USTA Targets Former Tennis Players

NEW YORK Is there an old tennis racket at the back of your closet or buried in your garage?

Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in New York and the United States Tennis Association are betting there is. After winning the USTA’s community tennis outreach program in August, the agency is developing a campaign that will reintroduce lapsed players to local courts and turn them into ambassadors for the game.

“About 6 million people start playing tennis every year and about 6 million stop playing tennis,” said Alon Shoval, executive vice president and executive creative director at Hill, Holliday in New York.

The television, print and interactive campaign will break early next year and aim to plug up what Shoval called “a bit of a leaky bucket.”

“We want to disrupt the perception that tennis is a game that is a spectator sport and the glory days of tennis were the days of Bjorn Borg and big headbands and Fila,” said Shoval.

Instead, the organization wants to remind players that there are millions of courts around the country where they can socialize, lose weight and connect with their families, he said.

The budget for the effort is undisclosed.

Hill, Holliday’s Lesley Bielby and Jeff Grant are responsible for account planning and account service, respectively.