“Why has slamming a ball with a racquet become so obsessive a pleasure for so many of us?” mused cultural critique, Nat Hentoff. “It seems clear to me that a primary attraction of the sport is the opportunity it gives to release aggression physically without being arrested for felonious assault.”
Originating from a 12th-century handball game in France, tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. Since the 1970s, when the games began to be televised, tennis gained millions more fans and players, cementing its widespread prevalence. Thanks to a millennial interest, tennis recently enjoyed another bout of boom. In the United States alone, tennis participation reached 18 million.
For both fans and players, tennis is more than just exercise: It’s a passionate lifestyle. However, are the technological developments keeping up with the continuous growth of tennis and its lovers?
A Bid to Win: Digitizing a Medieval Game
According to Andreas Munk, CEO and Founder of eTennis, a platform that offers a digital architecture to optimize racquet sports facilities, there are some fundamental inefficiencies in traditional tennis practices.
“People who play tennis are a particularly passionate crowd,” says Munk. “They can’t wait to get to the court, but they have to register at the reception, and possibly wait in the queue until they can play. This takes a lot away from that enthusiasm and dampens the experience.”
However, Munk believes the issues that strain the joy of tennis can be overcome with digitization. His platform, eTennis, is an all-in-one digital platform to manage a tennis club, eases many of the hassles that both club owners and players might experience such as this one.
After eTennis enables a secure entrance to members using the mobile phone, the players might proceed to their courts — booked in advance with the same app. Rather than turning up at the court and hope for a free spot, they can plan their games more efficiently, schedule matches with other members, and even arrange tournaments. For those keen on upping the game, they can book extra sessions or time with a trainer, while also processing all the payments via eTennis. Tapping into mobile access, tennis players no longer need to hand over physical keys nor can they lose or forget them.
Likewise, if the facilities have staff and receptionists, the app empowers them to improve overall service and customer satisfaction, instead of admin, answering phone calls, and facilitating entrance. Team captains and tennis trainers can also be on top of everything, as they’re able to see the availability of their team members or trainees.
Optimizing Resources for Players and Owners
“Certain sports facilities like tennis and squash courts, or golf courses require a large amount of space,” Munk says. “It can be expensive and a lot of administrative burden to maintain these clubs, which are often funded by their members.”
Hence, an app that allows the most efficient use of courts by renting them out as much as possible is a business investment with high returns.
“The reduced hassle and admin make the lives easier for both players and facility managers. It also makes the business more profitable,” adds Munk.
A tennis player, who has been playing tennis for number of years, echoes Munk. “If you prepare and get into the mood for playing tennis, and if there are no courts available at your club, it can be disappointing. Being able to book my spot in advance through the app and combined with the extended operation hours, and ease of access makes my passion even more fulfilling,” he says.