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TIA Tennis Event Headed for New York in August

31 Jul, 2017


The judges named for the unique “Tennis Innovation Challenge NYC 2017” will provide a blend of tennis and sports expertise with technology and marketing experience, as new products and services in the tennis industry take center stage on Monday, Aug. 28, in New York City.

The competition—for innovative products, software and services designed to grow the sport and business of tennis with players, consumers and fans—will take place during the 10th Annual Tennis Industry Association (TIA) Tennis Forum, which will be held at the InterContinental New York Barclay hotel on the first day of play at the US Open.

The Innovation Challenge is being held in conjunction with “The Future of Tennis & Tech Event,” which runs Aug. 28 and 29, organized by both the TIA and the SportsCouncil Silicon Valley (SCSV). Both the Forum and the tech sessions will be at the InterContinental, which is located at Lexington Avenue and 49th Street and is the official US Open hotel for the men’s professional ATP Tour.

Through July 15, companies and individuals can complete a short Tennis Innovation Challenge application form at tennisindustry.org/innovation describing their new product or service. There is no fee to apply for the Innovation Challenge.

On Monday morning, Aug. 28, finalists from the Innovation Challenge online application process will present their new product or service to the panel of judges—and in front of an audience of tennis industry leaders—in a “Shark Tank”-like competition held during the TIA Tennis Forum. (While the morning Forum is free to attend, space is limited, so registration is required. Visit TennisIndustry.org.)

“The spirit of innovation and creativity is alive and well in tennis,” says Carlos Salum, president of Salum International Resources and a member of the SCSV, who will be the moderator for the Tennis Innovation Challenge. “We’re thrilled with the applicants the Tennis Innovation Challenge has attracted so far, and we’re looking forward to these new tennis products and services helping to move the tennis industry forward.”

An international performance strategist with clients throughout the world, Salum himself successfully merges the worlds of high-performance sports and cutting-edge technology.  He currently organizes international events and is the founder of TheSircle Executive Club. As a professional tennis coach, he helped world-class players such as Gabriela Sabatini and Sergi Bruguera win Grand Slam titles, and has participated in ground-breaking research in Peak Performance training with Dr. Jim Loehr, Dr. Nick Hall, Dr. Jack Groppel and Pat Etcheberry, some of the world's leading sport scientists.

“Our judges represent a great mixture of technology and sports,” says Salum, who, along with the team at SCSV and the TIA, have named these five judges for the Tennis Innovation Challenge:

* Julien Blin: Blin is CEO and co-founder of SportsCouncil Silicon Valley, a global organization that helps bring innovation and cutting-edge technology to leading sports organizations. Previously, he worked for Google, helping to launch flagship products such as Google Assistant, Google Home, etc. He also has worked for Samsung, helping to shape strategy and build contextual experiences. In 2014, he founded the Gizworld conferences, a leading wearable tech and IOT conference series.

* Walid Fattah: With extensive experience in the world of finance, Fattah co-founded a family of products under the name of Kourts, specializing in mobile applications and tennis management systems. Fattah worked for Credit Suisse for 19 years, in the investment banking and private banking divisions. In his work for Credit Suisse, and combined with his passion for tennis, he has built solid relationships with many key actors in the tennis world.

* Dr. Mark Kovacs: A performance physiologist, researcher, professor, author, speaker and coach, Dr. Kovacs has an extensive background training and researching elite athletes. He currently runs a consulting firm focused on optimizing human performance by the practical application of cutting-edge science. His company, the Kovacs Institute, is dedicated to helping elite individuals looking to optimize business, sport and lifestyle success through the latest performance sciences. Dr. Kovacs also is the executive director of the International Tennis Performance Association (iTPA).

* Dr. Stuart Miller: In addition to heading up the International Tennis Federation’s Integrity Department, responsible for all ITF integrity-related matters, Dr. Miller also oversees the ITF Technical Department, which operates the Technical Centre—the world's leading tennis-specific research and testing laboratory. His responsibilities also include the Sport Science & Medicine provision, the Rules of Tennis, the ITF Constitution, ethics, player welfare, wheelchair classification, and membership-related matters.

