Gold Class Tennis
Tennis is a dynamic sport which challenges the body and mind. It is a global game that is played by millions. Traditionally Tennis was just the lesson, the hit, the match, the tournament etc. In this picture we see a racquet, balls and a water container. There is nothing wrong with this but there are different ways to present the same thing.
Alot of business offerings are things that are packaged up with other complimentary products and services to form a superior product.
Golf has excelled in the corporate day over the years and special guest golf professionals have mingled with the corporate golfer or enthusiast all over the world for years.
In 2010 I began to think about re branding tennis differently. At Scarborough Tennis Academy, we were on the right track of becoming a professional tennis coaching academy where although we innovated coaching programs and embraced the online and digital world, we were in the world of traditional tennis so I had to think outside the square at how to innovate the way the game is experienced.
So firstly I looked at where the best holiday destinations are in the world for tennis players. This led me to tennis resorts online which opened my eyes to how beautiful and unique some of these tennis facilities were.
So then I started looking at Peter Burwash International. Peter Burwash was a professional tennis player along with accomplished author, coach and commentator. He started a tennis management company which helps staff hotels, resorts and other clubs around the world with a top service, professional tennis professional and program. I read everything i could about Peter and even emailed him asking him if i could ask him some questions. Surprisingly he replied and said to give him a call next week with his number. He was really helpful on giving advice in this area with an emphasis on ensuring that tennis services are of the highest quality and professionalism.
Looking in Western Australia, I sought out potential holiday spots and found out about the Vines Resort along with other spots further from Perth. The Vines look nice and wasn’t far away so the next morning I went and checked out the place and thought that although it wasn’t perfect it can definitely become a great holiday spot for tennis seekers.
I decided to discuss this with a friend and fellow tennis coach Brad Millman and to invite him to explore the business opportunities of The Vines Tennis and tennis holidays. Brad was driven, enthusiastic and a hard worker and was keen to get involved.
After meeting and doing a proposal for for the Vines Resort management, we agreed on running both a local kids tennis academy and also look at doing tennis holidays at the Vines.
This was the formation of our business, Aussie Tennis, comprising of The Vines Tennis Academy and Aussie Tennis Getaways.
The Vines Tennis Academy developed straight away into a successful little tennis academy. Interestingly the tennis holidays at the Vines is something we didn’t pursue very much and we had refined our holidays to include being something that just lasts an afternoon. A tennis ‘getaway’ for the afternoon or a 1 day getaway.
After lots of brainstorming and help from some good mentors we decided to launch with our first event called Taste of Wimbledon to 60 guests.
The Taste of Wimbledon 2012 included Paul McNamee as our guest professional/speaker, music, gift bags, prizes along with Wimbledon themed decorations and hospitality. Players played in their own tournament and followed it up by watching an exhibition match with Paul McNamee and other top level players.
We decided to take a risk and invite a special guest list who could come for free and enjoy the special day. We would then have a lot of influential tennis people who have attended our event and would look to attend more. The day was a great success although we were out of pocket $12 k as we had a lot of expenses for the day.
However we had successfully re-branded tennis. We had created a classy, unique way to play tennis for the afternoon. Tennis was still the core product but was wrapped up with all the trimmings that became Taste of Wimbledon. We have just recently finished our 4th Taste of Wimbledon and have also done a Taste of France, an Ultimate Tour to the Australian Open along with a Taste of Wimbledon cocktail function and charity tennis days. We have finally repaid ourselves the $12 k that it cost to show people how good a tennis day could actually get.
Our cocktail function that we did at a building on St Georges Terrace has all of the elements of our Taste of Wimbledon day but instead of playing tennis, guests watched a projected Federer/Nadal Wimbledon final on the wall. The prizes, the gift bags, the themed decorations, hospitality and the entertainment remained. Tennis had again be re branded to not even include playing tennis. Is this still good for tennis? Of course it is. If there is an opportunity to get people exposed to a tennis themed event, this could spark interest in tournament sponsorship along with getting themselves and their staff out to play tennis.
Although there have been corporate tennis days, I still believe that we have been successful in innovating tennis and adding more value to the day. I felt as if tennis was golf’s poor cousin, who was not worth dressing up or worth creating an amazing day for. The Gold Class cinema is a nice example. You are still watching the same movie, but the seats are nicer and the hospitality better. You are treated more special when you go to a gold class movie. If you attend our tennis events, you are treated more special than your normal social, pennant or club tournament tennis day.
Together with Brad, we are looking forward to creating more events that give Adults the opportunity to experience a different style of tennis day. If your curious on some of our events, go to www.aussietennisgetaways.com.au