Dear Fellow Paddle Tennis Players,
I hope that this letter reaches you and all those you love feeling great and enjoying a beautiful and blessed day.
I have been playing Paddle Tennis for 55 years, and I feel, as most Paddle Tennis players do, that we have an incredibly fun, exhilarating, and enjoyable sport. Additionally, like most Tennis players and ex-Tennis players, I find Paddle Tennis even more fun to play than Tennis.
So, if we have such an amazing sport, why is it that so few people around the country and the world know what our brand of Paddle Tennis is and/or play it? And, why has a new sport, such as Pickleball, spread like wildfire across the country, while Paddle Tennis remains mired in relative anonymity? One major reason, is that our sport suffers from sport and brand confusion. Most people who have not played our sport, think that Paddle Tennis is either Ping Pong, Platform Paddle Tennis (which is the most prevalent misconception), Paddle Ball, Padel, Pickleball, Beach Tennis, and the like. So what we currently have, is a uniquely great sport with no clear identity.
In fact, just last week, I was watching an interview with a major celebrity, on – I believe – the “Today” show. When the interviewee was asked what her favorite sport is, she said, “Paddle Tennis.” Upon hearing this, a shot of adrenalin surged through me; but immediately thereafter, the viewer saw a video of the celebrity playing on a wooden platform court, which was surrounded by wire mesh. It appeared as if she was hitting a hard, rubber, sponge ball. Obviously, what she called “Paddle Tennis,” was Platform Paddle Tennis, not our game.
Over the past months, I have discussed, with marketing and merchandising experts, the fact that our form of Paddle Tennis is a wonderful sport that has existed for over 100 years, yet it is barely, if at all, in the national consciousness. I then asked these individuals how we can remedy this situation. Their responses have, for the most part, been: You may well want to re-brand your sport, so that there is no confusion between your sport and others, such as Platform Paddle Tennis (which most people on the East Coast and the Midwest call “Paddle Tennis”). From my vantage point, an additional benefit derived from re-branding our sport is that it should give us the necessary “hook” and reason for the media to do TV and print stories about it. These stories, I hope, will then trigger meaningful local and national conversations regarding our sport. All of this should significantly raise our sport’s profile, and this should help us to successfully market our great game. Essentially, all of this publicity and attention should make our sport RELEVANT.
When I raised our challenges and the above solution with a number of players and friends, most agreed that re-branding our sport would be highly beneficial. Others felt that there certainly would be no great harm in trying a new marketing approach, as our sport currently has no national momentum. I also suggested to these players and friends, that if we do choose a new name for Paddle Tennis, it should be fun, hip, and inclusive. It was Leo Ricagni, who came up with the name, “POP Tennis” — as in pop art, pop entertainment, pop culture, etc. Leo’s perspective, was that our sport would become Popular Tennis — a game played and enjoyed by individuals of all ages and economic strata around the world. Essentially, ours would be a game “of the people.”
After speaking with a number of individuals, who feel that the name, “POP Tennis,” embraces all of the qualities of our uniquely wonderful sport, I and other committed POP Tennis players decided to embark on a journey to exponentially grow POP Tennis.
In addition to letting everyone know about our sport’s new name and website, our immediate goal is to unite the Paddle Tennis organizations in New York City, Los Angeles, St. Augustine, Florida, and the Carolinas, and have them adopt uniform rules. Hopefully, in the near future, we will have a series of annual, Grand Slam POP Tennis tournaments that will be held in the aforementioned cities and states. This would all be done under the umbrella of the United States POP Tennis Association, or “PTA.”
The PTA’s ultimate goal is to make POP Tennis a hugely popular national and international sport, and hopefully, one day, an Olympic sport. My immediate goal is to introduce POP Tennis to the media — especially, television, and thereafter, secure major sponsorship from a number of different companies.
I hope that you will take a moment to view our brand-new POP Tennis website, poptennis.com, which I and my colleagues will use to market POP Tennis.
POP Tennis is a magnificent sport that can be played by everyone from age 5 to 95. I hope that you are excited about the prospect that POP Tennis may now become part of the national consciousness, and that when we tell people that we play POP Tennis, they will know exactly what sport we are talking about.
Please let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions, and/or if you would like to volunteer to help grow POP Tennis. You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope that you will forward this letter to all those you know who play POP Tennis a/k/a our form of Paddle Tennis.
Together, let’s do GREAT things with and for our sport, as well as for all of us who love it! Thank you, for your time and consideration.
Very warmest regards,
of POP Tennis, Inc.