* Royce Wolfe: Royce Wolfe is the principal of Thru Traffic Marketing LLC, a marketing development, innovation and strategy consultancy specializing in sponsorship revenue generation, ethical branding and business practice. He was a former senior marketing and sales executive at Wells Fargo, Bank of America, the Olympic Games in Atlanta, and the NBA. He has an MBA in marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a master’s with distinction in Ethics and Applied Philosophy from the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

“Working with Carlos and the SCSV team, we’re excited to have assembled such a world-class panel of judges for the Tennis Innovation Challenge,” says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.“This is a unique platform to help showcase tech-focused entrepreneurs to share their visions, which have the potential to impact tennis participation, engagement and the fan experience.”

Tennis Innovation Challenge finalists will receive media exposure through the TIA leading up to the Forum. The winner of the Innovation Challenge will receive $1,000, a national press release to thousands of news outlets with a potential reach to millions of consumers, coverage in Tennis Industry magazine, a one-year TIA membership, and additional exposure through industry marketing and social media channels.

SCSV is an exclusive group that operates as a marketplace for elite sports organizations and technology startups focused on sports. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley and with representatives worldwide, SCSV matches the needs of sports organizations with advanced solutions in the areas of performance, fan engagement, stadium management and data analytics.

Following the Innovation Challenge on Monday morning, SCSV will present Future of Tennis & Tech sessions on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, Aug. 28 and 29, at the InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel. Tech companies can display their products and services at a “Tech Fair” event held on Monday. To learn more and purchase tickets (early bird discount ends Aug. 1) visit sportscouncilsv.com/tennistech or tennisindustry.org for more information.

The Monday afternoon Future of Tennis & Tech session will include a panel of startup tech companies and focus on how technology can help the tennis business. As of July, startup companies that will participate include ASAP-Sport, Bluefox, Compression Kinetics, Hexoskin, Kitman Labs, Lucid VR, Mas-Tech srl, VKTRY, VREE and Brick Simple. (Startup tech companies interested in participating should contact Julien Blin at Julien@sportscouncilsv.com.) The Monday afternoon session also will include small-group discussions in a “world café” format, moderated by Salum.

The Tuesday morning Future of Tennis & Tech session will include a sports & tech keynote speaker, Q&A discussions with tech and tennis celebrities, small-group meetings and networking. Topics will include wearable tech, virtual reality, data analytics, esports, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, drones and more.

“If you are into sports and tech, this exclusive VIP event will be a great opportunity to learn about current and future sports tech trends, accelerate your business, find new customers and investors, and promote your technology,” Salum says. “We’re pleased to bring these Future of Tennis & Tech sessions to New York, during the world’s largest tennis tournament, and to put the spotlight on how technology can help this sport and this business grow.”

This past March, the TIA held its inaugural Tennis Innovation Challenge at the Tennis Owners & Managers Conference in Orlando, Fla. The winner of that competition was Tennibot of Auburn, Ala. Tennibot (www.tennibot.com) is a robotic tennis ball collector that detects tennis balls on the court using cameras, sensors and complex algorithms.

For more information on the Tennis Innovation Challenge NYC 2017, view the application at tennisindustry.org/innovation or email innovation@tennisindustry.org

About the TIA: The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of the business of tennis by working closely with its industry partners and in support of the USTA in their development of initiatives to increase tennis participation. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 U.S. and global research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, managing the largest relational database, along with hosting annual TIA Tennis Forum, Leadership meetings and the T.O.M. Conference at major tournaments and events. Visit TennisIndustry.org or call 866-686-3036.

About SportsCouncil SV: Headquartered in the heart of the Silicon Valley, SCSV is an exclusive and global elite network of sports team executives, sports scientists, athletic trainers, team owners, VCs, large tech companies, with a decade of experience in sports, business development, fund raising, and across various leagues (NBA, NHL, NFL, MLS, European soccer, pro rugby, pro tennis), sports (soccer, hockey, basketball, American football, tennis, rugby). Visit www.sportscouncilsv.com.

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