The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced its new revolutionary youth brand, “Net Generation,” which aims to inspire the next generation of tennis players. For the first time, American tennis will have one unified youth brand for children to get into the sport. Net Generation will make it easier for kids and their parents to learn about tennis and get into the game in schools, parks and tennis clubs across the country. The movement embraces all aspects of youth play for kids ages 5-18. The official Net Generation launch will take place at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on August 26.
“Net Generation is a bold approach to empower kids to play the game while elevating and setting new standards on how we deliver and engage children in our sport,” said Craig Morris, General Manager, USTA Community Tennis and Youth Tennis. “These efforts will make a lasting impact to help drive youth participation throughout the country. There is no bigger and better stage than the US Open to launch the brand.”
The objective of Net Generation is to provide a kid-friendly, safe connection to the sport, as well as a platform to celebrate individuality and self-expression. To ensure a safe environment, all Net Generation providers, including coaches, teachers, players and volunteers, must first go through a Safe Play Program, which involves a three-step process—including a background check—by registering on NetGeneration.com. With the USTA’s focus on childhood safety, this system will be the first-of-its-kind in the sports landscape to require all providers to submit to a comprehensive screening and education program.
“It is essential to implement the best infrastructure and environment for the current and future generation of kids,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board, CEO and President. “Net Generation will help further our commitment to encourage healthy lifestyles and bring more children into the game by reaching kids and parents in a dynamic and easier way than ever before.”
In addition to the official launch at Arthur Ashe Kids Day Powered by Net Generation, the brand will have a significant presence leading up to and at this years’ US Open. Net Generation will be integrated in the following ways:
US Open Series - Throughout the summer, US Open Series tournaments will host Net Generation events, including kids’ days, high school days, family days, and festivals to encourage more kids and families to join the sport. These community engagement events serve as a lead-up to the official brand launch at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.
US Open Experience - Net Generation will have a dedicated kids’ zone at the US Open Experience at the South Street Seaport on August 24-25, featuring Top Tennis, a tennis bullseye-style game to engage youngsters. Additionally, a Net Generation clinic will be held on August 24 with special tennis and celebrity guests.
Net Generation Arcade – This attraction aims to reinvent the retro classic 80s video arcade games with a tennis twist. Kids will love the games and parents will love to share the nostalgia with their kids. The tokens are free and the games will be tennis versions of classics where kids will get the chance to play and win fun Net Generation prizes.
Wildcard – US Open Activity Book – Throughout the grounds, kids will receive their own Wildcard with lanyard to hold their ticket and giveaways. The Wildcard Activity Book is every child’s guide to Net Generation at the US Open which includes a roadmap, activities and pages for autographs.
Netset Ambassadors – The USTA will enlist 32 social media brand influencers, “Netset Ambassadors”, who are ages 5-18 with a strong social media presence, to showcase Net Generation through their view. The ambassadors will create content promoting the brand to their social media followings.
Net Generation Kidcasters – In addition to serving as Netset Ambassadors, a couple of lucky influencers have been selected to serve as “kidcasters” who will give followers a behind-the-scenes look at the US Open. Kidcasters include Milan Tyson (8 years old of Las Vegas), daughter of boxing legend Mike Tyson; Zizou Ahmad (7 years old of Wayne, N.J.); and Will Weinbach (16 years old of Pacific Palisades, Calif.),
The Fan Court at the US Open American Express Fan Experience – The Net Generation programming as part of the court at the US Open Fan Experience in the Chase Center. The court will include on-court activities, clinics and games.
Brand Presence – Net Generation branding and signage will be prominent throughout the site and major high traffic areas including the entrance and fencing on the boardwalk, practice courts, Arthur Ashe Stadium, Grand Stand, decals on table tops in the Food Village and branded buses.
The USTA has a longstanding commitment to encouraging healthy and active lifestyles among children. Over the last decade, youth tennis has brought hundreds of thousands of kids into the sport by using shorter courts, lower-bouncing balls, and lighter racquets to allow them to play more quickly and easily. To further evolve these efforts, the USTA will be working closely with schools and school districts by providing equipment, trainings and resources for teachers. The USTA has developed a new schools tennis curriculum and will encourage schools to have a community partner to help kids find a tennis facility to play after school in partnership with SHAPE America.
Furthermore, Net Generation will activate throughout all competitive levels including youth tennis, team tennis and junior competition. By setting new standards and collaborating with programs across the board, these efforts will help unite the tennis industry by sharing the same mission to get more kids playing tennis.
For more information, please visit NetGeneration.com.