while training under the eyes of Nick Bolletieri, Margit understands the pressures on the court. The idea of calming one's self and getting outside and beyond the pressure of, say, a college tennis match - well it can make the difference between winning and losing. Everyone and every coach is looking to strengthen the mental game just as much as the physical game. And Margit is at the cutting edge through her mindful work and her yoga practices. Please visit her YouTube Channel: Play Tennis, Practice Yoga!
From Waiting Tables To Live-Ball Clinic Queen
Kelsey Waite, Head Professional at Bethesda Country Club Joins the BTB Podcast
She once heard the term unicorn used to describe a female teaching tennis pro, and that picqued her interest. Kelsey Waite had completed her college degree and was figuring out how to apply her newly found skills in science and French when someone asked her to help teach tennis. She's now a Head Pro at one of the country's most elite clubs.
Kelsey Waite - from waitress to head professional.
Coming to the industry unexpectedly, Kelsey has used her outside influences from college and life to help create her persona on the court. As a "theater geek" she realizes that running a clinic or being at the helm of a program is a production and is, in a way, theater in its own. She loves being on show.
On-Court Programming Is Taking Over at the Private Clubs
Not sure the reason behind it, but her members are passing up their doubles game for tennis programming with the pros. "They're giving up their spot times for doubles," says Waite who teaches on average two to three hours of live-ball clinics every day to her membership. She's not complaining but is noticing the change and how she and her team are adapting to it.
She's also noted that the teenage female members are more likely to come out to programming, especially if she's the instructor. Juniors and adults, alike, are flocking toward the hour and a half "workout" of live-ball clinics rather than play their weekly doubles games.
Being a Female in the Industry Is an Advantage
Rather than feeling isolated or excluded from the inferred "men's club" of male tennis instructors, Kelsey feels she breathes new life into the industry and sees being a woman as an advantage. She believes her career and her rise up the ladder of success could be partly due to she being a "unicorn" - something she giggles at while she takes names and pushes out the programming barriers at Bethesda.
Following her nerve-racking certification test and not having taught that much, Kelsey believes that the new mentoring requirement for incoming instructors through the USPTA and PTR is a long overdue requisite. Kelsey realizes how lucky she has been in the industry by being able to experience working and teaching at both resorts and public facilities, along with the past five years at Bethesda Country Club. Her comparisons between work and teaching styles at resorts and country clubs is extremely interesting, and her ideas as to how she would like to progress are inspiring, for females and males alike.
There's so much more on her podcast, make sure you subscribe!
Great tennis podcast for DOT
I’m a DOT at a member-owned club and I really enjoy this podcast! Great insights and knowledgeable interviews! Much thanks!