Provider Appreciation Month a Success
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | May 3, 2018
WESTBOROUGH, MA- USTA New England celebrated its first ever Tennis Provider Appreciation Month in April. Our dedicated providers are the heart of the New England tennis community, and we took the month to say “Thank You” for their continued devotion to growing the sport of tennis.
Throughout the month, we held free networking events and webinars, gave away prizes and gifts and wrote feature stories to show our appreciation.
“We embarked on this celebratory month hoping to reach as many tennis providers in New England as possible. I’m proud to say we reached more than 1,000 providers through our various efforts in person at events, through traditional mailers and digitally on social media and webinars,” said Alex Wesley, USTA New England Director of Marketing.
Our networking events, called Organization Member Summits, included lunch and featured a diverse agenda with presentations on USTA junior programming, marketing, forming community partnerships and USTA resources. ADVERTISEMENT Tennis providers delivered the presentations on community partnerships and junior programming – all varying depending on location. USTA New England Director of Marketing, Alex Wesley, presented Marketing 101, while Marketing Coordinator, Mary Cain, offered a variety of marketing resources to help tennis businesses. Following the presentations were roundtable discussions, Net Generation registration assistance and networking.
Guests at each summit received a free custom USTA KYSEK hot/cold tumbler, and five lucky winners also left with raffle prizes from Babolat. Prizes included ball bags, racquet bags, rolling hoppers and training kits.
We kicked off the festivities with our first Organizational Member Summit at the historic Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill, MA on April 5. Vidith Huot, Executive Director of Serving Up Success NJTL in Providence, along with Kirk Hamel, a teacher in the Central Falls, RI, spoke about their community experience and what it takes to build a successful community partner.
“My whole standpoint is that it’s not about us, but about the player. I’ve personally had a tough time bridging the gap between grassroots tennis and the competitive programming that we have, so I feel with Net Generation coming along, it’s going to be a lot easier for everyone to be able to work together and it will help out the player immensely,” Fay said.
Fay, along with USTA New England Tennis Service Representatives Susan Riordan and Ashley Cerri, Connecticut Open Tournament Director Anne Worcester, and New HYTEs Executive Director, Mavi Sanchez-Skakle, spoke at the second event on April 11. The summit was held at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven.
Riordan and Cerri presented on experiences they’ve had assisting new programs in finding a successful Net Generation community partners. Worcester and Sanchez-Skakle each discussed their organization and shared upcoming news.
The third and final summit was hosted by Topnotch Resort in Stowe, VT. Erin Morrison, Program and Communications Manager at Addison Community Athletic Foundation in Middlebury, VT, shared how she went about forming partnerships with local schools. Tammy Azur, Director at Sports & Fitness Edge in Burlington, VT, discussed the flourishing junior programming, particularly Junior Team Tennis at her facility.
The afternoon concluded with Kyle Ross, Tournament Director of the Stowe Mountain Lodge Classic, raffling off a gift pack from Grand Slam Tennis Tours.
In addition to the summits, USTA New England hosted a pair of successful free webinars. First, on April 10, Alanna Broderick, USTA National Digital Product Manager, spoke to providers on Net Generation and gave a tutorial on the registration process. On April 18, Mary Cain presented tips and best practices for social media marketing. All active USTA New England Organizational Members also received a letter and free gift in the mail. Expired members were sent a letter about the month as well with a special offer to renew.
The month wrapped up with a bang, as USTA New England raffled off a VIP experience to the Stowe Mountain Lodge Classic live on Facebook. Bud Duksta, President of the Marshfield Tennis Club in Marshfield, MA was the winner of the package, which included: three nights at the Stowe Mountain Lodge, two tickets to the VIP Player Party and two VIP tickets for two days of tennis.
Thank you to everyone who participated in Provider Appreciation Month in any capacity, and thank you again to all of our New England providers. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do every day to meet our mission, “To Promote and Develop the Growth of Tennis.”
To read features stories on providers, click the links below:
For more information on Provider Appreciation Month, click here.