Category Archives: Business
I wrote this post a long time ago but I recently saw where a tennis store was closing after many years of service to the community. I have NO idea if what I am writing about had anything to do with the closing but here it is:
Making a tennis racquet selection, and actually purchasing that racquet, has changed quite a bit in the last 15-20 years. Is that a good or bad thing? Well, I suppose it depends on who you ask, but from a tennis racquet specialist, it is a serious question.
It is no secret or great revelation that racquet manufacturers want to maximize their income and bottom line and what better way to do that than reduce the number of channels they need to manage!
Pretend for a moment that I am the CEO of XYZ Racquet Company and I can sell 75 to 85 percent of all my racquets to two or three online operations. Why wouldn’t I do that? These chosen outlets would be “house” accounts, so there is a minimal cost of sales, so no need for outside representatives, or all these in-house CSR’s!
I want you, the customer, to go to a local shop. You can see several racquets and discuss each in detail and get recommendations as to which racquet may be best for you. Great! Now the CEO wants you to hurry home jump online and order this racquet!
It sounds great to the CEO but what about you the customer?
Specialty racquet shops like Racquet Quest, LLC is in business to make this racquet the best purchase you can make! Here’s how.
A good shop will have knowledgeable tennis people there to help you.
A good shop will have a demo program.
A good shop will set up the demo as you will be using it. Yes, string and tension!
A good shop will take the time to help you make a good decision.
A good shop will be there for you if you need after -the -sale help.
A good shop will be able to correctly string the racquet of your choice.
And, all of this will probably be done at a reasonable price, which includes “sales tax”! Sales tax is the 800-pound gorilla in the room, and this gorilla has convinced some buyers that they can save big bucks by not paying sales tax. Sales tax is an amount you can see, so it is easily quantified. However, it is difficult to quantify the assistance you get from your local shop, that is until you take time to think about it.
There are many reasons to buy from a local source, but some areas of the country don’t have a “local” source. So here is what I would do.
Search for a qualified racquet technician as close to you as possible. Talk to them, and if you are satisfied, have the racquet you buy online drop shipped to them for preparation. They will be committed to a good job because they know you will send the racquet back to them if it is not done well!
The IART has a listing of qualified racquet technician…check it out here: IART
Racquet Quest, LLC is very happy, and excited, to have the USTA National Campus nearby! If you have not visited the campus yet, you should make it a priority! Not only is it beautiful it is full of technology that will benefit all tennis players.
Of course, the people of Fromuth Sports have put together an outstanding “pro shop” filled with tempting items! In fact, I have not only been tempted I have purchased some items!
Recently I watched players on “Court 105” while working at the World Headquarters of Racquet Quest in Casselberry! This a benefit of Play Site Technology that streams from several courts on the campus.
On the days I have been there it is evident that this facility will be a “destination” for tennis fans from around the world. This campus will also be the “home” of UCF Tennis, plus, give local players and teams the opportunity to play more matches simultaneously.
If you are in the area, we invite you to take advantage of the racquet technologies expertise of Racquet Quest in Casselberry, Fl, about 35 minutes from the USTA National Campus.
Welcome to Orlando, USTA!
As most of you know I am a big fan of Ashaway Monogut ZX (16g) and ZX Pro (17G) string. These models are PEEK mono filament strings that resemble polyester strings but these contain no polyester!
Here is the latest PR from Ashaway for your review.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and of course if you want to try this string.
About 18 months ago I met Eric and Carine of the company ERECA. Eric and Carine live in Lyon, France and were here to attend the IART Symposium.
Eric had his sights set on becoming a MRT (Master Racquet Technician), which he did, and, design, build, and market tools and equipment for racquet technicians.
It quickly became clear that Eric has the technical expertise and Carine has the marketing expertise to organize a company and thus ERECA was formed in Lyon, France.
I am very excited to announce the relationship of ERECA and Racquet Quest, LLC for the purpose of designing, manufacturing, and selling tools and equipment for racquet technicians.
The products currently being designed and produced range from $10.00 Clamp Risers to $1000.00 Portable Stringing Machines!
Racquet Quest, LLC is proud to play a small part in the business that is ERECA!
Please visit the web site at www.e-re-ca.com to see an overview of the business, and, follow Eric and Carine as they travel around the world promoting ERECA.
You may notice on some posts there is a link to another page. In most cases these pages are part of Racquet Quest and by simply clicking on “Home” when you are leaving a link will take you back to the http://www.racquetquest.com home page.
A good example is the link to the “Head Speed MPA 16×1″6 review. There are images of the racquet on the home page however the link takes you to another page where a more comprehensive review and the review data resides.
These links are necessary to maximize the benefit of one platform or application for a specific purpose. These links are not meant to confuse you, like they do me sometimes!
The linked pages may look different than the racquetquest.com page but don’t be alarmed. I will never knowingly offer you a link that is bogus or potentially damaging.
Gee whiz! If the rest of 2014 is like this first week it is going to be a really great, and busy, year!
There is nothing like starting a new year with many long term items on the business agenda. Not only has the stringing and customization business been great I have been designing a new “division” of this web site.
