Los Angeles based TGA Youth Premier states on their web site: TGA Premier Youth Tennis brings tennis onto elementary and middle school campuses across America through enrichment programs that incorporate physical activity, character development and academic-based lessons. Co-founders Joshua Jacobs and Steve Tanner started TGA in 2003 as an overnight golf camp, which then morphed into a school based business model executed through franchising to "introduce children of all backgrounds into the game through schools and community based organizations." In 2011 they took that same business model to develop the after-school tennis franchise business in partnership with the USTA. The program introduces the sport in schools through supporting the USTA’s “10-and-Under Tennis” initiative before transitioning them to tennis facilities and USTA programs nationwide.
In the beginning of 2013, Wilson Tennis announced it has formed an exclusive partnership with TGA in a deal that includes Wilson becoming the official equipment and apparel provider for TGA programs and providing funding to TGA’s 501c3 Foundation. “The Partnership with TGA Premier Youth Tennis is a great fit for Wilson Racquet Sports and our shared vision to attract more youth participation,” said Jon Muir, general manager of Wilson Racquet Sports. “TGA’s pathway programs have proven to be successful in providing youth an entry into sports and the tennis industry.”
In addition, the partnership includes Wilson contributing funds over the next three years to the 501c3 TGA Sports Foundation in an ongoing effort provide all youth access to the sport of tennis through school based programs and beyond. The goals of the TGA Foundation are to develop under-resourced and special needs youth by making tennis accessible in all communities while transitioning students and families to local tennis facilities and USTA programming.
Later that year TGA announced that former ATP World Tour pro Todd Martin had purchased a TGA Premier Youth Tennis Franchise based in Jacksonville, FL. Martin also owns Todd Martin Tennis (TMT), located at Sawgrass Country Club. The addition of the TGA Franchise was giving Todd the ability to increase traffic at the facility while adding a new revenue stream for his company.
"TGA really appealed to me because in order for tennis to be a viable competitor in U.S. sports, it needs to be in the schools with other sports," Martin explains. "The comprehensive curriculum, developed with the USTA, is also very exciting and proven to be effective. The innovative TGA model stands to help 10 and Under Tennis establish itself as the best pathway for children to get through the early stages of tennis development."
In October of 2013 TGA announced a partnership with the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) to introduce TGA’s business ownership opportunity and school-based activation model to USPTA members which in turn helps grow tennis at the grassroots level and attract new business for USPTA Professionals. “TGA has developed a new generation model that could change the way we grow the sport of tennis,” said USPTA CEO John Embree. “To be able to provide a proven business model and increase the offering of full and part-time job opportunities to our members is critical for the future of our association and for our sport.”
That business model will create a "...blueprint for USPTA-certified Professionals to take their skills and quickly scale a self-sustaining turnkey business solution that introduces the sport of tennis throughout their community. The program will then transition the new tennis players to local tennis facilities, youth programs, and USTA events creating new clients and future business for USPTA Professionals."
“Our vision as an association is to find ways to enhance the livelihood of our membership and create career opportunities in the industry to promote the sport of tennis,” USPTA President Tom McGraw said. “TGA, with its youth sports franchise model, does exactly that for our members and we could not be more excited to be partnering with them.”
In November of 2013 TGA announced a partnership with the Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) to launch its new after-school tennis enrichment programs in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). The partnership was declared the largest after school program in the United States, mainly because of its collaboration with After The Bell, the largest provider of after school programs in this country.
“Partnering with the SCTA and TGA to provide a program that supports student success was an easy decision to make,” said Alvaro Cortès, Executive Director of the Beyond the Bell Branch. “Athletics play an important role in the growth and development of children. While participating in an activity that provides physical exercise with mind and body coordination, students also learn teamwork, goals setting and how to follow rules.”
The after-school tennis enrichment programs will begin in six LAUSD elementary schools including, Hazeltine, Burton, Kester, Noble, Wilshire Park, and Wilshire Crest. The program will also be expanding throughout the year with a goal of being in over 50 schools by fall 2014.
At each participating school, there will be two 10-week sessions during the year with 20 students from grades 3-6 going through two 45-minute classes per week. The program will also enhance the lives of Los Angeles youth through TGA’s five-level enrichment curriculum and transition them to USTA Kids Tennis Clubs in the middle schools.
With the goal of creating team spirit while fostering competition, students will also experience USTA Jr. Team Tennis (JTT), and be introduced to competitive tennis through a culmination tournament the USTA Southern California will conduct in the spring of 2014. The top two students in the event will receive an invitation and scholarship into a SCTA Junior Satellite tournament.
After the organization was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the fastest growing youth sports companies in its January 2014 issue, TGA announced the signing of their 24th Franchise in just 18 months. Former Wall Street trader Sean Rivera had acquired a TGA franchise in the state of New York. Rivera’s franchise, located in Southern Westchester County, is now one of seven TGA tennis franchises in the Northeast region. For 18 years Rivera worked on Wall Street as an equity derivative trader with Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, and most recently was employed as an equity derivative broker at FGC Securities.
Rivera was attracted to the TGA franchise model as an investment and new business opportunity because the programs are involved with schools and impact youth. His three young children, who are avid tennis players, served as his inspiration to invest in TGA.
“I have been coaching my young kids in tennis and other sports for many years and thought the idea of a successful business where you work with and coach youth would be very exciting,” Rivera said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of TGA’s fast growing programs, which are having a major impact on youth in the greater New York area.”
For more information on TGA, visit www.playtga.com or follow @tgayouthtennis on Twitter.
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