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Best Practice: Boise Corporate League

Best Practice: Boise Corporate League

Definition and Example:
We held a meeting at the corporations where we handed out all the rules, a registration form (and we collected money too), we described the two leagues we were starting and how to “rate themselves”.  We also coerced people to become captains at these meetings.

Procedure:

  • The players were asked to go back to their offices and recruit for their own teams.
  • We asked that they got a sampling of people from all levels to be on their teams. It wouldn’t be any fun to have a “ringer team.”
  • We told them that the upper level teams could not have an average level player above a 4.2 (NTRP) and the lower level teams’ average player needed to be at 2.6 (NTRP). We never fully enforced it, but we got the idea across.
  • We gave them all the deadlines. 
  • We then went to the other corporations and did the same thing. 
  • The Boise Swim & Racquet Club was looking for members so they offered court time for the first league for free and asked us to aggressively market their membership offer. 
  • The Wilson Rep was asked and agreed to do a Rally for all the corporate people who signed up. At the Rally, he would have the opportunity to let people try racquets out and hopefully sell some.
  • The Boise Racquet & Swim Club agreed to hold the Rally there at no charge in return for us promising to let them sell drinks (we provided sandwiches and appetizers) and let them talk in front of the group about joining. They also decided to extend their pro shop hours and offer discounts so that these people could wander through and purchase items.  
  • A local retailer wanted people from these Corporations to come into their store, so they made racquet, clothing, and stringing offers that we disseminated to the group.  
  • Built into the Corporate League was the cost of clinics mandatory in the first session because a lot of these people were new or returning players). The club was thrilled to get the traffic through the club during off hours (early morning or right after work) for the clinics. The whole program came off as FIRST CLASS.  
  • We wanted this program to be a win/win situation for all parties involved. We handed out  score sheets (attached) for each league and instructed them on how to e-mail their scores to me so that they could be put on my “master”, which we had designed (with the help of one of the computer experts at HP who was in the league) with a running total.  Weekly we posted the running scores which helped foster a competitive atmosphere.

To Attract Participants:

  • Contacted the Director of Wellness or HR person for each company.  Asked permission to e-mail the wellness person a description of the program and the price which was to be then forwarded on to all the employees (who all have e-mail).  
  • Employees interested in playing were instructed through the e-mail to reply to the e-mail (and we then asked them to answer a number of questions which could help us develop a program around their needs). The responses were overwhelming. 
  • We then asked for use of a conference room in one of the corporate buildings to make a presentation to all the people who had responded via e-mail. At that meeting we handed out all the rules, a registration form (and we collected money too), we described the two leagues we were starting and how to “rate themselves”.  We also coerced people to become captains at these meetings. 
  • The players were asked to go back to their offices and recruit for their own teams. We asked that they got a sampling of people from all levels to be on their teams. It wouldn’t be any fun to have a “ringer team”. 
  • We told them that the upper level teams could not have an average level player above a 4.2 (NTRP) and the lower level teams’ average player needed to be at 2.6 (NTRP). We never fully enforced it, but we got the idea across. 
  • We gave them all the deadlines. 
  • We then went to the other corporations and did the same thing. 
  • After the league was over there was a corporate tennis party at a pub house. The e-mail campaign continued so employees could sign up for another  league season.

Format of Play
One site which has in and outdoor courts; Teams are made up of 4 men and 4 women; 8-game pro-set -- tiebreak at 8-8. Formats varied -- one league was based after world team tennis (men's singles, ladies singles, men's doubles, ladies doubles and mixed doubles; another league had 6 Men's singles and 3 Men's doubles and another had 6 ladies singles and 3 ladies doubles.  

Benefits:
To sponsors: Boise Swim & Racquet Club offered free court time for the first league and in return we aggressively marketed their club memberships. They also offered free time during the rally in return we let them sell drinks and let them talk in front of the group about memberships.

To players: a free rally was conducted by the Wilson Rep.; a local retailer wanted business so it made special offers on their apparel, racquets and stringing services; and prizes were given at the Rally and awards were given to the winners of the league.

Target Audience:
Corporation employees

Cost:
$50 package
: 6 weeks of matches, balls, court time (in/outdoor), 1 1/2 hour drill sessions (dates and times were evenings or early mornings on two different days of the week, Wilson Rally and free 1 1/2 hour clinic with food, beverages, prizes and the chance to demo racquets. 
$35 package: 6 weeks of matches, balls, court time, Wilson Rally and 1 1/2 hour clinic.

Contact:
LeeAnn Berry
lberry@idtennis.com 

 
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