| By Brian Coleman

 

Two years ago, Chris Sabaitis had the idea of easing the process of booking a tennis court at your local club or facility. The former Columbia men’s tennis player was himself trying to secure a court time and grew frustrated at the complexity of the process.

“I started thinking to myself that there has to be a number of courts, not necessarily public ones, around the city that were open in that moment,” he said. “I was sitting there and I just started looking around to see what software facilities were using, and how people could find available courts. I realized that something like this doesn’t exist right now, and it’s something that’s well within my skill set to be able to provide a service like this to the tennis community.”

That idea has now grown into AceSpace, a company that helps simplify court reservations and management for both players and facilities. And in the years since its inception, Sabaitis and his team continue to build on the idea and continue providing the best experience possible for both the player and the clubs. It has become an essential asset for many local clubs and facilities, and AceSpace is easy to use for players. You just have to visit AceSpaceCourts.com, register for free to create your own personalized profile, and begin browsing for available courts.

Like all businesses, the global pandemic created challenges for AceSpace, but they decided to take a positive outlook on the situation and use it to grow.

“We approached this, and I think a lot of companies did, as an opportunity to expand the list of tools that our customers had access to,” said Sabaitis. “We used the time to form a couple strategic partnerships which included a credit card processor. We also built out our systems to allow our clubs to stay in contact with their customers, and we improved the user experience for the player themselves to make it even easier when they go online.” 

Sabaitis and AceSpace quickly adapted to the new environment and adjusted to make sure it remained relevant in the marketplace, and by doing so it reinforced the work that the company has done over the last few years.

“If anything, the pandemic has given us a little confidence to know that we are in the right market, we know what they customers want and what they expect from us,” he said. “And, maybe more importantly, we know that we can deal with tough times and are nimble enough to successfully work around them. I think that’s always a nice thing to have in your back pocket.”

During this last year, the team at AceSpace has made upgrades and improvements to its product, which includes a couple of key additions. One such update is a service that facilities can use to send an e-mail directly to potential players from AceSpace itself, rather than having to use a third-party system.

Text notifications are also now available. Players can opt-in to those in order to receive updates, and facilities can choose to use the text notification option to ensure their players are reminded of their reservations ahead of time.

“We also integrated our accounting into QuickBooks, which has helped our partners a lot,” added Sabaitis. “So we had some big changes, and all three make it easier for clients to leverage their full client list. Rather than having those lists spread out across multiple platforms, AceSpace is a place where you can centralize all of your data and communicate most effectively.”

AceSpace is now prepared to move forward in 2021 with its new upgrades and a clear vision of the place it wants to hold in the marketplace. Connecting players to facilities in a seamless way is a necessary resource that will benefit all sides of the local tennis community, and the plan is to continue enhancing the services for all involved.

“We have a number of exciting new features coming up,” said Sabaitis. “I don’t want to show my hand just yet, but we do have some upgrades we’re releasing to our partners in the coming weeks and months. We’re also looking forward to relaunching our mobile app. We had it up for awhile but we were getting so much volume with the pandemic that we had to pull it from the app stores for a little bit. We’re going to get that back up soon, which is really exciting because it makes the experience that much better for players.”

 

Brian Coleman

 Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com