HOUSTON – The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) announced today the signing of a multiyear agreement with Prince Global Sports to endorse Prince racquets, balls, strings, bags and accessories, renewing a previous partnership that helped make Prince a leader in the tennis industry.
When Prince and the USPTA were affiliated during the 1980s through the early 90s, both companies rose to the top of their respective sections in the tennis industry. As Prince repositions itself in the marketplace – including re-entering the tennis ball market – the affiliation with USPTA will help create consumer demand for their product.
“Working with skilled, motivated and performance focused tennis-teaching professionals is a critical factor in driving sales in this industry and Prince recognizes the significant value that an association with the USPTA brings to that equation,” said Prince Global Sports, CEO Mike Ballardie. “A key part of our 2014 brand strategy is a focus on ensuring that all players are ‘fitted’ for the optimum equipment for their game. This partnership with the USPTA is a valued piece of that puzzle.”
As the official racquet and ball supplier for the USPTA, Prince equipment and signage will be used at USPTA World Conferences, division conventions and events, and at all certification testing. The enhanced equipment package provided by Prince for USPTA Professionals will be contingent on the number of hours USPTA Professionals spend on the court teaching. In addition to providing racquets and accessories to USPTA-certified Professionals, Prince will also make contributions to the USPTA’s Retirement Gold+ plan to those USPTA members who qualify, such as club pro shop owners and/or those who have direct fiscal responsibility for their respective pro shop.
“Prince is the first major USPTA endorsee to contribute to the Retirement Gold+ plan because the company knows the influence and credibility that USPTA-certified Professionals have in the industry,” said USPTA CEO John Embree, who is familiar with the brand and its staff from serving as President of Prince Sports, The Americas from 2008-2010. “Having worked closely with Mike Ballardie in the past, I know the commitment the company and its staff have to the tennis-teaching profession and the grassroots efforts to grow our sport.”
From its origin as a manufacturer of tennis ball machines, Prince has proven itself to be an industry leader in the innovation and manufacturing of performance racquet sports products. Prince revolutionized tennis by engineering the world’s first oversize racquet. Several of the top tennis players in the world play with Prince racquets, including top-ranked Americans on the ATP World Tour such as John Isner, the No. 1 Men’s Doubles Team of Mike and Bob Bryan (the Bryan Brothers) along with current No. 3 Singles Player David Ferrer and the 2013 Ladies Wimbledon Singles Champion, Marion Bartoli.
About Prince Global Sports
Prince Global Sports, LLC, is a leading court sports company with a focused commitment to research and development and game-changing product innovations. The company is widely recognized as being the first to market with many of the most relevant technologies of the past 40 years. Oversize and Longbody technology, the first multifilament string, the first “Natural Foot Shape” tennis shoe and EXO3 and ESP technology, are a few of the contributions Prince has made to racquet sports. Today, the Company engineers products in all categories including racquets, footwear, balls, strings, grips, bags, machines, apparel and accessories. Prince Global Sports is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Athletic Brands Holding Company with offices in USA, UK, France, Holland, Germany and Taiwan. For more information visit www.princetennis.com or follow @Prince_Tennis.