USTA New England Innovation Challenge
USTA New England is hosting its first-ever Innovation Challenge, which aims to create new experiences for tennis players and to reimagine current offerings to strengthen the sport of tennis in New England. Our goal is to create a more inclusive culture for all. It’s time to listen and try something new, and we are looking for people both inside and outside of the sport to help out!
The Challenge is split into two phases as outlined below:
In this phase, we want you to brainstorm a creative idea, event or program for our sport. We are looking for proposals that are imaginative and inventive and will be inclusive for new and current players.
Proposals must outline the problem and solution you are addressing. We want to know what challenge you see in New England tennis and what your idea is for overcoming that challenge. Your proposal should be no more than one page that outlines these three areas:
Opportunity Statement: Your submission must start with a one-sentence statement that summarizes the opportunity. This is what the community will see to vote on.
Problem: What problem do you see within tennis in New England? Examples could be a problem that you have observed as it relates to attracting and retaining diverse tennis participants or an opportunity to improve the way an existing program or service will likely work post-pandemic.
Solution: How can you solve that problem with an idea that is innovative and inclusive?
If your idea is selected through our community vote, you will have the opportunity to advance to Phase 2.
When all Phase 1 ideas are submitted, we will ask the New England community to vote on their favorite ideas! The 25 ideas that receive the most votes will move on to Phase 2. The community voting process will take place the week of October 5, 2020. Voting closes on Sunday, October 11.
The individuals who submitted the 25 selected Phase 1 ideas will participate in Phase 2* which begins on October 19th, 2020.
Those 25 participants will be placed in 5 random groups of 5 by USTA New England. Group members will decide on the one Phase 1 proposal they would like to drive innovation through the design thinking process.
The process will include in-depth customer needs analysis such as surveys, observations, interviews and focus groups with prospective players and current players. Based on that research and data, groups will put together a feasible and viable plan for implementation.
All 5 teams will present their ideas virtually to a panel of judges the week of December 7th, 2020. The winning team will be announced on social media.
*If a participant in the top 25 chooses not to advance, the entry to phase 2 will be extended to the next top participant as voted by the community.
Phase 1 - The 25 ideas selected will receive a $25 Wilson gift card + a coupon for 30% off and free shipping on the wilson.com website.
Phase 2 - The selected winning team in an assigned group of 5 will receive $5,000 total ($1,000 for each participant) and see your idea implemented by USTA New England.
Want to help out but cannot commit to the challenge? Fill out our survey to provide helpful data as we examine and innovate tennis in New England!