June 2009 -- It is important in today's economy to find ways to get the best value for your dollar and continue to generate revenue. Cardio Tennis is at your service with its marketing value, pricing options and money-making potential.
Everyone can appreciate public relations and free advertising. To take advantage of these opportunities with Cardio Tennis, the first step is to become an official site. This is an easy online process (www.partners.cardiotennis.com) and as an official site you will receive the marketing toolkit and your facility will be listed on the consumer Web site, www.cardiotennis.com. Why is the marketing toolkit important? Today, more than ever, you want to project a professional image; the marketing tools in the kit, such as the banner, posters, brochures, and fliers, will all help to "sell" your Cardio Tennis program and project an exciting image.
Even more important is being listed on the Cardio consumer Web site within the growing tennis system because this is free advertising for you. This system is connected to various industry Web sites where people are looking for programs such as USTA.com, Tennischannel.com, Tennisweek.com and many others. All of our promotions push the consumer to this Web site where people can find you.
To further help your advertising efforts as an official Cardio Tennis site you are also eligible for the Growing Tennis 50/50 Co-op Program. Through this program the Tennis Industry Association and United States Tennis Association offer matching advertising/promotional dollars to entrepreneurs who want to attract new or former junior and adult players to the game.
Use Cardio Tennis to promote USPTA's Tennis - for the health of it!??SM
. This initiative is doing a great job of drawing more attention to the health benefits of our sport. Promote Tennis - for the health of it!??
by offering the Cardio Tennis program; these two concepts combined will help to attract nonplayers to our great sport.
The next step for optimal success is proper education for the Cardio Tennis professional. Running great Cardio Tennis classes is more challenging than meets the eye and although the partners Web site is a great tool it is not a substitute for hands-on training. Cardio Tennis is a USPTA specialty course and many advanced educational workshops/courses are offered throughout the country. You can visit www.growingtennis.com for a list of all courses.
Now you have the marketing tools, you are advertising your program and have received advanced education. So how are you going to price the program? I have seen Cardio Tennis priced as low as $8 per hour and as high as $55 per hour per person. The average price around the country is $12-$15 per hour, with eight people on a court; that is $96-$120 per hour of revenue. This averages about 45 percent more income than the average price of a private lesson ($45-$70). Many facilities offer packages such as buy 10, get one free. It is nice to get your clients to prepay, which guarantees income for you and makes them commit. Your objective should be to have at least six spots prepaid and leave two for drop-ins. I think it is important to leave a few spots for drop-in as many people, especially those coming from the fitness market, are used to just showing up. Make sure you charge more per class for those dropping in. If you are using heart rate monitors as loaners you can incorporate a small rental fee into the cost. For example, if someone owns their own HRM it is $10 and if they are borrowing it is $15. Please keep in mind the ideal number for a Cardio Tennis class is six to eight people per court.
If you are launching the program it is important to start with offering free classes. This will increase initial participation as people are more willing to try something when it is free. They will have such a good experience they will then be willing to pay. The first class for anyone new to Cardio Tennis should always be free and whenever a regular player brings a friend the friend is free and the regular gets half off.
How to schedule?
It is great to offer open classes at set times, i.e., Mondays at 10 a.m., Wednesdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays at 9 a.m.
However, this will not capture the majority of your clientele so make sure you offer "Private Cardio Tennis." This is where a group of people (like a ladies 3.5 team) arranges a class time that works for your schedule and theirs. This is a winning situation for everyone as it is another hour of revenue for you, the ability levels will be more similar, they are all friends, and you can charge more because it is "Private Cardio Tennis."
Use Cardio Tennis to evaluate new members at your club
Traditionally, when a new member joins a club that person might be given an evaluation by a staff professional in a private lesson format, which is typically complimentary and may be 30-60 minutes. If your budget and time allow for this it can be a nice customer service touch. However, a much more cost-effective alternative is to offer the new member a free Cardio Tennis class. You can evaluate their true ability level better because they are interacting with others, not just hitting a nice ball fed by the pro. Also, the first thing a new member needs is someone to play with and a big component of the Cardio Tennis class is the social aspect and camaraderie of the class; they will meet a group of people right from the start. Cardio Tennis classes create great friendships and will save you valuable time and money.
Cardio Tennis is a great financial option for potential new members and your current club members
Many people are turning to tennis for the first time or playing more because there are affordable ways to play. Cardio Tennis is a great option for those frequent lesson takers who might be cutting back on the private lessons. With this program they can take two or three classes per week instead of one private lesson.
The money-making potential with Cardio Tennis
A facility in Los Angeles posted the following numbers in January: "We ran 81 hours of Cardio Tennis classes with the classes split between one hour and one-and-one-half hours. We average five players per class, using only one court, so for January we had 405 participants with a rate of $25 per one-hour class, and our total revenue for January was $10,125."
At the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center, they offer about 15 Cardio Tennis classes per week and see the following benefits.
- Best use of court time when compared to contract time, private or group lessons.
- Retention of participants is longer with cardio classes as a result of better health, exercise and fun!
- Easier to accommodate walk-in participants as ratios are less important than with traditional group instruction.
Cardio Tennis classes will create a domino effect on revenue. Since this is a class that captures new players there is now an opportunity to sell clothing and equipment. Ideally, we want all participants to wear a heart rate monitor, so this is another potential revenue stream as you can open an account with Polar and sell the units in your shop. Since many people are coming back to the sport through Cardio Tennis or trying it for the first time, this is a perfect opportunity to sell them on a private lesson and because they are having such a great experience they might even join your club.
Today we need to stretch our dollars as far as we can and take advantage of all the great things our industry does to support the coaches. So register to be an official Cardio Tennis site, apply for the Growing Tennis 50/50 Co-op Program, use Tennis - for the health of it!
PR materials in conjunction with Cardio Tennis, and start making money!