PPB February 2020

by Danielle Renda Go l f / Tenn i s Gea r Get Your Game On With millions of fans and players, tennis- and golf-inspired promotional apparel can create brand awareness on a global and local scale. G olf and tennis are both much-loved sports surrounded by loyal fans, competitive players and the latest in inspired apparel and wearables; the latter greatly influencing the athleisure retail market and trends. The two top U.S.-based tournaments for each sport in 2019—the 2019 U.S. Open Tennis Championship at the United States Tennis Association’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York, and the 119th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, California—attracted more than one million attendees, collectively. According to the Tennis Industry Association, an additional 1.3 million people also watched the U.S. Open on ESPN and ESPN2 over a two-week period, and nearly 10.2 million tuned in to watch the final round of the U.S. Open Championship on FOX, according to FOX Sports. With millions plugged into these major games, it’s a paramount opportunity for promotional apparel and wearables to be used, worn, shared and talked about by devoted followers. Along with following these sports and attending the tournaments, many fans also play tennis and golf. According to the National Golf Foundation, 107 million Americans, age six and older, play golf; a number that equates to 36 percent of the population. It’s also a figure that’s growing, with 2.6 million beginners hitting the course for the first time in 2018, compared with 1.5 million in 2011. The figures for tennis are lower, with the 26 | FEBRUARY 2020 | INNOVATE