As part of the process leading up to a 2015 re-branding of Tennis Canada, we travelled to each province to meet with the presidents and executive directors of the Provincial Tennis Associations (PTAs). Our goal was to learn what tennis means on a grassroots level in each region. Over the past three months, we featured a different province weekly and learned more about the various themes that embody tennis across the country. Read articles from the full series here.
The main objective of the Coast-to-Coast series was to discover and appreciate the various regional identities of Canadian tennis. Taken together, these constitute the overall Canadian tennis identity – or, the Canadian ‘brand’ of tennis. In discovering this ‘brand,’ Tennis Canada chief marketing officer Mark Healy visited every province, obtaining input from all members of the various regional tennis communities.
Feedback was solicited from players, parents, coaches, fans, provincial tennis association executives, and more – a representative sample of the entire Canadian tennis community. Healy discovered that each province has and contributes its own regional character to the brand identity of Canadian tennis.
There are obvious regional differences, with each province bringing its own colour to the tapestry of Canadian tennis. The Atlantic Provinces bring a scrappy resilience to tennis that helps fuel increased capacity building on the East coast of Canada. The Prairie Provinces represent the highest potential for tennis growth across the nation. British Columbia houses a vast heritage and tradition around the game of tennis, with continued growth on the horizon. Ontario has the most comprehensive and organized club system in Canada, pushing participation to record heights. In Quebec, being a tennis player is a significant part of one’s personal identity, not just an occasional hobby.
Although there are regional differences when speaking about tennis, the country is unified around several key values including family, discipline, intergenerational, excellence, perseverance, honour, pride, and grace. These principles are woven into each regional community and they are the common threads binding Canadian tennis together.
There is reason to be excited for the future of tennis in Canada. The sport is being propelled forward by the passion of veterans and novices alike. Our professional players are at the top of their game and tennis participation is on the rise. There is a real opportunity to take what is true about the brand of Canadian tennis and entrench it in our culture. If we continue to communicate and solidify the brand of tennis, it will become a national point of pride. Organizationally, we are ready for a culture shift. Tennis organizations in Canada, including Tennis Canada and the Provincial Tennis Associations, have installed a system that will protect and steward the brand for years to come.
Provincial Tennis Associations (PTAs) are the provincial arms of Tennis Canada and are essential parts of growing and developing interest and participation across the country through their local initiatives. Our mission to grow the game of tennis in Canada would not be possible without the committed and tireless efforts of the PTAs.