I am adding a “Museum” section that will be a display and brief description of many tennis racquets that have, or should have, historically significant positions. Many of these racquets are players racquets and the specifications may surprise you.
I hope to have this section open soon!
Recently I had the terrific opportunity to visit the Wilson Sporting Goods Innovation Center in Chicago! This is a tennis racquet “lovers” dream!
In the very open design area there are several engineers working on new designs, modifications, ideas, and stringing. There are three (3) Wilson Baiardo stringing machines at the far end looking over the engineering work stations.
Having designed and manufactured tennis racquets a few years ago I was particularly impressed with Wilson’s ability to take an idea to “prototype” in less than two (2) days! In fact Wilson can “print” a racquet so the participants can see and feel a real racquet and judge the shape and general appearance before going on to a full prototype!
The CAD software used by Wilson is incredibly fast and comprehensive so it is easy to “see” every angle and surface of the proposed design. So, if you don’t like that “bulge” just remove it! Dave does this! Engineers Bill, Ron, Scott and Bobby feed ideas to Dave and he turns these ideas into wonderful images! Ron is able to stand near Dave and virtually “design” a tennis racquet! Taking his ideas throughout Dave to the final design is impressive.
If a playable prototype is necessary one can be produced right here! The fibers are combined and cut on “electronic” tables, wrapped, put into a mold and sent through the molding process!
Also at this facility is the “Pro Room”, which, as the name would imply, is the room dedicated to the professional players that are playing with Wilson racquets. In this room hangs hundreds of racquets in various states. Some are complete, some are waiting for some “work”. This is quite an impressive room!
As one walks through the 32,000 square foot facility you come across a full size tennis court which is not unusual but the electronics hanging out here may not be found anywhere else. Commercials can be made here as well as racquet testing.
If you ever have a change to visit this facility take the opportunity. I could go back many ties and still not get enough!
Thank you Wilson for the visit!
Racquets & Wine!
Every once in a while I enjoy a sip, or two, of wine with the food I am eating. I must admit, however, that I don’t adhere to “pairings” so much!
I have eaten shrimp with a Cabernet! And I have had a good Pinot Noir with hearty pasta! Good grief! In some circles this would be unheard of! Do you let the suggested “Pairings” influence you or do you go with your taste instead?
But what does this have to do with tennis racquets? What if there were “pairings” for tennis racquets and string? Would you take these “suggestions” into account when it is time to have your racquet strung?
Unlike a bottle of wine, that is good for a couple of hour’s maybe, you expect your string to last much longer. So, would you consider upgrading from a $20.00 bottle of wine to a $35.00 based on the “pairings” recommendation? Is that worth $7.50 per hour?
Likewise would you consider upgrading to a $45.00 string from your standard $25.00 string if it would be better for your game, and last much longer than a bottle of wine?
The point of this post is that there is a “pairing” concept for tennis racquets and players! In some cases these “pairings” are completely ignored by many players due to any number of influences. Influences such as advertising, player endorsements, partner pressure, stringer pressure, and to a lesser degree, cost.
Now, the next time you have your racquet strung ask your stringer for a “pairings” recommendation and see what happens. And, if your stringer pro-actively recommends a “pairing” ask why and be sure it suits your “taste”.
Keep in mind that keeping your racquet freshly strung will be just as much fun as a good wine…
And cost less!
When you take your tennis racquet in for “service” what do you want to know from the “service provider”?
Do you simply want to say “string this thing at 60 pounds” and leave? Or, do you want to know what tension may be better for your playing style? Or, how about finding out that there is a brand new string that will make you a “better” player?
Maybe a little added swing weight can improve your game, too. How about listening too a brief presentation about “stringing frequency and value”? Do you want to be “automatically” alerted that it has been a specified length of time since your last stringing?
You see, there are many topics that are important to you and me. Over time I will have the answers to all of my questions regarding your preferences and these will be available in my RacquetRecord software. But, what if we could establish those preferences like we do when we use a new version of software? One of the first things we do in software is set our “preferences” then we rarely mess with them.
Just like with software, there are advances being made every day in the realm of tennis racquets and tennis racquet string.
This is the conundrum! How much information is enough but not too much! How much do you want to know? This is a serious question and I appreciate answers, please.
I will continue to write about things I think are important so when you come to, or send your racquets to, Racquet Quest, LLC, or any other racquet service provider, you will be prepared with your “preferences”. I want to take as much time as you feel is necessary to get the result you are expecting. You simply must let me know how much time that is, because, I can talk about tennis racquets and string for a long time!
IMG, International Management Group, is for sale. So, you ask? IMG is, probably, the genesis of the sports management business. Mark McCormack started IMG with a client named Arnold Palmer, and, as they say the rest is history. IMG represents some of the best tennis players in the world.
The reason I even mention this is that in 1970, I think, I had a meeting at the IMG Headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio with Mr. Bud Stanner, Ian Tiriac, and Robert Naillet to present my newly designed tennis racquet for their consideration. I won’t go into detail but that is a meeting that will stay with me forever.
So, if you have an extra 2 billion dollars handy you may want to make an offer for IMG.